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Category Archive for 'The House of the Scorpion'

Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion relates to many concepts we have already addressed in this course.  Starting with Frankenstein, this novel addresses the concept of what it means to be human.  Similar to the monster’s creation process, Matt is created by science starting from a petri dish, then naturally grown and eventually “harvested” from a cow.  Yet because he is copied DNA and had an unnatural birth, he is considered to be inhuman.  However, the question arises that even though his means to life are unusual, the fact remains that Matt still appears, functions, and feels as a human does.

Matt’s human responses and feelings are fully intact.  Much like in Lilith’s Brood, Matt responds to being captured and enclosed into a small room by shock.  Lilith mentions how every person responded differently to the shock of being locked away and observed.  She stated how some spoke to themselves or those listening, changed themselves by acting differently, got angry, or didn’t speak at all.  Being abused and treated as an animal psychologically damaged Matt into silence for months.  After a victim experiences shock and torture, it is common that one cannot find words to ease their internal suffering, especially as a child.  These two comparatively reveal how the feelings of punishment evoke a self preserving response from the will to survive.