Sunday, March 19, 2017

Aztlan VS Gattaca

Characters are shaped by the world and values around them. Matt and Vincent were both outcasts in their societies. In Matt’s world genetically constructed people were hated. In Vincent’s world the genetically constructed people were granted greater opportunities and were treated much better then the non genetically constructed or “God Childs”.  

Vincent was born a god child. In the movie if you were born a god child it meant there were many things that could go wrong. In Vincent’s society people who were born naturally weren't accepted because of all the possible risks they could have. Even though Vincent wasn't the most desired person he was still treated the same. Vincent had a brother who was genetically modified, he was treated differently by his father because he was perfect. Vincent said he was worthy enough for his fathers name and that he wasn’t. Vincent was born with a heart defect that would make his life expectancy only 30 years. Vincent had a dream to go to Gattaca and into space. However, because he was born naturally and had the heart defect he couldn't make his dream come true. He was determined to do whatever was necessary so he could go into space. Vincent was so determined to fit into his society and go to Gattaca that he took on another person’s identity. He has access to the original person and he went to great lengths to be him. He would scrub off his own dead skin to remove his loose DNA material. He wore contacts to change his eye color and went to great extremes to pass urine and blood tests. He  even underwent surgery to add on several inches to his legs to become the same height as Jerome. Not only did he do that he also learned how to write neatly with the opposite hand he used his whole life. He worked hard to be someone else. He was a round character that sought to change his own destiny. Vincent who changed himself because he needed to in order to accomplish what he wanted.

In the House of the Scorpion Matt WAS someone else. He was an exact replica, a clone of another person. Matt was brought into the world because he was genetically modified. He was harvested out of a cow (Pg. 188) People in Matt’s society thought that if they weren't “born” then they shouldn't be treated the same. They would treat Matt as an animal and call him an “it”. In his world a clone that was hated by many people, and were considered animals. Matt wanted nothing less than for people to treat him as an equal and not an animal. However, Matt didn't really do many things to change what people thought of him. He didn’t do anything to change how people perceived him. Matt didn't really need to change himself for what he wanted or to be accepted because everyone he cared about excepted him for who he was. Matt changed throughout the book, but his changes mostly occurred as a result of things others did for him or to him. He didn’t often think and act for himself.

It almost seems as if these characters would be better off if they switched. If Matt lived in Vincent’s world and Vincent lived in Matt’s world. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Individual Blog Post #5

People do drastic things when they think their lives are in danger. Leaving your home country and possibly everything you own is an example of  this. Celia needed to leave Aztlan. She grew up there and it was everything she ever knew she described it as poor and horrible. Even worse than when El Patron left. When she was a girl she was put into child labour and she was mistreated for a lot of her life. She needed to leave because her life was awful there. The House of the Scorpion may be fiction but it does connect to real life situations at times. People crossing borders illegally is a thing that happens in the real world now. Recently with the election of the US President being Donald Trump, Americans are starting to feel the affects he is putting on them and the country. There are many immigrants in the United States that fear for their lives. They may be in the country illegally or they may be part of the groups that Donald Trump is targeting as being unwelcome. They are choosing to leave everything behind and are fleeing into Canada. They are crossing our border as refugees. 
A nano survey recently done for Canadians about Americans illegally crossing the border to Canada was 

conducted. Canadians believe that its not the biggest threat because they were doing it out of fear. 62% said it wasn't a threat, 5% said that the refugees post as a terrorist threat, another 5% saw them as Canadian job threats. I think that Americans are doing this just because their fearing for their own lives in America now. The refugees escaping are part of a group that are feeling pressure and prejudice against them. This is like when Celia left Azlan for a new life cause her old one was putting her in danger. Matt escaped Opium because it wasn't safe for is life either. In Atzlan clones aren't treated fairly and their is prejudice against them. Mr. Alcran was going to have him killed because there was no more purpose for him. This goes with taking drastic measures to save your own life. Unfortunately, where Matt escapes to they also don't like clones. It is ironic that when refugees 
escape one bad situation they aren't always accepted.

