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Who Is Matteo Alacran? Essay

1704 words - 7 pages

“It had doughy, unhealthy skin and red hair that stuck up in bristles. It seemed never to have been in the sun, and its hands were twisted like claws above the straps that held it down.” “Its tongue protruded from its mouth and drooled saliva down its chin.” -Nancy Farmer The House of the Scorpion (Chapter 12 pg.112). Macgregor’s clone is a textbook example of what clones are in Opium and why they are regarded as animals. Matteo Alacrán is more than just a drooling mess of a clone. He’s a human being, which means he has qualities that define him just like any other person.
A certain personality trait that defines Matt is his outlasting resilience. He has been thrown into many rough situations since the age of six. Including extremely unfeasible ones, yet he manages to come out on the other side somewhat unharmed every time. His first encounter with isolation gave us a glimpse of his ability to overcome the cruel treatment of Rosa. Kept in practical solitude within sawdust for six months could have done more to Matt than just render him mute. (49) At one point he understands that his tormentors would harm him further if he presented any form of vulnerability.(46) Besides the mentioned he also had to operate while pumped up with arsenic unbeknownst to him. Even though Celia slowly fed him the poison, it benefited him in the end by rendering his heart unstable for transplant. (208) One of the most obvious actions of resilience was the entirety of being in the orphanage, specifically the plankton factory. There he was insulted, outcast, and even physically punished by a whipping via cane. (255)(264) Being the new overlord of Opium has resilience in the job description. Matteo Alacrán is required to have it inherently in him to dismantle the Opium drug empire. (328) You have to keep in mind that he’s only fourteen years old. Resilience is critical to explain the character of Matteo Alacrán because if he wasn't he would crumble like a nature valley bar. There is no peace for Matt, tranquility for him is the calm before a storm, or the incline of a rollercoaster before the heart stopping drop, yet somehow he rebounds. His entire existence has been to get through the next day, week, or month alive with all his organs intact.
Once again we observe defining traits in Matt at a young age, particularly desperation. Because of his craving for human interaction he swung an iron pot at the window to warn Maria about the chupacabras. (30) Concern is present, although, it’s more so the latter. Matt never actually saw or communicated with anyone besides the doctor once a month and Celia, but she was always too exhausted after working all day to provide him sufficient consideration. (21) (40) The nanosecond he captured Maria’s continuous attention he was unable to cease and began to grind his teeth from sheer nervousness.(40) I can understand how a six year old would be excited at the simple prospect of having someone’s full attention, as I have a younger brother...

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