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Literature / The Butterfly Revolution

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The Butterfly Revolution is a novel written in 1961 by William Butler.

Winston Weyn (nicknamed "Win" or "Winnie") is a thirteen-year-old kid who is sent to High Pines, a boys summer camp. The older teens at the camp become fed up with the camp and eventually start a revolution. Lead by Frank Reilley and Stanley Runk, they seize control of High Pines and Low Pines (the girls camp nearby) and then things go bad.

Basically, it's an American version of Lord of the Flies. Also like Lord of the Flies, it is popular reading material for school.

It was adapted into the 1987 film Summer Camp Nightmare.


This book provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Winston Weyn.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Winnie throws a bar of soap at his brother but misses and it breaks a window. His dad gets very angry at this and beats him with his belt. Later in the novel, Divordich attempts to leave the camp but is captured and accused of being counterrevolutionary. As a punishment, he is tied to a tree and gagged while Blackridge beats him with his belt.
  • Drunk with Power: Winnie thought Frank was strange before he seized power, but by the end of the novel he is convinced that Frank has gone crazy.
  • Due to the Dead: Winnie finds Don's body and burries him with his Herodotus book.
  • Epistolary Novel: The novel is written as if it were Winnie's diary.
  • Forgot I Couldn't Swim: The other campers notice a rash on Winnie's butt while they are swimming. Winnie is coaxed out of the lake so the nurse can take a look the rash. When she is finished, he's so embarrased that he jumps right back in and swims into the deeper waters before realizing he can't swim.
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  • Genius Book Club: Winnie has read many books that are advanced for his age including Herodotus' Histories and a book on political philosophers.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Winnie is an intelligent bookworm who can't relate to his peers.
  • Rebellious Rebel: Winnie
  • Skinny Dipping: At the boys camp, they don't bother using swimsuits.
  • Summer Campy
  • Teenage Wasteland
  • Teens Are Monsters: Several examples but most notably when John Mason rapes one of the female campers, Blackridge tortures Divordich, and Stanley kills Mr. Warren.