This is probably my favorite novel of the course thus far because of the differences it has from the other books we have read. I love the pretense of this unique country that exists pretty much solely for opium production. It’s an interesting setting for a novel that is categorized as science fiction.
Many of the novels we have read have a setting that would belong only in a science fiction novel; Neuromancer had the unique “island-like” resort of Freeside, Lilith’s Brood had those odd, “alive” space ships, and the list goes on. However in “House of the Scorpion”, the setting could transcend into other genres; the setting isn’t what make the novel science fiction. What makes this novel science fiction is the cloning of characters and the chips that are implanted into the brains of people caught trying to run away. I really like that change from the other books. It makes what they are doing seem realer, even if what they are doing is terrible.
I found it interesting that the clone, Matt, was so guarded that he didn’t even understand the concept of pain and the danger of trying to break through a window. It makes the horror of what El Patron is doing even worse. He seems to make his clones totally aware that they are nothing more than just organs for the ready. Though people treat Matt kindly at first when he is taken to the big house for treatment, they are aware he is a clone and don’t feel the same towards him as they do towards humans.