What are you wondering about?
- Throughout the novel, Matt is described as a filthy, useless clone. I have already inferred that The House of the Scorpion is set in the future; therefore, with futuristic technology clones can be conceived through a cow uterus. This form of birthing even in the future is unorthodox, and by being created in a glass dish is far more than enough to set up jeers from ruthless children. Clones are often expected to be idiots (or eejits) that are thought of as not housebroken, (much like a dog, per say) dribbling messes of puke and often not even considered humans. Due to the norms of society, clones are petrified to speak with fear of being belittled and have little to none interaction with the outside world, only because they are different. This brings about the questions: “what purpose do clones serve?” and “why are people so frightened and disgusted by Matt, even though he isn’t fixed?”
- María and Celia are thus far the only people who have shown any kindness towards Matt. Towards the end of chapter 5, the two visit Matt in his sawdust “kingdom” and bring words of salvation and hope. The question now is how will María and Celia save Matt? I can’t really see Celia, a lowly cook and caregiver defying any commands and intruding into the Alacrán Estate, however, I could certainly see María stepping up to the plate and attempting to free Matt. But will Matt even want to be saved? After Matt felt relieved once María and Celia had left, it seems as if he would never like to leave his orderly kingdom or abandon his insect empire. (Farmer 49)
Has anything struck you about this section?
- What stood out a great deal to me was how sheltered Matt’s life was; living in a house in the middle of a poppy field with appliances barricaded, which prevented any kind of accidents from happening to Matt. Clearly his existence and safety is incredibly important, which is also proven by the frequent doctor's visits while he is imprisoned in the Alacrán Estate. Matt's survival must greatly affect someone or something in the novel. We now know that Matt is a clone of El Patron, but the reason behind his existence is still unclear. Only being exposed to human beings aside from Celia must have been nothing less of both frightening and thrilling for Matt, considering he is threatened that if he were ever to leave his house the Chupacabra would eat him alive.
- Rosa's strong distain towards Matt, and clones in general is unusual; I find it to be somewhat irrational and similar to that of racism. Though it shouldn't surprise me that discrimination in the novel is evident, what caught me off guard was Rosa's instantaneous hostility towards Matt, right after discovering that he was not a poor boy whose feet were bloody and covered in shards of glass, but instead a clone in that same situation. Had clones wronged her in the past? Matt hadn't done anything to Rosa, if anything at the beginning he was thankful for her being there and having a doctor remove the splinters of glass from his worn soles and disinfecting the deep, bloody gashes. He stayed quiet, but once "Property of Alacrán Estate" had been seen on Matt's foot, Rosa literally threw him out of the house. Perhaps she was worried of the consequences of having a clone belonging to somebody as powerful as El Patron with her, maybe she thought that her superiors would have thought she had mutilated Matt's body?
Why is Farmer making the choices that she is in this first section?
- Farmer's choice to not allow the readers to know who El Patron is yet is very deliberate, which creates a very long cliffhanger. I constantly find myself wondering what purpose does Matt serve towards El Patron, is it important enough that Rosa hasn't killed Matt over it?
- Matt and Tom are foils to each other, completely opposite in all ways personality-wise. Tom is selfish and obnoxious, whereas Matt is compassionate and soft-spoken. Farmer made these decisions because Tom and Matt's contrasting personalities make readers highlight our protagonist, Matt's character.