Characterization Vacation of Matt

by: Devin Luckey

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Who is Matt?

Matteo Alacrán (Matt) is the clone of a powerful drug lord called El Patrón. These characters and more are from the book, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.

In the book, the story follows Matt from when he was "harvested" or created to age 14. The picture above depicts how I imagined Matt would look.

What Would He Bring on Vacation?

#1: A Statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe

The Virgin was something that Matt held close to him. The Virgin was located in his room and "sat, as She always had, on a table by his bed" (p 58). It was brought with Celia, Matt's caregiver, all the way from her village in Aztlán to Opium. This item would be taken with Matt on vacation because it seemed to give him a sense of security when he needed support or was homesick. When Matt moved into Celia's new apartment in the Big House, he was slightly disappointed about not returning to their small house in the poppy fields. He even described how he "missed the doves cooing on the roof and the wind blowing through the poppies" (p 59). He was a bit homesick, but because the Virgin was there he felt better and more at home.

#2: A Guitar

Matt was musically gifted. He could play the piano, the guitar, and could sing. In fact, "the ability to create music filled him with a joy too large to contain" (p 90). Matt would take a guitar with him on vacation because it can take him to another world where he can escape his troubles and have a good time. When he first discovered his love for music he "forgot he was a clone"; "the music [had] made up for everything—the silent contempt of the servants, Steven's and Emilia's snubs, [and] Tom's hatred" (p 90). Later on in the book he "twanged the guitar" in his room because he was annoyed that Tam Lin, his bodyguard, and Celia had "forgotten it was his party" to celebrate his coming-of-age (p 190). It had helped his anger fade away, so he could move on to more important matters. Overall, Matt uses music to relax and enjoy himself away from whatever may be bothering him; this is why playing his guitar would be a great thing to do while on vacation.

#3: An Atlas From Tam Lin

The atlas was given to Matt in a chest full of supplies Tam Lin had left him when he had to leave with El Patrón. Matt would bring this item on vacation because it can help him to find his way if he is lost, and he can use it to remember his good friend Tam Lin. Tam Lin had become close to Matt over the years, taking him on hikes, teaching him about nature, and more. He had even shown Matt a secret oasis that only he knew about. Tam Lin would "let Matt do dangerous things on their expeditions and go off by himself to explore. He treated Matt as an equal" (p 138). In addition, Tam Lin "called Matt a human and expected much more from him" (p 138). He believed Matt was something more than a clone; this was very different from how most people saw him. This item from someone who was so supportive of Matt would be kept close to Matt, and therefore with him on vacation.


Statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe-

Wonderlane. Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <>.


Eurok. Acoustic Guitar. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2015. <>.


Osenberg, Anja. Folding map. Digital image. Pixabay. Pixabay, 2015. Web. 22 Sept. 2015. <>.