House of The Scorpion
A View of Nancy Farmer’s Depiction of the Personality of the Character Matteo Alacran, In Her Book, The House of the Scorpion
The House of the Scorpion, written by Nancy Farmer, is the story of Matteo Alacran who actually is a clone of a powerful drug lord, El Patron. Matt is despised by everyone in his family except the drug lord himself in which he loves him as a pet. Cecilia is his caretaker in the “Big House”, and Matt is restricted from seeing other children. He is treated harshly by the Alacran’s until El Patron shows up and is infuriated at Matt’s living conditions; he orders that he be put in a room like everyone else. At this point in the book, the ethical question of Matt’s treatment is starting to come on the scene. Shortly after, Matt discovers a dead body in the Opium fields; in fact, he finds an eejit, a human slave with a computer chip in their brain. The concept of eejits was horrible; it took the very existence of being human and individual choice away. After El Patron’s death, Matt runs away to Aztlan, present-day Mexico, and finds an orphanage filled with communistic ‘Lost Boys’. Although, it is quite the contrary; the keepers lavish with a wide selection of delicacies while the Lost boys are limited to just plankton. Matt leads a rebellion against the keepers and destroys their tyrannical government. Nancy Farmer sent messages about how communistic experiments in the world today have failed to thrive due to corruption. Maria’s mother, Esperanza, is a champion of clones’ rights in the United States and tells Matt that with El Patron dead, Matt can officially take his place as the leader of Opium. Clones fighting for civil rights in the United States is a huge political and governmental step; through this book, clones are portrayed as an individual and thus be treated as such. Matt finally goes back to Opium with the intentions of shutting down Opium and reverting eejits back to humans.
Nancy Farmer wrote The House of the Scorpion to reiterate the belief that civil rights should be included to all human beings no matter their origin, in this case clones. Senator Mendoza is a clear example of this belief. He is the fictitious senator in the book that fights for clones’ need to be recognized as human beings and treated as such. Universal civil rights to all human beings was a major part of Nancy Farmer’s message, but she also juxtaposed several governments together. Opium’s government was tyrannical headed by El Patron. He even had human slaves with computer chips in their mind! The failed attempt at a communistic government was seen in the orphanage of the Lost Boys. The keepers were corrupted in their view on fairness. Then, the United States government is always in the background standing stable and secure. Our government is even portrayed as fighting for clones’ rights.
I believe Nancy Farmer’s assertions are valid because if a minority were to fight for civil rights America would be the leading candidate to start a movement. Although we are not quite on board with cloning ethically yet, Americans still believe in individualism, freedom, and equality, so clones should have the same rights and privileges as other humans. I highly recommend this book, because it is eye-opening and enlightening to think about such circumstances with civil rights. The book forces you to view the way you have treated others discriminately or not. The book’s message of civil rights will sound in your head days after you put it down. It has great insight on the human condition; also, it compares types of governments by setting them next to each other. I really enjoyed this book, and I believe anyone who picks it up will enjoy it just as much.
Reading Reflection On The Book The House Of The Scorpion By Nancy Farmer
A man, a clone, and bond stronger than just blood will be tested through a perilous game of wit and will. The book I read was The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer written in 2002. This was a book that I have seen before, but have not read. The biggest pull factor for this book was the sci-fi genre which is something I have a strong interest in. This book was recommended to me by my friend who said that it was a great book that was really deep. The House of the Scorpion is the only book I have read by Nancy Farmer.
House of Scorpion is a dark and complicated story. Matt’s childhood was decent other than the hate he receives from the Alacran family. He lives in with his Celia his motherly figure, who works for the Alacrán family as a cook. But when Matt is taken to the big house of the estate of Alacran, in the land of opium, Matt’s life takes a black turn. He takes on a series isolation, prejudice, isolation, violence, illness, and death threats – all before the age of fourteen! Matt happily finds a family within his time residing at the Alacran estate: his mother figure Celia, his bodyguard Tam Lin and his love interest María. With the help of these friends, Matt finally goes to Aztlán, previously known as Mexico. Where he is still treated badly, he has to work vigorously and fend for himself. Matt finally gets away to live with María and her mother Esperanza, who is involved in the opium protests and the politics surrounding them. Eventually, at the end of the novel, Matt returns to opium and takes over the throne of his country after El Patrón’s death. The novel ends with Matt as he prepares to erase the damage done by El Patrón during his tyrannical reign. Tam-Lin, Matt’s bodyguard is talking about El Patron the man that Matt sees as an idol and someone who seems very gentle and kind. Tam-Lin then say ‘I’ll tell you this, El Patrón has his good side and his bad side. Very dark indeed is his majesty when he wants to be. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.’ This short saying holds very strong meaning because Matt sees El Patron as a powerful man that is extremely kind to him. Matt is very trusting of El Patron and sees him as nearly infallible. That however is not true and El Patron has a done a number of terrible things and Tam-Lin has been by his side through a number of them and has seen the old man grow more and more evil. In its entirety this short saying is a warning for Matt to be weary of El Patron.
