This is my third post regarding the novel, The House of the Scorpion and in this post I will be discussing the setting. The general setting of the House of the Scorpion is located between Mexico (known as Aztlan) and the United States on a strip of land, which is a poppy field. I have noticed at the back of the book where it has the section called, about the author it says, “She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border in the landscape she evokes so strongly in this novel” and I think this is one of the author choices on why she picked the setting to take place by Mexico and the United States. After reading further into the book, you find out that the farms are strips of land isolating the United States from Aztlan, so that the drugs would not be sold in the United States, but the drugs are still being sold around the rest of the world. It is unknown as to what is happening in the world so far, but I believe that drugs would be a major issue in the world because it says how they are sold around the world to Asia, Europe, Africa and other places. After doing a lot more reading I discovered that it wasn’t just USA that was against drugs, but also Aztlan, ““The Aztlan police have wondered for a long time how drugs were being distributed in this country. They were extremely interested in what they found at the saltworks.” (Farmer 361).
The time period was not stated, but I am sure it's in the future because it talks about cloning technology and hovercrafts. As I read further into the book it also talked about hologram games, “Tiny men seemed to hang in midair over the table, along with trees, buildings and a pot bubling on a fire. It was the pot and fire that enchanted Matt. They were so, realistic, he could even hear water splattering onto the flames. About half of the tiny men were clad in monks robes. The border gaurds wore silver gloves and moved the game pieces by waving their fingers.” (Farmer 263), so this made me think that the time period is 40-70 years in our future. I didn’t think it was any farther because it still talked about microwaves and other present day items.
The book took place in a lot of different settings, especially in the second half of the book. The beginning of the book mainly occurred in the Alacran’s farm in Celia’s shack, where he spent is early years in complete isolation from outside, then in a room below the main level of the Alacran mansion, where lived in saw dust for six months and then in on the main level of the Alacran mansion after El Patron heard about his living conditions. The second half of the book occurred mainly in the Alacran estate/mansion, the two factories (mostly the plankton factory), the Oasis, the dragon hoard and the convent in San Luis. I thought she did a terrific job on describing the setting and this is one of the many great descriptions she did, "The maids opened a door to reveal the most beautiful room Matt had ever seen. It had carved wooden beams on the ceiling and wallpaper decorated with hundreds of birds. To Matt's reeling eyes, they seemed to be moving. He saw a couch upholstered with flowers that shaded from lavender to rose like the feathers on a dove's wings." (Farmer 21).