Monday, 20 May 2013

Theme: The House of the Scorpion


            Throughout the pages of The House of the Scorpion we discovered and uncovered many different themes that Nancy Farmer tried to establish and bring out. One of the main ones that I believed she really emphasized on was the theme of choices that can determine identity.

            In nearly all-traditional stories, the heroes always have to make the tough decisions. The House of the Scorpion follows that same principle, where Matt is the hero who must make decisions that young boys in reality may face as well. Just like normal boys in our world, Matt has no special talents and so he can easily relate with children his same age. He takes on the challenge of avoiding El Patrons footsteps and discovering a different path. Matt ends up finding and determining his own identity based upon making his own decisions throughout his lifetime. If I were to put myself in his shoes, I would conclude that the biggest thing I would have learned is that just because I am capable of doing something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is what I should do.

            Since clones and humans are alike, there should be no definite classifications of what it means to be a true human. Matt also begins to realize this fact, and his choices that he made also bring up the idea that he has others that do care for him. Despite El Patrons cruel and evil nature, Matt is more soft and caring. If Matt were live under the shade of El Patrons shadow, I could nearly assure you that he would have not been any different. But is he the only one? “I’ll tell you this: El Patron…. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed overt the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.” (Farmer 70). The last line indicates that “most of his branches are twisted,” and I took away that these branches are the other individuals under El Patrons shadowing influence. This includes everyone from the Alacran family to his bodyguards, etc. When we relate this to Matt’s identity, El Patron is like the walls of the room whose impact is constantly there. Matt is the only one who can change his present and future, no matter which individuals had shaped his past. It may not be possible to alter the past, but it is very much achievable to change the future. “When you’re small you can choose which way to grow.” (Farmer 70). Just like Tam Lin said, Matt’s entire life is consisted and affected by the different sequences of decisions that he makes about what he is and who he wants to become.

            Like noted before, since children can easily relate to Matt’s situation, this novel can portray the fact that our individual choices are the only things that can determine our destiny.


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