Another important scene takes place on El Patron’s birthday and since Matt is his clone he celebrates it as it Matt’s as well but the party eventually comes to an end and El Patron leaves. The day after a birthday party was always a letdown. The power Matt enjoyed as El Patrón’s clone vanished. The servants went back to ignoring him. The Alacráns treated him like something Furball had coughed up on the carpet”. This is an important thing for Matt as he realizes that he only has authority and power as long as El Patron is around. When he leaves Matt is no better than furball Maria’s pet dog. Another passage used takes place during the party. Matt is receiving a gift from Maria, who is still mad at him for having tom removed from the party because of his jealousy. As he gets his gift he asks Maria for a kiss just to exploit his power. “For an instant he wanted to say, Stop. It was a joke, I didn’t mean it. But it was too late. El Patrón was watching them with obvious glee, and Matt realized it might be dangerous to draw back now”.
The House of the Scorpion was a great book that blurred the lines between good and bad. My Favorite part of the book is the fact that Matt is not a grown man but a boy and as he ages he gains more knowledge and he decides that he has a choice to make and he will go against any force that opposes him and in a way that makes him similar to El Patron. The one thing that i didn’t like about the story is that fact that Matt never really gets his breakthrough. He still does not end up happy but instead he now have a decent chance at finding that happiness.
The House of The Scorpion is an amazing book that has very touching moments and always keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. I would recommend this book to anyone so is interested in sci-fi or books about self discovery. This book would be great for both genders as the main character is relatable but because Matt is a male it would be easier to relate with as a male. The age demographic suits younger ages from 11-18. Matt grows and progresses in the book and being at an age where the reader also compares in age makes it easier to match mentalities. The ideal reader for this book would have to be someone who easily connects with someone or someone who can retain the details of the book. The House of the Scorpion is a decently long book and many details that seem small are then later recalled for a bigger purpose. There is a second book to The House of the Scorpion called The Lord of Opium which follows the continuing of matts plan to rid the world of El Patron’s evil. If The Lord of Opium is half as good as The House of the Scorpion it is a must read and i would highly recommend reading both books.
The Changes Of Matt In The House Of The Scorpion By Nancy Farmer
Have you ever wondered what would happen if cloning existed? The House of the Scorpion is about cloning and the many moral problems it would cause. In The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer throughout the story with the help of others, Matt changes greatly. Tam Lin changes Matt, Maria changes Matt, and El Patron changes Matt.
Maria makes matt kinder. It is after El Viejo’s funeral and Maria and matt are in the computer room. “‘So you have to promise to be good’ ‘okay,’ said Matt, who would have promised her anything at that point”. This is partially what made Matt feel more human. This is the first time Matt has really tried to be nice and it has a large impact on him later. Later in the story when El Patron is sick and is getting the piggyback heart transplant. “‘Saint Francis says it’s good to give stuff away to the poor,’ Matt suggested”. This is caused by Maria causing him to think about the poor and other people in general. This is the effect of all the hard work Maria has put into changing matt for the better. This is the change that Maria has done to Matt and this is one of the big changes to Matt throughout the story.
Secondly, El Patron made Matt more cunning. In the story when Matt is picking a bodyguard to help and defend him El Patron says, “Always choose your bodyguards from another country, Matt. They find it harder to make alliances and betray you.” Matt references this many times in the book so it must have really stuck with him. Since he has no father figure El Patron is the closest thing to a father he has and that makes his advice more important. Another example of El Patron’s advice is when the farm patrol had caught him in the wastelands near the eejit pens. He remembers EL Patron saying, “Act like your in control,’ he said, and nine times out of ten, you’ll get away with it”. Without this knowledge who knows what would have happened, he might have even been turned into an eejit. This is the start of shaping Matt into what he is at the end, cunning but kind. These are just some of the examples of what El Patron did the shape Matt into what he is at the end of the book.
