Minerva Miraball: A true hero
Minerva Mirabal was born in the Dominican Republic. She is the second out of 4 sisters. Minerva and her sisters grow up in a world with an over glorified dictator who killed his way to the top and put the crown on his own head. Every home has to have a picture of the wonderful Dictator by law and if you don’t then the SIM will be after you. The SIM are like dictator cronies they carry out the dictator’s every whim, including disposals. Growing up under this dictator’s reign you are taught that he alone is the way to god. He even re-wrote the religious textbooks to say such. Trujillo (the dictator) also had a thing for the ladies even though he was married. He enhanced them with his poems (that were eluded to be written by someone else) and his “charm” not to mention that he could kill you anytime he wanted. Speaking out against the government was also something that also was forbidden. If you were heard talking out against the government then the SIM would be after you sometimes even sending spies to watch you and make sure you weren’t doing anything against that could be against Trujillo. Minerva is a hero because she stood up against institutionalized oppression by joining an underground movement that was anti-dictator and by openly voicing her opinion against the government which was against the law.
Minerva confronts institutionalized power when she speaks out openly about the government. Minerva was the boldest of the sisters and she spoke out for what was right. She knew what Trujillo was doing to her people was not right. She knew that killing people when you want and having people living in fear was not right so she didn’t care who heard her she was going to speak her mind.” It was dangerous the way she was speaking out against the government.” (Alvarez 51) Even when it came to just buying a car when the car dealer said that it Trujillo favorite car she says that, that was “another reason not to buy it” (Alvarez 51). Something that seemed so simple but she could’ve gotten killed for saying it. Even when the SIM was watching her she kept them in line saying “remember your guards not guests here” (Alvarez 262)
Minerva also confronts institutionalized power by taking action against the government. When there is a government that wants to control its people there is going to be people who won’t stand for it. The underground was full of those people and they were like an organization that stood for what was right. They wanted to bring help into the situation and kick Trujillo out of office. So of course Minerva fit right in and she was dedicated to the cause. Her sister even described her as giving up her newly wedded husband for some “higher Ideal” (Alvarez 147)meaning the revolution. Even when she was younger and going to the equivalent of high school she says she wants her sister “to grow up in free country.” (Alvarez 39). She not only joined an underground to help her take action. She took action of her own like when Trujillo yanked her by the wrist and thrusted his pelvis towards her and she said “I can see my hand in slow motion rise and come down on the astonished face.”(Alarez 100) She slapped Trujillo the dictator for being too frisky with her. She stood up to him even though Trujillo was the dictator and could’ve killed her.
Minerva also confronts institutionalized power by not letting the government keep down her spirits. The government had an eye on her after slapping Trujillo and once the government found out that she was in the underground they knew they couldn’t leave her out roaming the streets. So they jailed her and all the people they could get from the movement which included two of her sisters and their husbands. Trujillo put them in jail and left them no hope of getting out. Minerva still stood strong saying that “She would not be holed up and let the SIM kill her spirit” even giving her sister talks about keeping their spirits even though Minerva was always put in solidarity for weeks at a time. Telling her sister to be “remindful of all the things I had to live and be patient for.” (Alvarez 231). She even held a little school sessions to keep everyone in the jail cell in high spirits. Jail couldn’t even hold her down.
Minerva confronts institutionalized power by openly taking action against the government like slapping Trujillo in the face and joining an underground movement. She also didn’t let the government keep down her spirits in jail by having school and by having talks with her sister. Finally she also spoke truth to power by openly speaking out about the government something that could get you killed .Minerva wanted things around her to change and her and her sisters became the people to take action against things that weren’t right. While it is true people may say that she is not a hero because when she was on house arrest and there were SIM guards watching her house she says “viva Trujillo” or long live Trujillo (Alvarez 263). Minerva still proves her heroism because unlike some people in her country she wouldn’t surrender to Trujillo. She was dedicated to her movement and ultimately ended up dying for it and her and her sisters death also sparked something in the Dominican people which then ended up in the overthrowing of Trujillo. Minerva was a hero not only in her day but still is a hero today. She shows the world that if you want freedom from an oppressive government then you should go get and not wait for someone else to.