In this post I will be discussing the real world issues that connect to the novel. If there was one thing that was clearly evident throughout The House of the Scorpion, it is real world connections. There have been many connections to the real world within the novel so far, three of the more major connections that have been mentioned a variety of times being forced / arranged marriages, isolation, and boarder jumping.
In the novel, two arranged marriages have been planned between the Mendoza and Alacran family. Emilia and Steven, and Tom and Maria. These cases are very evident in our society today as well as in the society of Opium. They are planned for many reasons; culture, gain of wealth or financial security, full family support and many more. Although arranged marriages are much more common and looked at as a norm by societies in the Middle East, and in parts of Africa and Asia, they also occur in our society here in North America. In some cases, arranged / forced marriages can be a form of oppression for women. This is another connection from real life to the novel.
Opium is very isolated from the outside world in terms of the majority of their moral beliefs and society. Throughout most of the novel, which takes place in Opium, Matt is brainwashed to believe that it is morally wrong to be a clone and that they are to be treated lesser than humans and that turning people into eeijits is acceptable if one "deserved" it. It isn't until later in the novel when Matt is in Aztlan and the orphanage that he discovers that the opinions and beliefs of the outside world are very, very different. Matt realizes that El Patron has been dictating Opium, brainwashing his people's morals and playing death through his innocent clones and surgery. Dictatorship happens in countries all around the world and in all different forms. It is a very serious issue that causes many problems in places like Pakistan and India. Later this year we will be learning about the Japan and their isolation, and I am very curious to see if the isolation of Opium is similar to Japan's in any way!
Towards the second half of the novel we learn that the people of Aztlan and the United States illegally jump the boarder between the two places, hoping to find their "dream life". In reality, boarder-jumping is also illegal, but just like in the novel, it still happens. In 2002, 134 illegal migrants lost their lives while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. As well as in the novel, there is patrol team that's job is to protect the border. In the book they are called "the Farm Patrol", whom are described as hostile men
riding horses and in real life they are called "the Boarder Patrol".
As I stated earlier, these are just a few of the real world applications. Thank you for reading :)