The House of the Scorpion

by:Nancy Farmer

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In the book, The House of the Scorpion by: Nancy Farmer, Matt, is a clone. He goes through many struggles and hardships. His DNA is exactly the same as El Patron, a powerful drug lord. Matt is basically a younger version of El Patron. "El Patron's face seemed oddly familiar, his hands-thin and blue veined- had a shape that appealed to Matt in some deep way". Matt loves El Patron because he gave him life, and El Patron is him. Matt is incredibly caring and nice, but also oblivious. "Matt was appalled. If the big kids went away, Maria would be all alone. It was going to be dark soon and Maria would be alone with nothing but the empty poppy fields". Matt cared for Maria and was worried she might get hurt. But, he doesn't understand why they treat him different, why he can't go outside. "He had been warned by Celia never, never to show himself at the window. If someone came he was to hide". All he wanted to do was go outside and meet the children. But his whole world is turned upside down when Mr. Alacran sees him. "You idiot! You need a vet for this beast!" the man roared, "How dare you defile this house?". Mr. Alacran sees him as an abomination, no better than a dog. He is then locked up in a cell for months. "And gradually it came to him that Celia had forgotten him, that she was never going to rescue him from this prison". He felt as if everyone forgot about him, that he would never get out. He cried himself to sleep every night. Most everyone treats him not as a boy, but as a beast. In conclusion, Matt goes through many struggles of trying to understand who, and what he is exactly. Of being treated quite horribly, but yet in spite of all that is still a caring person.
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This is a map of where Matt lives, in Opium. Which is in between the USA and what was once mexico but now is Opium-controlled by El Patron.
The theme of power really helps advance the plot of the story. El Patron though old, has a lot of power, and at one point in the story Matt goes a little power hungry too. For example, "That's the stuff, Mi Vida. Get rid of your enemies when you can. I don't like Tom either, and dinner will be better off without him". Afterwards though he realizes what he did was wrong and apologizes. But, the theme of power helps move along the story and helps to make it more interesting. Characterization also helps advance the plot. Matt is confused and troubled about the fact that he is a clone and what it means. " If he was a child, that is. Tom said clones weren't the same as children. They weren't even close. Matt looked at the mirror in Celia's bathroom. He couldn't see the difference between himself and Tom, but perhaps he was different on the inside". He is trying to understand why everyone treats him so different not like a person but an animal. Maria is one of the few people who is understanding towards Matt. "I do like being with you", Maria said at last. "There's nobody at my school so easy to talk to". She is able to talk and have conversations with him, even if she doesn't treat him like an equal sometimes at least she is not disgusted by him. Celia loves him like her own son, and is kind and caring. "Celia immediately knelt down and put her arms around him."Don't cry, mi vida. I love you more than anything in the world. I'll explain things to you when you're older". She doesn't care that Matt is a clone, she only cares about him as a person. She raised him and loves him. Tam Lin, his body guard treats him not as a clone, but as an equal. "When you're small, you can choose which way to grow. if you're kind and decent, you grow into a kind and decent man. If you're like El Patron... Just think about it". He tries to help Matt be a better person. In the end, the characterization really helps advance the plot because if it weren't for them the story wouldn't be the same.
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This is a map of El patrons family tree- it can get confusing!
In conclusion, this book was really very good. I read fast, not because it was short but because I couldn't put it down. It kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good futuristic, sci-fy book. The author really made the characters come to life and feel real. The authors figurative language also made the book an enjoyable read.
House of the Scorpion: Book Trailer