In this post I will be talking about my three favorite characters in The House of the Scorpion and how they developed throughout the novel. My three favorite characters were: Matt, Maria and Tam Lin.
Matt: Matt is the protagonist of the novel. I liked how Nancy Farmer made it so Matt was very flat at the beginning, but as the story progressed he became rounder and rounder until you found out what his true purpose was, which was an organ donor for El Patron. I always felt myself imagining how he must have felt under all the discrimination from the society and how lonely he must have been due to isolation. As the discrimination grew, he started believing that he was a filthy beast and he had the same status as a dog, such as Maria’s dog, Furball. Matt was also a very dynamic character in the story because at the beginning of the story he believed that he was a filthy beast and there was no hope, but as the story reached the end he realized that he is actually a human, it was just that society had affected many people opinions on clones and that there was hope for him. I thought the antagonist in the novel was the society in Opium because it always discriminated Matt and never allowed him to reach his full potential due to the fact he was clone. Also at the beginning of the novel he was more of an immature kid especially when he demanded a birthday kiss from Maria, but by the end, he had changed into a grown man.
Maria: Maria is a very round and dynamic character. You learned a lot about her through the conversations she had with Matt. I thought she was a really strong character in this novel because it seemed like she was one of the only people in Opium that based her actions off of her moral. Her personal beliefs and thoughts on what is right and what is wrong were not as strongly influenced by the society as other characters were. I found Maria as a likeable character probably because she had more of her mother’s personalities than her dad’s. I also really liked the affection Matt and Maria had for each other. This was a very important part in the story relating to their relationship, “I love you,” Matt said. “I love you too,” Maria replied. “I know it’s a sin and I’ll probably go to hell for it.” “If I have a soul, I’ll go with you,” Matt promised. (Farmer, page 222). The only thing I did not like about Maria is that she always thought of him as a clone, like the society did (except she treated him a lot better and cared for him). She found out that he is a person when Esperanza told her about the international law for clones.
Tam Lin: Tam Lin was a round, but static character in the story. At first I thought he was just going to be a stock character since he is just a bodyguard, but as the book progresses, Tam Lin acts more like Matt’s Father he never had. He teaches him many different skills and some of the skills he teaches him are the ones required for when Matt escapes. He tells him a lot of things and interesting quotes like, ““When you’re small, you can chose which way to grow. If you are kind and decent, you grow into a kind and decent man. If you are like El Patron… Just think about it.”” and he is very wise and loyal. Much later in the novel you find out a very important thing about his past. That is he tried to bomb the Prime Minister in London, but ended up killing 20 innocent kids. After hearing this part in the novel, I became very sad because I knew Tam Lin was deeply sorry for what he did, but it was a terrible thing. I think the main reason why he died in the end and didn’t save himself was due to the fact that he felt terribly sorry for what he did in his past and could not forgive himself for what he had done. This is the reason why I believe he was static. I loved how he was the only person other than Celia that knew that Matt was a normal human being. This is Tam Lin telling Matt what a clone actually is, “No one can tell the difference between a clone and a human. That's because there isn't any difference. The idea of clones being inferior is a filthy lie.”