Thursday, May 9, 2013

THOTS: Film Study

This is my final post for the House of the Scorpion. Today I will be comparing the main character of the movie Gattaca, Vincent, and Matt from House of the Scorpion. Aside from the huge age difference, Matt and Vincent are not that different. They are both being outcast from society for very similar reasons: the wrong genes. The main difference in the genes is that Matt was rather unique in being a smart slave, while there are many people in Gattaca who have not been genetically altered. Their means of dealing with this are also different, for Matt tries to conspire against his enemies, Vincent actually tries to change himself. One of the overarching themes we thought of for House of the Scorpion, "Nobody can tell you who you are," partially applies to the film Gattaca because of the fact that Vincent still manages to go to space with a heart condition and a 30 year life expectancy. It also can be argued against because of the literal thought of how nobody can tell you who you are, but they tell him he is not worthy, so he turns into SOMEONE ELSE! Some similarity is that Vincent and Matt both have a romantic interest that are really emotional. The main difference is that the girl in Gattaca may have problems, seeing as she gave him a hair and she said "see if your still interested" implying there may be something wrong with her. There was not too much wrong with Maria, other than that her mom left her. They can still be related to each other, though, because they are both in love with the main character and stay true to the end. Another thing is that they both leave their homes. The difference is that Vincent left to get a life and Matt left to save his. They also both have a father figure. For Matt, it was Tam Lin. For Vincent, it was the doctor. This is still arguable though, because Tam Lin spent WAY more time with Matt than the doctor did with Vincent. Anyway, that's all we have for today. I guess that's all the individual posts. Stay tuned for my next review (if there is another). Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

THOTS: Narrative Structure

Hi! This is my fifth individual post for the House of the Scorpion. It focuses on the Narrative Structure of the novel. I think that the major exposition in the novel happened until about page 146, the first chapter of Matt's Old Age. The reason I think that this was the point that ended the exposition is because until this, we basically just established all the characters, and the storyline was introduced, it was the exposition. In the first part of the novel, youth, we started to learn about Matt, a boy that was not so normal. Then, as time went on, Maria and a few members of the Alacran family were introduced. There was a bit of action when Matt was thrown in prison, because I was always wondering when he would get out, or what was going to happen. Middle Age marked the introduction of one of the most important characters in the book, El Patron, or The Landlord in English. We began to learn a bit more about who he was. Until Old Age, Matt pretty much thought that El Patron was a good guy. Then, at this point, Matt began to realize what El Patron really was. The Action began to rise, and Matt was in conflict with himself about whether El Patron was good or bad. I think that the climax of the novel was the first part of Age 14, Death. This chapter was the climax because El Patron requires Matt's organs and a surprising twist (that I will not reveal) leads Matt to go to the plankton factories. The action is actually still pretty high here, especially when Chacho and Matt are stuck in the Boneyard. After this, La Vida Nueva is basically all action, up until probably chapter 38. When Matt sees everyone is dead is the resolution. It is rather short, which was a bit disappointing. Eh, I guess it is just preparing us for the sequel. Anyway, that is all. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

THOTS: Theme

BOOM! Here comes my fourth individual post regarding our novel study, The House of the Scorpion. In this segment, we discuss theme. I'll get right to it: I thought that this novel was awesome with theme. There were so many different themes that could have been applied to the novel. For example, I can think of two completely different themes: "Your greatest enemy is yourself." and "Don't let others determine who you are." These can both relate because for the first one, it applies in two ways. The first is the literal sense of how in the end El Patron was the greatest enemy of Matt, but he was the first Matt, and so they were the same person. It can also apply in a non literal sense with how Matt keeps convincing himself that El Patron is not bad, or that there is nothing wrong with the Keepers. The second theme relates because everyone always judges Matt the second they find out that he is a clone. They said that he was just an animal, but in the end he proved he was more than that. These two themes both relate to the novel, and they both strongly relate. This shows that Farmer used such good ideas and thoughts that if you asked ten people to make a theme statement, chances are that they would all be completely different. It is quite fascinating. It is also really relatable because it is not TOO far into the future. The still have Dracula and stuff like that. Because of this, Farmer can use metaphors and ideas that still relate to these times. Anyway, I guess that is the end of my fourth individual post on House of the Scorpion. I hope you join me next time when I discuss the Narrative Structure. Thanks for reading.

THOTS: Challenge 3 coming soon!

We are making a movie trailer in which I play Matt. It's gonna be great!


