As our Scorpion project comes to a close, we begin to discuss the theme and character development more deeply. One of these methods was to compare characters from another story with The House Of The Scorpion. That story was the movie Gattaca. So, for the last time in the Scorpion project, let’s begin.
The protagonists in these two pieces are very similar. For one, they are both shunned by the society they live in, due to factors they can’t control. Matt is treated like an animal for being a clone. Vincent is prevented access to an ideal job, due to him being “Genetically impure.” Both these disabilities are affected by other factors, predetermined at birth. Both of these characters have to undergo a struggle to find acceptance in these societies, even though the odds are stacked against them. This is evident when Rosa screams at Matt, “You're a monster! It wouldn’t surprise me if you ate them,” On the topic of cockroaches on page 44, and when Vincent says in a flashback, “They once said that children conceived in love will be happier. They don’t say that anymore.”
After this, both characters go through a period of acceptance to their circumstances. Matt eventually accepts that he’s a clone, and society will look down upon him. He doesn’t let that get in the way of his life however and keeps going. Vincent finally accepts that he may not be as “good” as others, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of his dream, which is to go to space. This is evident when he shows the doctor who he really is at the end, knowing what would happen if the doctor reacted differently than how he really did act. For Matt, it’s evident when he thinks, “The only one! He was unique. He was special. Matt’s heart swelled with pride. If he wasn’t human, he might become something better.” This is on page 125. This shows that he has a love for himself, despite how others may think of him.
I’d have to say that the most prominent differences between the characters are how they both are rejected for opposite reasons. In one society, genetically modified people are valued over untampered people. In the other, genetically tampered people are looked at in disgust. Matt was not created naturally. As Tam Lin says on page 189, “You were grown in that poor cow for nine months, and then you were cut out of her. You were harvested. She was sacrificed.” This unnatural process horrifies the people of Opium, who value old fashioned ideals, as opposed to scientific progress. In Gattaca, Vincent is left untampered and becomes more susceptible to diseases and disabilities. This limits opportunities for him, because if you were an employer, why would you choose a weaker worker when there were so many “Better humans” to choose from? As Vincent says best, “I belonged to a new lower class. One not based on age or race, but on genes.” This reflects how the societies these characters live in have completely different ideals and beliefs. As you saw in our fake, and I must admit, a little “cringey” newscast, both these stories reflect the same theme. Just because you can do something, should you?
Thank you all for reading. This has been a great project. I’ve really enjoyed taking this journey with you all. So, for the last time in this “Scorpion Project,” I would like to say, have a great day!