The group of refugees aren't originally from the US, some of them were refugees in the US before any are coming to Canada because of Donald Trumps thoughts on refugees. Even though Canadians agree they should be given refugee status they don't technically fit the status of a refugee because they aren't fleeing their country out of war they're doing it out of fear of what may come. The idea of needing to escape dangerous situations makes for an exciting book to read but when these events occur in real life it’s scary and you realize that the refugees need help. When young adults are exposed to this kind of content it helps them make connections to situations in the real world. Some may even start social justice movements to help them. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Individual Blog Post #4

How do you think others see the world? The worldview elements I think are most influential to Matt are view of human nature, sources of ethical wisdom and responsibilities to others. Human nature is the basic make-up of people. When you are thinking about this you consider whether people are naturally good or evil. Matt thinks that El Patron was good until he starts to get a little older and people expose him to some of the evil things El Patron has done. When Matt figures out that he is only for spare parts (pg 191) so El Patron can stay alive he realizes how evil El Patron is and how he acts falsely towards people. Matt can see that Celia is good. Matt thinks that Tam Lin is good and kind and treats Matt like a person, not an animal. Matt thinks that even though Tam Lin did terrible things he has good qualities. (pg. 176 Matt finds out about Tam Lin’s past) Matt also see’s that Maria is good and treats him differently. She truly cares for him and isn’t evil. He knows she is good because she also likes Tom, even though Matt can’t see the good in Tom and feels that all of Tom’s intentions are evil.
 Beliefs about your obligations to others is a characteristic of responsibilities to others. Matt believes that he has responsibilities towards Celia and Tam Lin. At one time he felt like he was responsible to El Paton, but when he realized the true reason for his creation, he didn’t feel responsible to just give up his own life for El Patron. Ethical wisdom is your beliefs ethical and moral principles. How does Matt know what is right and wrong? Most of his understanding comes from 4 sources, Tam Lin, Celia, Maria and El Patron. Matt got mixed messages about what was right and wrong. El Patron would encourage Matt to behave in ways that weren’t good, like when Matt sat Tom at the baby table and then later made Maria kiss him. Celia and Tam Lin expected more from Matt and actually told him how to behave in more acceptable ways that considered others. They told Matt about good and evil and Tam Lin gave Matt a book to read that would expose him the the truth about El Patron and Opium. I think as the book continues Matt will have more opportunities to decide if he is going to follow in El Patron’s pattern or be a better person. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lispiration Challenge #2 Blog Post

The characters in The House of The Scorpion are so diverse and different. Throughout the book I've learned about each of these characters, and which is my favorite. My favorite character in the book so far has been Celia. Celia’s appearance doesn't play a big role in the story because we don't even know what she fully looks like. Celia is from the same place as El Patron. She tried to escape and was caught by El Patron (Pg 136). She lived because El Patron let her live. She survived because she could cook. She had cooked for and cared for El Patron ever since. El Patron trusted her to care for his clone. She is very protective of Matt. Celia is a static character her main motivation has been to just take care of Matt. She has not really undergone through much change either. Although the book hasn't said a lot about Celia the way she cares for Matt and others makes her a very likable person. I think that throughout the book Celia will become more of a dynamic character but it also depends on what happens to Matt. For example if Matt is in danger cells reaction could be very different then the rule following Celia that has been presented so far. This was hinted at on the night El Patron had his heart attack (Pg.180). El Patron needed a heart and I think Celia fed Matt something to make him sick so his heart could be used. Tam Lin and Celia seem to be working together on something secret. Celia got very upset with Tam Lin the night they were drinking champaign (Pg.189). I sensed that Tam Lin was about to tell a secret. Even though we don't know everything there is to know about Celia in the book so far she has been pretty interesting to learn about. The way she cares for Matt and others makes her a good person but I'm curious to know if that could change if something happens to Matt or maybe Tam Lines secret gets let out…

