English 451

November 29, 2011

Are clones human?

Filed under: Uncategorized — kev89 @ 5:17 am

In comparing The House of the Scorpion to the other works we have read this semester, the obvious theme to me that has connected them all is the question over what exactly makes one human, and just who can be considered human. What differentiates The House of the Scorpion is that it is the only work we have read which has dealt with clones and cloning. Cloning is an obvious issue to come to mind when questioning what constitutes humanity, especially considering that clones of humans may be a reality someday. Another feature that struck me is the intense hatred shown towards Matt simply because he is a clone. Within the first fourteen chapters, only Celia, Maria, Tam Lin, and maybe El Patron treat Matt with any real kindness. Rosa and Tom especially despise the clone, and several characters refer to Matt as “it” rather than “he.”

The fundamental question of whether Matt could be considered human becomes even more blurred to Matt himself as he learns how he was created, and that he is just a “photograph” of El Patron. Clearly the reader is supposed to consider Matt to be human, or at least possessing human-like emotions, as he struggles with how others perceive him as some sort of animal, from Rosa keeping him caged to him not being punished for misbehaving like Maria’s dog. The House of the Scorpion speaks to an issue that we have been dealing with the whole semester, but with a new scenario and take on it.

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