Lastly, Tam Lin makes Matt self-confident. When Matt was caught sneaking out to the pond by Tam Lin he said, “Any rat in the sewer can lie. It’s how rats are. It’s what makes them rats. But a human doesn’t run and hide in dark places, because he’s something more”. Tam Lin believes Matt is a human and should be treated like a human, and his punishments should be the same as any humans punishments.Tam Lin believes in Matt even though he is disappointed in Matt he is the only one, everyone else thinks he is an animal and animals are stupid so he shouldn’t be blamed. Another example is when everyone thought Matt had poisoned maria’s dog. “But Tam Lin had called Matt a human and expected much more from him”. This is the start of Matt being held accountable like a human instead of a dumb animal. Tam Lin treats Matt as a human and this is the first step to him feeling like a human. This is how Tam Lin raised Matt’s self-confidence, by making him feel more human.
In conclusion, my novel The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer is about how Matt changes with the help of others. Maria makes him kinder, Tam Lin makes him self-confident, and El Patron makes him cunning. Together these people change Matt for the better.
The Similar Concepts in Wunderkammer and the House of Scorpion
Shelley Jackson’s My Body – A Wunderkammer can be compared to one of my all time favorite books, Nancy Farmer’s The House of The Scorpion, by the sense of intimacy you get from Shelley Jackson and the main character Matteo Alcaran. Although many aspects of the two may be completely different House of The Scorpion was the first book to come to mind when thinking about Shelley Jackson’s style of writing. An overlook of the two next to each other would not really show much of a similarity from first glance, but after reading both the similarities in the two stories would become apparent.
The first real comparison between the two of would be that Shelley Jackson’s My Body – A Wunderkammer is set up in a hypertext format. On the other hand, Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion, is a novel. It is hard to compare the overall intimacy of the entire book with a hypertext set up with an abundance of short stories, but when looking at the two main characters it is easier to identify the same emotional vibe given off. Shelley Jackson uses the parts of the body to identify with her stories. Each and every body part brings a story of her past experiences that she connects with that part of the body. She connects with her body as reminders of her past. Matteo Alcaran on the other hand is a clone. Matteo is locked off from the outside world in a sense that he lives with a woman named Celia on a large piece of land filled with Poppy fields. In contrast to Shelley Jackson, Matteo has no recollection or ability to remember his original back-story. Matteo is left without any connection to anything except the home he lived in for the majority of his young life and Celia. He does not have the association of anything to his childhood memories such as Shelley Jackson’s: remembrance of her ability to do the most chin ups, the scrutiny she put herself under for her build of her shoulders, or how her fingernails were no comparison in prettiness to the other girls in school.
What I find to be interesting about Nancy Farmer’s The House of The Scorpion is that Matteo Alcaran is a clone of a drug-lord who is one hundred and forty-eight years old. He is the exact same genetically as the drug-lord, El Patron. El Patron eventually has him come live in his mansion and take classes and do other activities. Going out on a long stretch, I’d compare El Patron’s care and activities that he provides to Matteo to be much like El Patron reliving his childhood. El patron’s use of Matteo is in a way a living story of the past. Matteo is much like Shelley Jackson’s body parts that remind her of her past experiences. Matteo is used in the same way more than likely in an indirect way because he is farming organs. Nancy Farmer doesn’t make this comparison of Matteo living out life as El Patron did, but in my mind it would be like thinking about my past experiences in life and watching a clone of myself live out these experiences or stories that were in my memory. This whole scenario would be like a déjà vu moment over and over again.
Comparing the two pieces of literature by readability, the first thing that really is interesting is that they are both very easy and attention grabbing pieces to read. I have never been much of a reader, but it is almost interesting to read Shelley Jackson’s stories because she almost writes them like a diary or journal, which everyone is always interested in reading someone else’s diary. She has this great way of connecting with her body no matter if it is a negative connection or a positive one. The fact that it is a very personal entry or little story draws you in and makes you want to read more about her experiences. I think that it was said well on one of the discussion board posts that, “She went all the way in describing every part from head to toe, using strong and meaningful words, describing the body like I never read before (Rasha Bah DB POST).” Shelley Jackson has this deep connection to her body unlike any that I have ever felt. She brings this thought provoking aroma to your mind. The House of The Scorpion is like Shelley Jackson’s My Body – A Wunderkammer in the fact that you feel a strong connection with the main character. The connection draws you to read more and more. With Matteo Alcaran the strong piece that draws you in is his struggle for his life. He is placed on Earth to live for another man. You almost are routing for him to make it. Shelley Jackson makes you, in a way, feel the same because you want her to get past these hardships she has endured in the past. She makes the stories feel real and you want to sympathize and hope she gets over it all even though it is a past experience.