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Individual Blog Post #3

What Does it Mean to be a Care Giver/Mother/Father? Celia and Tam Lin were both care givers. They care for Matt like his parents would.  Celia makes sure his physical needs are met and Tam Lin teaches him and tries to make him become a good person. To be a caregiver it means you have to be willing to make sacrifices and take risks for the ones you care about. Celia made some sacrifices and took risks for Matt.  One risk I think she took, was to put something in Matt’s salsa to make him sick so they couldn’t use his heart. She also looks after and loves him even though everyone else thinks he’s an animal. She never treats him like less than her son. She saved his life when Rosa has him locked away. Tam Lim also takes a risk by showing him the oasis and leaving Matt a chest of survival stuff and a history book about Opium. Tam Lim also treats him like a real person and expects more from him.
 Caregivers and parents take their own time to help someone out and work hard for whomever they care about. When you're a caregiver/parent you don't stop caring or looking after them when they're old enough to take care of themselves. You also try to teach the child how to survive without you and look after themselves. Tam Lin teaches Matt everything he needs to know to survive and be a good person. You also want the best outcomes for who you care about, you feel responsible for how they turn out. If whoever you care about gets in trouble or does something wrong you feel like it’s your fault. In the book Matt becomes a little bit mean. He doesn’t like that Maria likes Tom, so he is mean to Tom and sits him at the baby table. Tam Lin said that this was wrong and told Matt how poorly he was behaving. When Matt made Maria kiss him, Tam Lin told Matt how wrong that was and how awful he behaved. Then when Matt took Furball and Furball died Tam Lin thought less of Matt and questioned how he had always thought Matt was better than a animal, or better than the man he was cloned from. You could tell Tam Lin was disappointed in Matt and that Matt couldn’t live up to his expectations, after all the time he spent trying to make him good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Individual Blog Post #2

I didn't know what to expect when we were starting the book, I didn't even know if I would like it or not. It started out in an odd manner. It is not the type of book I would read on my own. In the pages I have read so far the book in my opinion has changed so much. It seems to be going by pretty quickly. It doesn’t dwell on the day to day of Matt’s life. He is aging quickly. It is taking a while to get to the problem of the book. I don’t fully understand what the significant conflict is. t
There are some things about the book that I haven't yet been able to figure out or make an inference about. For example, I don’t know why Matt was created. Why create a clone that doesn’t have an implant or work in the field? I don’t know why El Patron has lived so long. I assume the story takes place in Mexico, because of the names, the Spanish and the desert landscape with hills and fruit trees. But this hasn’t been confirmed at the rate that the book is progressing.
I'm starting to notice the main character is developing more of an distinguished personality. At the very beginning of the book Matt (main character) was shy and didn't know much about anything outside his small house, only the vast fields of the white poppies. (page 6)I think that is because Celia wouldn’t let him out. Now in the book, Matt is less shy and talks more. He seems to be becoming impatient sometimes and acts bossy which is making me infer that that's part of El Patron's personality. I think that because he is a clone of El Patron, he will act like El Patron. If the others want him to act differently than El Paton they will need to teach him not to be so selfish.
In this section you also learn a little more about the treatment of ejjits. These workers have no rights. They have something implanted in their brain and can't think for themselves. They are disposable and no one seems to care if they are treated fairly or if they die because someone forgot to tell them to drink of stop working. 

The book is starting to get better as their is more information about everything. I think getting to know the characters and starting to see a conflict might make the book more enjoyable.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Scorpion Project- Individual Post #1

I'm back! Start looking forward to many more posts because we just started a novel inquiry on The House of the Scorpion. I'm really excited to start this book seeing that it has won 3 medals. The book itself seems very intriguing because I wanna know why is it scorpion. A book thats one 3 medals must mean its pretty good so I'm most nervous about not being able to put the book down after each chapter. I really like the idea of doing individual projects along with group ones because I think its important for everyone to hear their peers thoughts on the book as we read it. The novel inquiry seems like a really interesting way to do a novel study but I think it will be really cool to see how each person shows how they would do it. I've only ever done 1 novel study in school and I enjoyed it quite a bit so I'm really look forward to reading The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
Get ready for more posts on my opinion for this book!