January 21 2018
Analysis of ‘The House of the Scorpion’
When examining The House of the Scorpion from an archetypal perspective, it becomes clear that this story is the situational archetype called The Journey. The Journey archetype consists of the main character/protagonist going on a journey that may be physical or emotional to understand his or her personality and the nature of the world. This novel represents the journey because the main character/ protagonist Matteo goes through the physical and emotional roller coaster of how the Alacran Estate treats their people, the struggles of being a lost boy, to eventually becoming the only one to can take down the country of Opium.
In the story of The House of the Scorpion, the main character Matteo was held captive, away from his only mother-figure Celia where he was verbally abused and put in morbid conditions by one of the Housemaids ‘Rosa’ and one of the doctors who belong to the Alacran Estate ‘Willum’. Rosa would say things like “bleating won’t save you , you good for nothing animal”(39, Farmer), “I could kill you”(39), and call Matteo “a sullen, evil-tempered animal for three months which caused Matteo to become silent and think calmly about his situation to cope with being alone with only Rosa to bring him food two times daily and sometimes only one. This shows that due to the Alacran Estate’s hatred for clones that Matteo a once bright boy becomes a timid young clone.
El Patron found out about Matteo in these conditions and decided that he will be educated at once and treated like a human instead of a clone. El Patron would call Matteo “mi vida”(100) which means ‘my life’ in Spanish. When El Patron calls Matt mi vida it foreshadows to later in the story.
Once Matteo was older he became aware that he was just a clone El Patron was going to use for as an organ donator. To which Matteo found out that El Patron had 7 clones before him El Patron said “You…owe…me”(235) Matteo couldn’t believe it but he knew that El Patron was a monstrous man. This shows that El Patron that the love he gave Matteo wasn’t real. Matteo like any other person felt betrayed so he runs away to the country of Altazan where he became a “Lost Boy“. The boys were held to do heavy chores for the government to earn their way to become a regular citizen. Matteo and the “lost boys” had worked at a plankton factory where Matteo had started to look like the other boys-ance and became really skinny.
Matteo knew he had to find out if his mother-figure Celia and his father-figure was ok. So he had returned to the Country of Opium. when Matteo had returned he had found out that his father-figure Tam Lin had died along with El Patron and the rest of the Alacran’s when El Patron poisoned the alcohol during his funeral. Baffled why Tam-Lin died along with the people corrupted people of the Alcran Estate, Matteo goes away to the oasis where Tam Lin had taken him as a little boy to reflect. Matteo knew he had “a huge and terrifying job, but he wasn’t alone. He had the [Lost Boys] Chacho, Fidelito, and Ton-Ton to cheer him on. He had Celia and Daft Donald to advise him, Maria to be everyone’s conscience. This shows that he only needed to think about the good things-even though the bad things outweighed them-that had happened in his life, therefore making the decision to go on with life even though something tragic had happened.
In conclusion, Matteo transforms from a timid young boy who was scared even to speak a single word to his mother-figure into a resilient young man who is strong, intelligent, and is trusted to take down the country of Opium.
Farmer, Nancy. The House of the Scorpion. Atheneum Books, 2002.
Movies: The Social Network (2010)
Voice-over: Rocky Balboa (2006)
Song: “Everywhere” composed by Jurrivh
For my summative media choice, I chose to use the remix. The type of remix I used was the edit. I know this because the Rocky voice-over adds to the scene when the protagonist gets betrayed. I felt these works where important because the thesis of this summative is “The House of the Scorpion shows how evil people can be when they have power and how they treat people below them. It explores what makes people good and what makes them wicked.” and I felt these works represented the thesis very-well.
I used The Social Network (2010) as a work because it already had a similar story-line with The House of the Scorpion where the protagonist gets betrayed by a wicked and rich friend who was once like them. I felt the voice-over from Rocky Balboa (2006) was important to add because Matteo in The House of the Scorpion was always motivation by his mentor Tam Lin to always do his best-to be good, and I thought it was important for the character in the remix to have a little voice in his head too to keep him motivated. The song I used is ‘Everywhere’ by Jurrivh, I felt it was good background music.
This remix falls under fair-dealing because it is for education purposes. This remix falls under the user-generated content exception because the use of the new work is for non-commercial purposes, and I have given the sources used, and was accessed using YouTube.