Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Gattaca: Discrimination between Matt and Vincent

Although Matt and Vincent are not similar in regards to their character, they live under similar social circumstances. I think the main comparison between Matt and Vincent is the idea of discrimination. Because Matt is a clone, he is considered an animal and is not up to the same standards of everyone else. Although he is given education, studies music, and is just as intelligent as everyone else, he is discriminated against because of his status as a clone. This can be compared to Vincent’s life, because even though he has the right intelligence, and he has immense passion for astronomy, he still has to pose as someone else to even get a chance at achieving his dreams. Just like Matt, due to Vincent’s status of an “invalid”.
              These two characters are very similar in the sense that they got no chance in being accepted for the things they wanted to do because of how they were born. Ironically, they are victimized for the opposite reasons –For Matt, he was born from a cow with the DNA from El Patron and grown up as a clone. For Vincent, his parents chose to have a natural birth, which resulted in Vincent’s weaknesses compared to other people such as his brother Anton. Later on throughout both stories, both characters proved themselves to be just as intelligent and capable of things as everyone else. Matt learned how to do many things thanks to characters such as Celia, Tam Lin, and Mr. Ortega. Vincent ended up finally beating his brother in their classic childhood came “chicken”, and showed throughout the movie that he was capable of as many things as anyone else – as long as he was under the disguise of Jerome.
              Some elements of the story also connect with both characters in the sense that they had to pose as different people to accomplish certain things. For Gattaca, the entire story is based on this, but there are certain moments when Matt uses a disguise to his advantage. An example of this is when Matt dresses and acts like an eejit so he can escape with Maria. One of the main issues with both of the characters is that they have to remain in disguise. Vincent had to make sure that he scraped his skin and cut his toe nails every day, as well as have a valid urine sample from Jerome so that he had had no chance of being caught. Matt had to make sure that no one saw the tattoo on his foot when he lived in the Plankton Factory, and made sure he was known under a different name.
              From Matt’s perspective, he is confused as to why everyone hates him and why being a clone makes him different from everyone else. In Vincent’s world, he knows that he is considered lower-class, but continues to strive for his dreams. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Blog Post #5 - Main Characters

Vincent Freeman lives his days yearning to be a valid; a living, breathing embodiment of flawlessness. Matteo Alacran is an exact replica of a young El Patron, a wealthy drug lord and dictator of Opium. One wishes to be a mesh of genetically modified perfection, whereas the other can only dream to be regular human being. Both live in completely opposite societies, but live under the crushing pressure to be somebody they cannot possibly truly be.

Gattaca and The House of the Scorpion have very similar themes, one of which is that it is possible to deny your fate, which makes me question whether or not pre-destiny or fate even exists. For example, Matt was destined to be El Patron's clone, to be used for the old man's organs and then die. Vincent was destined to live his life as an invalid, cleaning the windows and sweeping the floors at Gattaca. As you can clearly tell both Matt and Vincent's futures were changed from their own determination to survive and to live how they wanted to. Both character's actions have reflected this theme, and have pushed the question about the existance of pre-destiny. For example, Vincent's swimming competitions with his younger and genetically refined brother, Anton. Once Vincent won his first game, it seemed as though he was better than somebody who was a "valid." This simple win in a sibling rivalry game of chicken fueled the inspiration for Vincent to believe that he could be just as good, if not better than many of those who were genetically modified. Perhaps there would be a job for him inside the glass doors of Gattaca. Then there is Matt, who has been the "one possession El Patron let slip through his fingers" (Farmer 246) and has evaded death with the help of Tam Lin and Celia. Even though Matt's fate was being merely a clone ready for harvesting, he had escaped and has now taken the place of El Patron as leader of Opium.

Another theme that is in both Gattaca and The House of the Scorpion is standing against discrimination. The novel and movie portrayed this theme well by the social circumstances that were set up.  In both The House of the Scorpion and Gattaca there is somewhat of a disciminatory society. The story tellers in Gattaca use this society to help emphasize how different their world is to ours today. Using terms such as: "invalid" and "valid" in the film in order to emphasize the clear difference from the higher more supreme to the lesser and genetically inferior. In The House of the Scoprion clones are looked at as disgusting, many humans even avoid talking to clones because they are often mindless and it's almost embarrassing to associate with such a lowly group. Even though Matt has an undamaged (and even in some aspects, superior) brain many people still treat and see him as a mindless, slobbering idiot. This idea of immediate prejudice towards somebody for how they were born is incredibly evident in Rosa and Matt's relationship. "'[Matt's] a sullen, evil-tempered animal' [Rosa] said." (Farmer 43) However, as Tam Lin says, "'No one can tell the difference between a clone and a human. That's because there isn't any difference. The ida of clones being inferior is a filthy lie.'" (Farmer 245) Unlike in Gattaca, The House of the Scorpion views the genetically altered as an underclass, however the themes of discrimination still run strong between the movie and novel. Matt and Vincent both try to define "what is a human?"

Friday, 13 April 2012

Roundtable Discussion #4

Roundtable Discussion #4 from Emily Faraj on Vimeo.

In this weeks exciting instalment of "Talking Scorp With Emily and Tintin" we discuss the final section of the novel, "La Vida Neuva." Join us next week when we discuss real life scorpions, humble creatures or menaces of the desert?