The House of the Scorpion: The Little Clone that Saved Society

Britt Young, News Editor

A young boy is born with a secret that is hidden, the only thing that can reveal this hidden knowledge is the marking on his foot.In the House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Matteo Alacran is born in a very strange way.  He is born in a cow, and he is the only baby that survive the incubation process.  When he is born the technician gets ready to blunt him (stunt brain growth) and someone saves him.

The story then moves to when Matt is six years old and is living with a women that is not his mother, but his caregiver.  Matt and his caregiver, Celia live on their own.  Matt is home many hours by himself, but one day gets visitors.

He moves fast and actually breaks the window out, jumps out to freedom, only to injure himself.  Matt risked all this to help the young girl along in the group of kids.

The young children who live in the “Big House” pick him up and take Matt with them to get help for him.  When they return to the house the maids are kind to Matt and start help him with his injuries.  Soon the Dr. arrives and notices a tattoo on his foot and realizes what he is.

Matt is a dirty, filthy animal, he is a clone.  Clones are usually blunt at birth, but Matt is special because he is El Patron’s clone.  El Patron is the lord of the land that they all live in called Opium Country.

El Patron is a corrupt old drug lord that rules everyone’s lives that stay in Opium country.  Patron’s great grandson soon finds out that the clone is in his house and takes him to a dungeon where a cruel maid abuses him and makes him animal like.

The first night that he is in his new home, a young girl (that was in the group when he was injured) comes to stay with him named Maria.  As they grow Matt and Maria start to have a friendship that turns into a love that can never be taken away from either of them.

After a year Matt is freed from his life in the dungeon by Celia, Maria, and El Patron.  Patron makes Celia and Matt an apartment in the Big House.

As Matt grows he realizes that he is not the same as El Patron even though he is his clone.  Matt can however, sense a change in himself when he is around El Patron.  He can feel the power that El Patron has and Matt uses that to his advantage when he is with Patron.

Every time the situation is over Matt feels dirty and connects his feeling with being a clone and not knowing how real people act.  As Matt gets older, he feels that there is something not right about his connection with El Patron, Matt is sometimes looked at as his property.

All Matt’s life he has felt like he is less of a person because he was made, not born.  Everyone treated him like an animal and almost everyone ignored him except Celia, Tam Lin, Maria and El Patron.

Matt is one of the only characters in the book that can see the corruption in Opium Country and the evil in all of the people that live there.

This connection is the basis of the whole book:  the irony of Matt being described as the animal that is dirty, when in reality most of the people that Matt comes into contact with are the ugly animals.  Matt is more humanistic than the rest of the people in the book.

El Patron gets very sick in the middle of the book, and Celia does something for Matt that saves his life.  At this point, Matt has to run from Opium Country before he is killed.  He flees for the border to find Maria.

The book is a futuristic book that shows what can happen if there is enough power and corruption in the world.  The House of the Scorpion is also about what a young boy that beats the odds can do.

The House of the Scorpion is an adventure filled book that shows the true humanity and what one person can do when they put their mind to it.