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Lesson 8 FOCUS: The Plot Unfolds. The author artfully builds a plot structure to create expectations, increase suspense , and inform character development . The timing of events from beginning to middle to end can make a book predictable or riveting .

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lesson 8 focus the plot unfolds

Lesson 8FOCUS: The Plot Unfolds

The author artfully builds a plot structure to create expectations, increase suspense, and inform character development.

The timing of events from beginning to middle to end can make a book predictable or riveting.

A plot, propelled by a crisis, will reach a climax, and close with a resolution (sometimes called denouement).

the plot unfolds con t
The Plot Unfolds (con’t)
  • Foreshadowing and flashbacks allow the author to defy time while telling the story.
  • A successful author will keep a reader entranced by clever pacing built within the tale, sometimes confounding a simple plot by telling stories within stories.

The last third of the novel takes place in 1960, after Trujillo imprisons Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and their husbands

  • One of the most dramatic sections comes to us through the diary entries of MaríaTeresa in Chapter Eleven.
  • She describes the suffering they experience in jail, and Minerva’s hunger strike.
  • Concrete cells and prison guards cannot stifle the influence of the Mirabals.
  • As Minerva is led to solitary confinement, her fellow prisoners beat on the bars and yell, “!Viva la Mariposa!”
discussion activities
Discussion Activities
  • construct a comprehensive timeline that shows the dramatic build-up in the book.
  • identify several major turning points that affect all of the sisters.
  • Does Chapter One make the rest of the book anticlimactic, since the end of the story is clear? Why or why not?
  • What actions, if any, could have prevented the tragedy?
  • How might each of the sisters feel about being viewed as a martyr and symbol of freedom?
writing exercise
Writing Exercise
  • There are several moments throughout the novel when the importance of writing is evident.
  • One example occurs on page 227, as María Teresa receives a smuggled notebook to use as a diary while she’s in jail. She writes, “It feels good to write things down. Like there will be a record” (p. 227).
  • Imagine you are one of the Mirabal sisters or their husbands and write a short journal entry or letter from that person’s point of view.
  • Read Chapter Twelve (pp. 257–297).
  • Identify three major themes in the book.