Hey there :) This is my third individual post regarding the novel study I am currently doing, which is on the novel The House of the Scorpion written by Nancy Farmer. This post will be focusing on setting.
Thus far in the novel, the exact time and place has not been stated. To me, Nancy Farmer has provided a sort of abstract idea of the setting. Although I have noticed many intentional hints regarding the setting. It has been said many times throughout the novel, that the setting of the house in the poppy fields, the big house, the oasis and other destinations in the novel, have taken place somewhere near both Mexico and the United States. I have made an inference that it is in the stretch of the land between the two. At one part in the novel, when El Patron and Matt are introduced for the first time, El Patron tells Matt many stories of his youth in Aztlan, which is a place that was once called Mexico. He also states that he was from a place called Durango, a beautiful place Matt imagines having dusty cornfields and purple mountains. There was also another location mentioned in the novel; Scotland. This is where both of El Patron's towering body guards, Tam Lin and Daft Donald, are from, and El Patron himself has mentioned traveling there before.
While the location of the novel has been specified fairly well, the time of the novel has not been at all. However, there have only been petite hints regarding the time. The author has included hobbies and pastimes from our present day society such as colouring and crossword puzzles, as I mentioned in my previous post, that hints that the novel is not futuristic, while there is also cloning and very advanced technology and one-eyed fish that say otherwise. In my last post, I made an inference that it may take place in an alternate universe. If this is correct, then this alternate universe must have Mexico and Scotland and the United States, which doesn't seem literate. So that idea is pretty much invalid as far as common sense goes.
I believe that leaving the setting a mystery so far is an author choice that Nancy made for a reason. Perhaps she will not include the exact destination and time of the novel at all. Perhaps she wants her readers to have more room for imagination to paint the portrait of the setting themselves. But who knows? I guess I will have to keep reading and discover this myself.