Friday, 17 March 2017

Individual Blog Post 6

A Sampled Scorpion

Matt's not excepted in society, as he's different: the dumb clone that no one likes. When Matt is taken to the Big House by Steven and Emilia, it's found out by the tattoo on his foot that he's a clone. Everyone is repulsed by this and wanted to get away from Matt. "'He is an animal,' Steven said after a pause…. 'I don't understand,' said Emilia. 'I should have known what he – it – was the minute I saw it…. Matt's a clone,' said Steven. Emilia gasped. 'He can't be! He doesn't – I've seen clones. They're horrible! They drool and mess their pants.'" Pg. 26
Vincent, a 'degenerate', is not accepted into society because he is not as good as everyone else. But he can't help that, just like Matt couldn't help being a clone in The House of the Scorpion. Vincent can't fulfill his dream of going to space, just because he has a heart problem, therefore being too risky to be sent to space, only for it to be a waste of money and time for the company. This is evident in these time stamps in 'Gattaca' the movie: 9:50 – 10:11, 12:18 – 12:28, 14:12 – 14:24, 15:16 – 15:46, 19:22 – 19:46, 21:58 – 22:21.

For the duration of Matt's time spent in the Big House, he tried to hide the fact that he was a clone, that he was inferior, but mostly from himself. Once Matt escaped to Aztlán, he was captured by the Keepers, and it was crucial for the tattoo on his foot not to be seen, or he would be treated as something even more unclean. He thought that if anyone there in Aztlán saw it, they would know he was a clone, and be repulsed by it, the same way the Alacráns had been. However, when one of the Keepers saw the tattoo, they did treat Matt as someone unclean, but they didn't know that it meant he was a clone. "'He saw the writing on the boy's foot.' Oh no, oh no, thought Matt. "There was a scar across it, but he managed to make out the writing: 'Property of the Alacrán Estate.'' 'Alacrán?' said Carlos. 'That's the name of the old vampire who runs Dreamland.'. 'I know," Jorge said pleasantly. 'I wondered how a person could belong to an estate, unless he worked there. Or unless he was an escaped crot!'…. [Matt's] weakness had been found out. Even though the Keeper had drawn the wrong conclusion from the tattoo, it was just as devastating…. The boys drew away from Matt as though he were something unclean."
Vincent tries to hide who he really is to fulfill his dream of going to space. To achieve this, Vincent needs to hide who he really is by becoming someone else. Vincent needs to do this because he's 'different', as he has a heart problem, and would never be allowed on a space mission with that issue. This is evident in the following time stamps in the movie: 10:00 – 10:11, 19:33 – 19:37, 19:47 – 19:59, 21:06 – 21:20, 24:06 – 28:13, 31:38 – 31:15, 32:25 – 33:45.

Matt develops as a character to accept his own fate. At first, Matt refuses to believe that he is a thing, and an it to everyone else, but by the end of the book, he has almost completely accepted who and what he really is: the clone of El Patrón. He uses who he is to get what he wants. He uses his DNA as El Patrón's DNA, as they are the same, to get to places only El Patrón should be able to. "'The problem is, I don't know if you want to take the chance-'
'What?' Matt said impatiently. 'It works only for El Patrón…. When he presses his hand against the red scorpion, the wall opens…. But, if the wrong person touches the scorpion, it sends a lethal jolt of electricity through his arm and the who passage fills with poisonous gas.' Matt stared at María. 'This is your plan to rescue me?'…. [Matt] thrust his hand against the glowing scorpion…. A door slid back before them…" Pg. 221-222. "'During a lockdown [in Opium],' Esperanza went on, ignoring her daughter, 'no ships are cleared-with one exception: El Patrón's signature overrides everything.' Matt understood at once: His fingerprints were the same as El Patrón's…. [In the hovercraft] The identity plate lit up. Matt slammed his hand down…. The red light faded, and the panel turned a welcoming green." Pg. 366, 368

Vincent develops as a character to accept his own fate. He tries very hard to hide who he really is from other people. Throughout the movie, Vincent starts to realize they think he killed the mission director. After that problem, right before his plight to space, he decides to turn himself in as the In-Valid, as he needs to provide a urine sample before boarding the rocket, but he has none other than his own. However, the doctor/scientist knew the whole time who he really was, and granted him entry. Examples of this are evident at these time stamps: 44:29 – 54:52, 51:10 – 51:30, 52:14 – 53:20, 57:08 – 58:00, 59:40 – 1:01:03, 1:04:10 – 1:06:37, 1:11:40 – 1:13:26, 1:17:25 – 1:24:31, 1:38:00 – 1:40:00.