The biggest contrast of these two stories, which I briefly mentioned, is that Shelley Jackson has all of these experiences to connect her body parts to her past. She has had a life in which she got to experience things that so many people have to go through in their life. She got to go to school and make friends. In her story about her skin she writes, “There was one good thing about the uncomfortable plastic chairs I sat in all through grade school: if I rubbed my arm against the back of the chair on a dry day, I got a funny feeling as if there were a layer of warm felt between my skin and the plastic. If I held my arm the right distance away, every hair stretched straight out toward the plastic (Shelley Jackson).” This goes to show that no matter what it was on her body and no matter how odd, she was able to associate her past with her body parts. The character Matteo Alcaran has no ability to associate his life to anything other than a small house on a large piece of land due to the fact that he was not able to leave the house. I think that this association to an object or body part also reminds us of the blessings bestowed upon us to live our life and experience things freely.
In conclusion I think that the two of these pieces of literature are written in a very fluent way that draws the reader in. The largest contrast of these two is that one is a hypertext and the other is a paper back novel. I think that Robert Hoover said it well when he wrote, “Which would mean of course that the novel, too, as we know it, has come to its end. Not that those announcing its demise are grieving (Robert Coover).” The use of books may be in a time where extinction is near, but a book such as The House of The Scorpion allows me to actually enjoy the imaginative ability I have with a paperback in my hand. Shelley Jackson’s My Body – A Wunderkammer allows me to experience the advance in to hypertext, while also enjoying what she has to say. The two may never be compared again, but both bring a sense of intimacy to the reader that grabs you and brings you to read on and on until you are finished.
El Patron: a Main Character in House of the Scorpion
The Novel The House of the Scorpion takes place far into the future, although they do not mention the time of the story you can probably guess its time period by details throughout the book like: hoverboards going through the sky, the cloning of people inside of cows, and a futuristic society with mind controlled people and animals called eejits with cameras everywhere.The purpose of the book is to show that crime does not pay since one the main characters has clones of himself and treats them like animals to extend his life. This works in this society since the powerful man El Patron can use the organs of his clones to live longer. He also takes good care of his clones sometimes for selfish reasons and he already is above one hundred and eighty years old.
Many characters throughout the story were controlled by El Patron even though they weren’t clones and others were affected but not controlled as much as others.The purpose of the story that I think that the author is trying to show is that crime does not pay. This can be seen throughout the story, Mainly when El Patron’s clone Matt is mistreated. Matt is kept in a room filled with litter and all the garbage and waste is just under it, many critters like mice and bugs made their home in the litter as well. This does not last long however, he is removed from this place and treated like a king for being El Patron’s clone. He probably was treated like this because he would come in useful for his organs later. Matt was very lucky to be El Patron’s clone because those clones that are not of his are injected with something that kills them when they turn fourteen. Matt figured this out when he was in a hospital and heard loud scream and his bodyguard told him to ignore it but he resisted and saw another clone in its last moments. During all of this matt has a friend named Maria and someone who takes care of him named Celia, after finding out about Matt being a clone and looking at the clone getting strapped Celia explained to Matt why he is safe but Maria avoided him for a long time in shock.
Later into the book El Patron asked Matt for his heart, and his caretaker Celia refused to give it up and explained to El Patron he doesn’t need it. El Patron was pronounced dead because of a heart attack. El Patron’s caretakers decided there was no use for Matt anymore and he should just be killed. Matt has so many near death experiences that you might think the author is really repetitive and the same person saves him multiple times as well.Tam lin, El patron’s bodyguard pretends like he will kill him but he helps him escape across a border without letting El Patron’s other men find out. Celia who is matt’s caretaker is pretending to be an eejit and will be kept safe for as long as possible. Matt escapes and makes new friends and plans on going back and taking everything that belongs to him with them. I believe that the author was successful at showing that crime does not pay since, El Patron dies unexpectedly because Matt doesn’t give up his heart and leaves all of his riches behind but Matt escapes and is free.
