The House of the Scorpion Analysis
Every day a child is neglected, abused, or bullied. Some kids can rise up from this and conquer the world, while others can remain bitter and angry. Readers are still trying to find out which will be the outcome for Matt, a boy who is actually a clone of one of the most feared men in the world. The House of the Scorpion, written by Nancy Farmer, tells the story of a young boy trying to figure out who he is and where he fits into the world.
El Patrón is one of the most powerful drug lords and because of this, he is the most feared. He has gained a plethora of possessions over time and hoards them all like a dragon would his gold. “El Patrón thinks a person belongs to him the same way a house or car or statue does,” she said. “He wouldn’t let that person go any more than he’d throw away money” (140). Some readers can connect with his way of thinking. Before El Patrón became a powerful drug lord, he was poor and was given no choice but to experience the death of all of his family members. Now that he has money and family, losing them would remind him of those feelings of desolation and loneliness.
Some readers may find it interesting that although Matt did not want to be treated like an animal, he would mimic one to scare people. “Matt sighed. He could unnerve almost everyone by growling at them” (92). At this point, Matt had grown very bitter and had come to wrongly realize that he was an ignorant animal who could not distinguish between right and wrong. Matt hated that everyone thought that he was no smarter than a dog, so he decided to taunt them by growling at them. Matt was trying to use everyone’s own misguided judgments against them by turning into the very thing they feared.
It is important to note that though María had forgiven Matt for killing her dog, which she later realizes was not true, she still believes that Matt has the brain of a dog and is an animal. “You don’t have a soul, so you can’t be baptized. All animals are like that” (159). Although María has grown significantly since she last saw Matt, she is still under the same misconception. Matt had grown so used to this that when she called him an animal, he had not even noticed. It is horrible that Matt has been reduced to this stereotype for clones; not only has he pushed himself to be able to excel in all subjects, but he has shown repeatedly that he is above the average boy. Readers may find it disheartening for Matt to be so misunderstood.
The first half of The House of the Scorpion introduces the experiences and struggles Matt has undergone since he discovered that he is a clone. Matt is constantly battling the feeling of loneliness all while trying to prove that he is more than a feeble-minded clone. Nancy Farmer has successfully taken readers into the mind of a few of the characters and especially Matt as he tries to find himself.