Hi Guys! The following paragraphs are going to be about characterization in The House of the Scorpion. Hope you like it.
The first thing I want to talk about is pages 12 and 13. In two pages, Farmer introduced 5 characters. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but think; 5 characters in 2 pages! That’s a lot to take in.
It was interesting because in those pages, Maria, Emilia, Benito, Steven and Tom were introduced. Benito and Steven were introduced as Mr. Alacrán’s sons. Tom was not. Later on in this novel we figure out that Tom is also one of his sons. This confused me, he seemed like a random character at that point.
“ ‘That’s my hometown,’ he said. ‘Don’t tell me the old rat’s nest is still there.’
‘It is,’ I said, ‘only the rats have moved on to a better slum.’
He asked if I had any skills. From that moment on, I belonged to El Patrón. I’ll always belong to him. He’ll never let me go.”
This is part of Celia’s story. It was great to have a backstory to a character and to me was really beneficial for Celia’s development. However, in the quote above I think it shows more of El Patrón character.
Something I didn’t like was the development of El Patrón. I know it isn’t proper terminology but he seemed like an oval character; neither round nor flat. There was something else. Farmer started to show another side of him. When El Patrón was sick he says the following to Matt, and also calls him Felipe.
“He sometimes called Matt by another name, and he was confused about other things, too. ‘I built this shack with my own hands,’ he told Matt. Matt looked around. The last thing you’d call the mansion with its gardens and fountains was a shack.
‘I put in the grapevine, too,’ El Patróm said. ‘It’s doing very well. It covered the arbor in only two years. …’
He’s talking about the oasis, Matt thought with a chill. El Patrón must have been the person who had lived there a long time ago.”
(Famer 199, 200)
I was really disappointed that this development stopped abruptly. Seeing another aspect of El Patrón was interesting and because he was a very influential character who played a big role so why not progress his characterization. I think it would have been rewarding to go farther with this idea and the overall development of El Patrón.