Characteristic of Matt in House of the Scorpion
Danika d 8-2
To me identity is permanent, and it can be expressed in many different ways. Your identity is made up of experience, adventurous and part of your identity is your personality. In this essay, I’m going to explain Matts identity, how he’s different from others, what people think of him, how his identity is the way it is and more. Matts identity does not change drastically through the book. To feel like you belong or to have unique features that make you, you. Our life experiences teach us that when we stop trying to belong, we realize that we’ve always belonged.
Matt had never really understood why he was different, everyone would say that he was different “A Clone” and that clones were not like humans that they had no spirit and they had disappeared after they died, they were made for transplants but Matt has the chance to be a human and experience being a human,but the thing is Matt was a human before so he shares identical DNA as someone, maybe he was created to have a few years of life to make his heart strong for transplants, but Matt had the support of Celia to stand up for him she did it in the only way possible making Matt sick but only sick enough to stop the transplant. Matt has the same DNA as El Patron but that doesn’t mean they have the same identity they don’t have the same personality they share some characteristics but not much is the same. In my opinion, Matt is no less than and human the only thing that sets humans and mat is the tattoo that on his foot, that really is not enough to be judging him that much. The reason that Matt is treated unfairly is that they see him as a monster his real friends really don’t see him as a clone they see him as a human. If clones are accepted in this society then why is Matt still being judged and bullied?
When Matt had lived in the poppy fields Matt had a totally different life. This old life started with Matt trying to communicate and make friends, that’s when he ’s brought to the big house when everyone found out that Matt was a clone it changes everything, this created conflict between Rosa and Matt. His self-confidence has gone because he does not know what it means to be a clone or even why they think Matt would do some terrible things. Throughout the months treated like a pig, Matt had been traumatized, which made him stronger. When Matt had escaped opium to Aztlán. There had been no change when they found out he was a clone, Jorge, through Matt and Chacho into the boneyard witch really had an effect on Matt because he thought the Chacho was dead,matt had some warrior scars from that night.
Matt has been different than the other clones from the beginning. He’s different from El Patron’s past clones he has used, or just an ordinary clone. The author made the description of other clones brief. We do know that clones are injected with a brain destruction liquid, I’m not totally sure the reason they do this. Matt got a chance to live in the house, not the pig pen. With the help of El Patron, Matt got to experience living as a child he got the drama, emotion, he even had an education maybe it wasn’t like the other children’s education, this experience has helped shape Matts identity. He had been different from other clones that El Patron had made because he had the musical ability had Tam Lin to take him to do opportunities that no other child would get, an example of this activities is the oasis. Matt also had the support of Tam Lin and Celia, they had been like his parents, Tam Lin warned Matt about the lotus pound how it would Matt sick, but Matt just had to try it on his own. I think Celia and Tam Lin both have an important role in Matts identity because Celia is all ways for him and tells stories about her time with El Patron. but I think that Tam Lin plays a bigger role in finding his identity by taking him to dangerous places and making him start a new life without the clone aspect. When Matt saw some of the el patron’s actions/mistakes this made Matt afraid of El patron and what he was capable of. Matt trying to follow in El patron’s footsteps doesn’t go well for Matt because he is not a selfish person like El Patron. Which has also helped shape Matts identity? I think that Tam lin identity has much more imagination than all the characters, there is also a lot of adventure. Tam Lin had been El Patron’s bodyguard for many years, he had known every secret passageway every secret, El Patron had to trust Tam Lin because he was so old he would forget. Celia had stood up to El Patron in the operation room, just before Matt was going to give El Patron transplants. Matt had got in tons of mistakes following El Patron’s steps. All of Matt’s mistakes have shaped his identity and personality.
In this case, Matt had found out that he is now considered a human, by Esperanza. When El Patron had died Matt had taken his place at the Arclan Estate, not just that he took a new identity but he had not changed his personality, Matt had been El Patron at the end of the day, the fact that he was a clone change with El Patron’s death. But the way Matt sees there world is much different from El Patron’s view. Matt and El Patron have many differences, there are few similarities. In the house of the scorpion Matt, wanted to reverse the surgery on the eejits and reunite them with their families. Matts identity does not change drastically through the book.be your own have your own identity, personality, thoughts and you will be the best person there. With the help of support, Matt had learned who he was and why he was like that. To feel like you belong or to have unique features that make you, you. Our life experiences teach us that when we stop trying to belong, we realize that we’ve always belonged.