S: Being Creative...
BC: The End!
FC: The House of the Scorpion By Nancy Farmer Scrapbook by Jimmy Swartz
1: The Alacrans (Translation- Alacran = Scorpion) | The story follows that of a troubled and exciting family known as the Alacrans. They are all related to a very rich drug lord, known as Matteo Alacran, also known as El Patron. Throughout the story, Matt (the clone of El Patron) learns that the family are just like their last name- they are scorpions.
2: Clones | Dolly The Sheep
3: In the story, Matt (the protagonist) is the clone of a very powerful drug lord. This story takes place many years into the future, so the art of cloning has been perfected. Matt was born inside of a cow's stomach, and then harvested after nine months. For a few chapters, Matt is under the impression that he is perfectly normal, until he meets the man who gave him life.
5: Matt does not have a mother. Throughout the book, a kind woman named Celia is his mother; caring for him, cooking for him, and comforting him. She is a kind-hearted woman, and is a prominent role model for Matt.
6: The Setting | The story takes place in Opium, a small strip of land that separates the U.S.A. from Mexico. The book specifies that the land called "Mexico" has been renamed "Aztlan", and has not been called Mexico for many years. "The Big House" is also mentioned, also known as Alacran Estate. This is where the Alacrans live.
7: The Setting is a vital part of the story because the author uses a lot of descriptive words to display the scenery. Also, Matt spends a large portion of his time outdoors, so the environments that he moves to from chapter to chapter are very dynamic.
9: Until Matt is six years old, he lives with Celia in their little house in the poppy fields. Forbidden to venture outside, Matt must find his own entertainment. He learns everything from the soap operas on T.V. His television is his only link to the outside world, giving him a skewed perception of reality. From the time he is old enough to understand English and Spanish, he immediatley begins soaking up false and manufactured truths that come from sitcoms and soap operas.
10: Matt The Beast
11: Because Matt is a clone, everyone in the book thinks of him as a terrible beast. This is because clones are usually stunted at birth. They are given an injection that limits their brains to very basic functions. Even though Matt is a perfectly healthy and stable child, people still see him as a monster. Everyone except for Maria, Matt's friend. She is the beauty to his beast.
12: P A R A D I S E
13: In the book, Matt has a special place. It is an oasis which can be reached by horse from the Big House. Tam Lin, Matt's bodyguard, was the first and only person to take him there. Matt seeks shelter here, because 1- It is far away from the cameras and high security of the Big House, and 2- This oasis is completely different from the area surrounding the Alacran Estate.
14: Matt's Realization The Major Turning Point
15: Everything changes when Matt realizes that he is a clone for one reason- spare parts. When El Patron has a heart attack, he escapes with Maria (his love throughout the story) to a safe part of the house only to realize who he really is. This happens when Matt is a teenager, and is a major turning point in the story. Matt, after his epiphany of who he is, will never be the same again. After this, he escaped, and was captured again by the border patrol. He was sent to a plankton factory, where he met Fidelito and Chacho, and bonded quickly with them.
16: The Plankton Factory
17: After Matt is dumped off at the plankton factory, he experiences many new things. He was not used to other boys, being a shut-in almost all of his life. He was not used to forced labor, since he had enjoyed a very comfortable life in the Big House. Matt learns that Aztlan is more like a communist nation, where "equality" is favored over everything else. Matt will eventually escape the factory and make his way back to Opium, where he will begin to make it a better place.
18: The Lesson
19: Throughout the book, Matt was mistreated. He was abused, insulted, and generally treated poorly. He had everything he wanted for a while, but it wasn't enough. While material goods made him happy, what he really wanted were friends and people to see him for who he was. In the end, it was his friends that made all the difference. Tam Lin, Fidelito, Chacho, and Maria were his friends when no one else would be. I believe the message of this book is that material goods are never useful in the end, as everyone can clearly see from El Patron and his "dragon hoard". In the end, all that matters is friends and the people you can count on.