Archive for December, 2011

Scorpion is like an ooloi for Blindsight and Frankenstein

Let’s compare The House of the Scorpion to other works we’ve read.  I’ll try to rank them in some sort of odd sense of perceived similarity and, maybe, even message.

There are some obvious comparisons between Scorpion and Frankenstein.  I think those particular comparisons resonate most strongly.  Let’s really look at the nature of the characters Matteo and the monster.  Both seem to be perceived as abominations or unnatural creations.  They both have to cope with the burden of being something man-made.  While both struggle with this idea, something about being an artificially created being is really terrifying to me.  It’s immensely and immediately unsettling.  I think it has to do a bit with the idea of crossing a boundary that wasn’t meant to be crossed.  Living beings shouldn’t be artificially created.  Although, I will allow that Matteo is a more acceptable level of artificial being.  The idea of Frankenstein’s monster being sewn together from random body parts is terrifying.  In any event, this is the long winded way of saying that I think the creature and Matteo both represent the crossing of a boundary, specifically (what I believe to be) the most dangerous/important boundary.

Frankenstein and Scorpion also both deal with a created creature’s odd relationship with their creation or progenitor.  I think there is some similarity here.  Matteo trusts El Patron.  I think there’s a certain love that the monster has for Frankenstein; although, he doesn’t know how to express it.

The connection between Blindsight and Scorpion.  They both deal with characters who are inherently different from the rest of the characters within the novel because of the way they were either altered or created.  I almost feel like Siri and Matteo can be two sides of the same coin.  I could easily see Matteo acting in the same semi-sociopathic way that Siri does by embracing the nature of his artificiality.  Instead, Matteo embraces his humanity.  Ultimately, however, they are two characters both set aside from humanity.  They seem to be, at once, something more than human and something less than human.

I think there are also similarities between the idea of genetic organ harvesting and the genetic creation of vampires.  Both seem to be realistic outgrowths of rampant genetic testing and so on.  That’s a passing similarity though.

Similar to above, the idea of being disconnected from society is present in Neuromancer.  All of the characters there experience some levels of being “apart” from society in a way not dissimilar from Matteo’s in Scorpion.

I don’t think there is much to be said about a connection between Lilith’s Brood and Scorpion.  Although, I could see a relationship, perhaps, between Akin and Matteo.  They are both seen as saviors due to their genetic makeup.  Akin can save the entirety of the human race, while Matteo can save the life of the aging El Patron.  However, I think Matteo denies this idea while Akin embraces his destiny, so to speak.