“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. ” – Lee lacocca Nancy Farmer’s brilliant ideas did come across in The House of the Scorpion. In The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, is a science fiction novel about a boy named Matt is followed throughout his life and how he grows up as a clone on the Opium fields, where the border between the U. S. and Mexico exists today. He is a clone of El Patron, a man much like a scorpion, the drug lord and king of the Opium empire.
The story follows Matt as he grows up on the Alacran estate and learns he repercussions of being a clone. Throughout The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer uses symbolism and figurative language to reveal different aspects of characters. Nancy Farmer uses symbolism in The House of the Scorpion to display different qualities and characteristics of the characters. One symbol in shown throughout the book is the scorpion. The symbol is shown through El Patron. Scorpions paralyze their prey, preventing them from escaping their claws.
El Patron paralyzes people in many ways, using fear, drugs, and turning people into eejits. Eejits are essentially mindless ervants; they have a chip implanted in their brains forcing them to obey every order. “No one, except Maria, seemed to be pleased to meet him, but they all pretended to be friendly. It’s because they’re afraid of El Patron, Matt realized” (62). This shows that many people fear El Patron. This fear then drives them to pretend to like Matt, showing just how deep the fear drove. These people are the same people who threw Matt onto their lawn, stating they would have to burn the sheets he was on.
This is significant because this shows people changing their iews so they align the El Patron’s due to fear. This reveals El Patron is cruel enough to make people stop dead in their tracks. El Patron also uses drugs to get what he wants, one example being keeping the wives of the Alacran family on drugs. “I mean, look at Benito and Fani. Fani said she would rather drink cyanide than marry Benito, and see how much good it did her… Maria had a tight grip on Fani to keep her from swaying… Benito’s wife was almost as loaded as Felicia.. ” (209, 213). This shows El Patron paralyzes others using drugs.
To paralyze means to stop from acting. He forces his family to marry certain people, regardless of how much they hate each other. Clearly, Fani despises Benito, but is forced to marry him anyway. Her swaying and talking about being “loaded” shows that Fani is being drugged so she will not run away or revolt. By drugging Fani, El Patron is paralyzing her so she cannot stand up to him. This could be perceived as fear of women because only the women in the Alacran family are drugged. El Patron could know the strength that lies within them, using drugs to stop them from showing it.
It could also be perceived as El Patron does not want o be bothered with things. He could be drugging them to make sure they do not cause a hassle for him by wanting a divorce. El Patron also uses brain implants to paralyze people. By planting a chip in someone’s brain, El Patron can paralyze their minds, taking away all of their thoughts, ideas, memories, hopes, and loves. In The House of the Scorpion, Farmer uses figurative language throughout the story to communicate different aspects of characters. One of those characters is Celia.
Celia usually talks in metaphors and they often foreshadow and reveal her spirit and etermination. “I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve then old man coyote has fleas [she cried]! ” (48). Here, Celia has found Matt imprisoned and cried out to him that she will free him. This reveals that she is brave, because everyone else on the estate supports Matt being imprisoned, but she is willing to speak out and take action to free him. This “action” is contacting the drug lord and ruler of the Opium lands, El Patron, and while contacting him she is putting herself at great risk.
It is also shown here that she is cunning, because while most people ould have looked in other ways to try and free Matt she went right to El Patron, unafraid, and advocated for Matt to have him freed. She stepped out of the box. Another character that has their traits revealed through figurative language is El Patron. It is well known that El Patron has been on a quest for eternal life for all of his own years of living. Which is why, at his one hundred and forty-third birthday party, someone says, “The old vampire. So he managed to crawl out of his coffin again” (99).
This reveals how old El Patron is, and of course his desire to continue onward with his life. Vampires are commonly told to be immortal, so for someone to call El Patron this, they are associating him with not only a blood sucking demon but also with immortality. Not only does El Patron enjoy the thought of eternal life, he also does seem to “suck the blood” out of people. He takes away their free will by turning them into zombie-like eejits and poisons his family with drugs so they will stay hopelessly addicted to them and, evidently, to him.
He takes the life out of people, almost, similarly to how a vampire actually does take the life out of people when they suck their blood. One final character that has their traits revealed through figurative language is Rosa. Rosa is a maid in the Big House and was sentenced to take care of Matt for six months. Throughout the whole duration of this imprisonment, Rosa takes to abusing Matt both physically and emotionally. “Bleating won’t save you, you good-for-nothing animal” (39). Here it is clearly displayed that, through her name calling and treatment of Matt, Rosa is cruel. She beats Matt and makes him live like an animal.
She treats him less than human, and throughout her human to nimal comparisons, it is shown how her malice affects her decisions and how she lets anger fuel her and her treatment of Matt. Rosa’s anger and bias against Matt lead to her dehumanizing treatment which leave Matt traumatized for months after he is rescued and removed from her clutches. These three characters (Celia, El Patron, and Rosa) all show how Farmer revealed their characteristics and their different aspects through figurative language. Throughout The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer uses symbolism and figurative language to reveal aspects about characters.
Farmer uses a scorpion to symbolize El Patron. This shows us that he can paralyze his targets before making the final blow. El Patron uses fear, drugs, and brain implants to paralyze many people, like Fani. Through Celia, El Patron, and Rosa, Farmer uses figurative language to reveal character traits. Celia is shown to be courageous, using language that could get her killed if she was heard. El Patron is shown to be old and a blood-sucking demon through calling him a “vampire”. Lastly, Rosa is portrayed as malicious and cruel, using figurative language to abuse Matt.
Farmer communicated her ideas using these craft moves. Communicating ideas is vital in life. Lee lacocca said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. ” lacocca displays that you need to learn to communicate your ideas. This is so significant because, some of the best ideas may never be communicated, therefore never implemented. Inventions like the Iphone or the computer would never exist without their inventors communicating their ideas. A world without communication is a world without technology, prosper, and happiness.