Monday, 13 May 2013

House of the Scorpion ~ Theme

While reading The House of the Scorpion many different themes went through my mind. Throughout the chapters, Nancy Farmer has really established this theme of discrimination.

The main character, Matt, is concealed from the civilized world because he is an inferior species, a clone. Once he breaks out of his shielded shack and into the real world, he is met with the issues of his origin. The society around him has no respect for him and treats him as an animal due to his genetics.  This treatment makes Matt feel miserable because he doesn’t understand how he is different and why everyone dislikes him. The only people who treat Matt close to normal are his caretaker, Celia, his bodyguard and best friend, Tam Lin and his girlfriend Maria. Nancy Farmer uses different characters to enforce this idea of discrimination. Celia looks past the idea that Matt is a clone and nurtures him whereas Maria, still being a young girl, accepts Matt as a friend and doesnt look how he is related to El Patron but instead how he has changed due to the societies influence. The House of the Scorpion is written in the future but these issues of discrimination will continue around the world.

Another theme that I found that was very much repetitive in the novel was the idea of nature vs nurture. This means is the persons personalities affected by his genes or by the society's influence on the individual. Matt was harvested, not born, and, he was  clone of an evil mastermind. People believed that he was exactly like El Patron but a few looked past that myth and changed his personality.  Celia, Tam Lin and Maria had a significant positive effect on Matts life. By teaching him and protecting him, Matt had become a completely different person and was nothing similar to El Patron.