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.