Essay On The House of Scorpion

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The House of Scorpion

The House of Scorpion can be described as a dark and twisted story that eventually turns optimistic in the end. The story is about a young clone that is named Matt, who happens to grow up in a dystopian world. The world is controlled by a cruel drug lord; it turns out that Matt was cloned after this drug lord. El-Patron is the name of the drug Lord, and he had cloned the Matt so that in the future he might harvest Matt's organs to keep himself alive (Farmer, 2002). He ruled with a fist hand, and everybody in the country deeply feared him. There was no one that ever dared to question him or his authority, and he was able to stay in power because of creating fear among the residents of the country. The early years in Matt's life are peaceful as he lives in seclusion with his caretaker referred to as Celia. They live in the property of El-Patron. El-Patron is described as a rich man who owns almost lots of land and large mansions. This wealth was accrued through unlawful drug trade and the selling of lands that belongs to other persons.

Eventually, when he is old enough, Matt is asked to go and live in a big house owned by El Patron in the country of Opium. At this stage, the life of Matt takes a turn for the worst, and he often faces a never ending series of prejudice, violence, illness, imprisonment as well as the threat of death. It is of the essence to note that all these activities take place before he is even the age of fourteen years. Despite these hardships, Matt can make several friends among the mean Alacran Clan. One of the friends that he has is his surrogate mother who was his caretaker (Farmer, 2002). Further, he also makes his bodyguard Tam Lin, a close friend. Tam Lin gives Matt hope in life by telling him that "when you are small you can choose which way to grow"(40) He meets with Maria and after becoming friends he falls in love with her. With proper planning and the help of these friends, Matt can escape from Opium country and flees to Aztlan that was formerly referred to like Mexico.

By escaping to Aztlan, it is of the essence to note that Matt also escapes death by organ harvesting. The journey is not easy, and it is marred with more friendships, hard work, abuse as well as several near death experiences. However, eventually Matt can reach Aztlan safely with her lover Maria and her mother Esperanza who is heavily involved in protests and political unrest in the country of Opium. The story ends on a high and positive note as Matt return home to Opium and takes over the country form El Patron, who has since died. Matt is described as intelligent and idealist, and the novel conclude with him trying to undo the damage that had been done by the Ruthless El-Patron during his cruel rule (Farmer, 2002). His philosophy in life is deep and he believes in honesty which was something that El-Patron did not believe in or take into consideration he argues that "I always say the truth is best even when we find it unpleasant. Any rat in a sewer can lie. It's how rats are. It's what makes them rats. But a human doesn't run and hide in dark places because he's something more. Lying is the most personal act of cowardice there is."(110)

There are several questions that If I get a chance I would like to ask the author: Nancy Farmer. The first question is where she got an inspiration for writing a book. This is an important question as it will show me why she decides to write about clones as compared to any other topic (Farmer, 2002). Secondly, I would like to know why she decided to terminate the character life of El-Patron and present an optimistic view of the story. This is important because the story was marred with a lot of twisted and negative energy surrounding Matt and she decides to eventually end the story on an optimistic note Thirdly, I would want to know why she used Mexico in the story, was it a case of stereotyping? Mexico is known as a Drug Haven and, therefore, it would be important to know whether the author put this country in the story for the purposes of allusion or was it a stereotype? The fourth question that I will ask is regarding whether she believes cloning is ethical. This has been a big question in the society, and there is a need to understand the perspective of the author in regards to this topic. Lastly, I would want to know whether she believes that in the tomorrow there will be a time when cloning will be acceptable in the society.

Cloning is a biological method that includes the process of offering similar populations of genetically identical individuals that often occur in the nature when organisms such as insects, plants, which often reproduces asexually. Cloning biotechnology is the one that was used in the story and it often refers to the processes that are used in the creation of copies DNA fragments and it involves molecular cloning, cell cloning as well as organisms (Farmer, 2002). Cloning can be described as an entirely biological process and the author decided to put it in there in order to also generate controversy because of the current hot points that exist in the society regarding the issue of Cloning.

I do believe that The House of Scorpion is a truly interesting book. It presents an interesting idea of Cloning, and it goes ahead to show that indeed that even if clones existed they would still hold human attributes as the rest of us. More importantly, it brings out themes of love, friendship as well as political regimes that destroy humanity. The book peeks into the future exploring topics that are currently not in the application, and brings out passion, hatred and aggression. As one turns the pages of this book, one does so with a grin, a smile or a sad face. This is the impact that the author can convey to the reader. She structures the book in a way that in the end, one feels rejuvenates and sees the world in a different way. The book gives hope to the suffering and consequently, I can recommend this book to people to read as it is a peculiar and not your everyday type of book.


Farmer N., (2002) The House of Scorpion. SAGE: New York.