John-Paul TicaMs. RamischAmerican literature, hour 512 January 2018The House of the ScorpionA 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.