(862 words with quotes, 554 words without quotes)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Individual Blog Post 5

Then and Now

Blue text: Current events
Red text: House of the Scorpion events

Many things are happening in the world right now involving illegal immigration, such as Syrians fleeing their country to others, and, now that Trump has been elected, many people from banned countries, such as Syria, Iran, and others are illegally crossing the border to Canada in fear.
For a fee of $30,000 these "bonhommes" (much like a coyote) will forge Canadian documents (passport, driver's license, even a Tim Horton's TimCard!), create fake identities, and assist their clients across the U.S. - Canada border through a system of tunnels and safe houses. Celia, along with many others want to escape Aztlán and go to America, so she paid a coyote (a person who assists people to illegally cross a border) to take her, but the coyote ditched them and practically handed her over to the Farm Patrol, in chapter 14.
Residents in Canada: in Manitoba, British Colombia, and Alberta, have seen the happenings unfold. Canadian officers respond to at least one call on illegal border crossings per day. Many people are captured each day by the Farm Patrol. Also, Americans have tried to bribe Canadian border officials with large sums of money. “I feel sorry for them,” said resident Wendy Christy. “I don’t know what they can do other than try what they’re doing.” For people in Aztlán or America who are trying to cross the border, there's no other way for them either. When Matt crosses the border, he is detained, even though he doesn't realize it at first. Celia is also detained by the Farm Patrol when she is caught attempting to illegally cross the border.
6 people were caught attempting to illegally cross the border just within 2 days. "Residents in the area say there has been an increase in people trying to cross the Canadian border ever since Donald Trump was elected. The Ajo Mountains are guarded by the Farm Patrol, and catching and turning illegal border crossers into eejits is just the Farm patrol workers' everyday jobs. "Ever since Donald Trump was elected and before, he has claimed the he will 'get tough on border control'. The Farm Patrol is extremely difficult to avoid and survive from. People have been taking 'desperate measures in the dead of winter to get into Canada from the U.S.) There have been over 130 illegal border crossings from the U.S. to Canada since January, last updated February 27th. All people who try to cross the border are taking desperate measures, and thousands of people have been caught whilst attempting to cross borders by the Farm Patrol. "Why don't we make the border crossing easier so people don't have to cross illegally, if they're going to anyway?", says a Canadian resident living along the border.
Experts say that the refugee situation will escalate, and get much worse over the next few months. As the weather conditions improve from winter to spring to summer, chances are more and more and more people will attempt to cross. "There's more coming now than there were 6 months ago", says local Canadians living on the border. So many people constantly try to cross the border around or through the Ajo Mountains.


Other site I got some info from:

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Individual Blog Post 4

Matt's World

What worldview elements are most influential in Matt's life?

I believe that Equality With Others is the most influential element of worldview to Matt. The element 'equality with others' is about whether everyone is equal or not. This plays a big part in Matt's life and it has and will continue to have a large impression on him, as this 'feeling' is more geared towards Matt's feelings about the eejits. When he saw the dead opium harvester on the road by the poppy fields, he felt a strong urge to help him, but at that point, Matt didn't even know that the man was an eejit, or even what 'eejit' really meant yet. "'Look! There's a man lying on the ground,' cried Matt…. 'Can't we– help him?' faltered Matt." Pg. 77. However, when Matt discovered the true reason behind the dead man, 'his thoughts were whirling', Pg. 82, and he was hit by a surge of emotions: surprise, sympathy, anger, sadness, stupefaction. "If the horse could just stand there and die in front of a trough of water, then the man—", Pg. 82. Matt instantly wanted to do something about this slavery. Later in the book, Matt continues to show his sympathy for the eejits and how he doesn't agree that the eejits should be treated the way they are. He hopes to eventually 'wake them up': "I'll free the eejits [thought Matt]" Pg. 171.

The element View of Human Nature is also playing a big part in Matt's life thus far. 'The view of human nature' is about whether someone is naturally good or evil, and if people usually have good or bad intentions. Matt considers this about a quite a few people in the book. For example: El Patrón, Tom, Himself, Tam Lin, Eejits, and others. Matt realizes that El Patrón is actually a very bad person, a drug lord, that everyone fears for a very good reason. At first, Matt is repulsed by this, but eventually comes to accept it. "And [the country of Opium's] supreme leader, dictator, and führer was Matteo Alacrán.… A more evil, vicious, and self-serving man could hardly be imagined, wrote Esperanza on the next line. Matt threw the book away as hard as he could." Pg. 170. Matt has always hated Tom, and he's sure that he simply has an evil soul, therefore meaning that Tom is naturally evil. Matt, at first was almost afraid and surprised of the idea that he was a monster in everyone else's eyes, but now he almost talks about it flatly, regularly; he's come to accept this fate that everyone has put him in. "'I am an animal,' [Matt] replied. Once those words would have pained him, but he accepted his status now." Pg. 92. "'I don't have a soul,' Matt said." Pg. 206. Tam Lin used to be the friendly, abiding body guard, but now that Matt found out from the Farm Patrol that he was a 'bloody terrorist' that 'killed 20 kiddies', Pg. 176-177, Matt no longer seems to trust Tam Lin or like him as much anymore either, quite understandably. Eejits don't feel anything themselves, but Matt feels for them, how horrible it has become to watch them, be surrounded by them each day; mindless people who used to 'have a life'. "Few eejits worked in the house …. [Matt] reached out for the reins [of the Safe Horse] and glanced up. [The eejit] was Rosa." Pg. 147.
"[Matt] wasn't sure why he wanted to wake [Rosa] up, only that it seemed so horrible to see her so changed. If there was anything left of Rosa, it was locked in an iron box." Pg. 167.

Responsibilities to Others affects Matt as well. The element 'responsibilities to others' is about if we should protect others or just ourselves. Matt needs to protect himself from all of the haters around him, some of which want to kill him, such as Felicia, and potentially Tom. "I was … so angry … at how they treated you at the birthday party. I just wanted to kill that abomination… [said Felicia]" Pg. 163. Matt feels for the eejits, and that he wants to protect them, free them, so Matt is trying to protect others over himself.

709 words with quotes from the book included, and 500 words without quotes.