The House of the Scorpion touches on many different issues that are still relevant in today’s society from slavery, to dictatorships, to child labor. I will be discussing the real world issue of oppression with you today. Oppression is a very broad subject, as many different cultures and races have been oppressed throughout history. In The House of the Scorpion, Matt is born a clone. From his young age, he has difficulty comprehending and understanding why people were treating him differently from the other children, why was he shunned? This quote from the book describes Matt’s reaction when he reflects on the scene where he is first revealed as a clone:
“What was it Rosa had called him? A “filthy clone”. Matt had no idea what that was but he recognized an insult when he heard it. Rosa hated him, and so did the fierce man and the doctor. Even the two older children had changed once they knew what he was.”
Throughout the novel Matt is oppressed by the society he is in, and directly by other characters all because of a slight difference from the rest of the population- and this is also the case with other examples of oppression throughout history. These differences do not make us lesser or more important than the other. Examples of oppression in modern day include homosexuals and, to a minor degree, women. People today are in the same type of situation as Matt- shunned because of something they cannot control. Directly relating to the oppression of gays: homophobia. Throughout the world, there are still many homophobes, but luckily that number is dropping every year. In the end of the novel, Esparenza reveals that Matt was always human, just given the label of “clone”. It was this superficial label for which people and society judged him, but that is just the surface of him as an individual.
Martin Luther King once said "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." We are all human beings; no one person is of greater value than another because of superficial projections, and a day should come when everyone realizes that.