After reading the first few chapters of The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, I am enjoying the novel a lot! Her character development of Matt (the protagonist of the novel) is very well done and keeps me involved emotionally in the story and captures my attention as a reader. This is something we haven't discussed in depth during my groups round table discussions and is something I would like to talk about with you today.
In the beginning of the novel, a few aspects of Matt stuck out to me: 1, he was very intelligent for such a young age. 2, he was extremely lonely and isolated. And 3, Matt seemed like an extrovert, gaining his emotional fulfillment from being around Celia. The combination of all three of these variables encourages Matt to propel the story forward when he see’s the other children for the first time. As the novel progresses, you could see Matt’s character evolving. When he is first brought to the Big House and talks to Maria, he begins his first friendship with anyone besides Celia. You can tell that this is a very alien experience for Matt and he is not sure how to react to Maria’s advances.
The next huge character development Matt experiences is when everyone discovers he is a clone. When people treat him cruelly for a reason Matt does not understand fully, he adapts and becomes a huge introvert. He finds solace in being alone due to the fact that Rosa and the Doctor treat him so horribly (and has become deeply traumatized). You don’t really realize the extent of his isolation and his emotional trauma until he see’s Celia and Maria again. Since the last time he saw Maria, he had been surrounded only by people who would torment him (he has been in this environment for months), but though I had anticipated Matt to run to them and jump for joy, the exact opposite happened. He did absolutely nothing! Matt had wanted to run up to Rosa and Maria and scream but instead he stared at them. He was scared that if he went to greet them Rosa would return and he would be punished severely. However when he is released and believes himself to be in a safe environment, Matt slowly opens up to Celia (once again) and El Patron (I am very intrigued to see their relationship grow).
Though I have not finished the “Middle Ages” chapters at this point, I am very intrigued to see where the story takes Matt and how it changes and evolves his character!