The House of the Scorpion
By: Nancy Farmer
About Nancy Farmer
"An inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence."—Kirkus, starred review
“Mind-expanding fiction.”—USA Today
“This is a powerful, ultimately hopeful story that builds on today's sociopolitical, ethical, and scientific issues and prognosticates a compelling picture of what the future could bring. All of these serious issues are held together by a remarkable coming-of-age story.”— Booklist, starred review
Matt is the main protagonist of this story. He is a clone, created from the DNA of El Patron. Not much can be said about his physical description besides having short brown hair and eyes. Since he is El Patron's clone, who is of Mexican heritage most can assume Matt is as well. From the beginning of the story, Matt is shown to be oblivious, narrow minded and even ignorant at times. As the story progresses though, Matt begins to become to open and determined to reach his goals and his loyalty to friends.
Acting as Matt's caretaker, Celia plays an important motherly role in his life. It is obvious Celia cares deeply for Matt, as she watches over him as a child on the farm estate by herself. For his safety, Celia keeps Matt's identity a secret from both him and the other workers. On Opium, Celia works as the head cook and is shown to be a very traditional woman.
Later introduced in the novel, Tam Lin is originally one of El Patron's bodyguards and eventually becomes Matt's. By first impression, he seems as a man made of steel. Tam Lin gives off a menacing aura without words. Stated by Matt, being around is "like having a tame grizzly bear walking around your home". It's not until later on in the story that he reveals himself to have multiple qualities of a likable character, where he later on aids Matt in the story line.
Maria is the younger daughter of Senator Mendoza, who lives on Opium with close ties with El Patron also a drug lord. She is the only other companion of Matt who is his age, allowing them to communicate well. They also get along well due to both of their well developments in character. In the beginning, Maria is shown to be crying most of the time, due to being overly emotional over petty things. With progression, Maria turns from being naive to a mature and loyal companion as Matt becomes as well.