Here is my thoughts so far on the novel, the House of the Scorpion. So far, I have read the first 49 pages of THOTS. Sorry that this post is a little delayed, I thought I posted it. Anyway, in this section of the novel we stepped into the life of a very interesting 6 year old. Now, one thing I especially noticed was that when Matt was thinking or talking, he sounded much older than six. Maybe Farmer did this to try to give a bit more inside into the novel instead of a typical six year old's thoughts "I think I can reach the cookie jar from here" but anyway, Matteo Alacran was brought up much differently from normal children. He lives in the middle of some poppy field with Celia, his "mother figure." As the story progressed, we met some of the Alacran family, who seemed nice at first, then found out he was a clone and treated him like trash. It was very weird to see how they just suddenly changed from nice to Matt to having the deepest hatred for him. He was thrown in a prison, where he slowly wasted away. He was still fed, but I could just imagine how bored he must of been. I could NOT have done that as a six year old. Rosa, his jailer, you pretty much are forced to hate, so in summary: Everyone is evil except Matt and Celia. I think that these characters may warm up to Matt, but it will definitely take some time. We also know Matt is special, he is a clone, so maybe he will have some power or something. I don't know. I do know that Rosa is really evil, and so she will probably not be around very long (hopefully). Anyway, that is my thoughts so far, thanks for reading!

THOTS: Real World Issues

This is my third individual post for The House of the Scorpion, which focuses on Connections to Real World Issues. I think this book contains some very deep metaphors that relate to society today. One of these is that the Alacran family is like the government. People do not know a whole lot about them, and they live in a place of secrecy (the Big House). They also make the big decisions. This book takes place in the near future, and so this book may show that drugs and greed should not possess the future. This is a terrible future to have, with eejits and farm patrols. Anyway, I think that the Boneyard in the novel that Chacho and Matt are dumped in relates to society. It shows that in life, if you are thrown under a mountain of obstacles (the bones), then you either beat the odds or die. To sum it up, I mean. This novel also relates to poverty in todays society, a big issue. In a large part of the world in this novel, poverty is what makes people try to hop the borders, they always are longing for something new, like in the novel when El Patron states that he catches as many people going one way as the other, or something like that. It shows that people in the US think Mexico (or Aztlan in those futuristic times) is better, and Aztlanians think that the US is better. People are always looking for something better, and this is much like todays society where we take vacations, etc. We always think that somebody is having a better time than us. This isn't an issue as big as poverty, or necessarily an issue, but it still affects everyone in today's society and the one in the novel. Well, this pretty much wraps up my post. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THOTS: My contribution to Challenge 2

For our second litspiration challenge, go here:
I explained (and even created!) some songs that Maria from The House of the Scorpion would listen to.
Another quick thing to note is that my name is first in the url.
Just saying.
It somehow makes me important, ok?

THOTS: Characterization

My second individual post looks at characterization in the novel, "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. In this section of the novel we found out a lot more about the characters with characterization. For one: Maria, a character we did not know much about, really developed in her relationship with Matt. Another thing is that Celia's awesomeness multiplied, especially right here: To quote Nancy Farmer, '"Arsenic creeps into the whole body," Celia went on, her eyes as cold as the eyes of a snake. "It grows into the hair, it makes little white lines on the fingernails, it settles into the heart. I didn't give Matt enough to kill him---I wouldn't do that!---but enough to kill anyone already weak who tried to steal his heart. You've had your eight lives, El Patron. It's time to make your peace with God." "Witch!" shrieked El Patron.' We learned a lot about everybody, and how all the Alacrans are evil. We also learned that Tam Lin's friendship with Matt was stronger than we previously thought. A few foil characters were introduced such as Benito's wife, Fani, who helped to reveal a bit more about El Patron, and how he forced two people who hate each other (Benito and Fani) to marry, just for money and power. This reminded me of Renaissance times, when they would marry for power and money. We also learned that the only person from the Alacran family that was actually ok, Steven, still wanted to bust Matt and treat him like garbage. In this book, it kind of seems like there is a whole whack load of evil characters, and good characters number small. This adds lots of suspense to the story. It was also interesting when Matt's greatest enemy was El Patron, as he wanted to steal Matt's heart. This meant that at that time, the Antagonist and Protagonist were the SAME PERSON: Matteo Alacran. Anyway, that's all I got for characterization. Join me next time when I discuss Connections to Real World Issues.