As you might know, our class has been exploring The House of the Scorpion, a novel by the Newbery Honor award author Nancy Farmer. Recently, after finishing the book, we looked to examine a different text - a film called Gattaca in order to compare and contrast mainly the protagonists in The House of the Scorpion. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy!
Main characters are at the center of the narrative in every movie, book, and play. without them, there basically isn’t any story to follow. The hurdles and victories the protagonist experiences would be virtually nonexistent. So when comparing two fictional realities that, of course, contain their own separate protagonists, Like Matt and Vincent. You’d think that they’d be completely different from each other, but really they are more connected then it’d seem, well at least on a narrative level.
It mostly has to do with the roots at each character's origins both are not considered equal in either of their societies. Matt being a clone and Vincent being a “Faith-Child” (for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie a Faith-Child is someone is created in natural ways, no special measures are taken). In Matt’s world clones are considered livestock that should have never been created in the first place “I’m a clone, in case you’ve forgotten. I’m livestock.” (Pg. 366) being harvested for his organs in order to keep rich and powerful people alive for much longer than a normal human. He is a creature, a filthy animal, even though Tam Lin proves that there is no difference between Matt or any other Human “No one can tell the difference between a clone and a human. That’s because there isn’t any difference. The idea of clones being inferior is a filthy lie.” (Pg.245).
In Vincent’s case he has a looming fate over his head throughout his entire life, a heart condition, which makes him much less desirable when compared to the people who are specially selected in order to rid it of any negative traits that they might possess,“This child is still you, simply the best of you” - Geneticist. This Makes Vincent’s dream of being an astronaut extremely difficult to achieve, almost impossible actually all because he was conceived naturally like any of us today, unfortunately, he isn’t up to standards that are set out in his world “My father was right. It did not matter how much I lied on my resume. My real resume was in my cells. Why should anybody invest all that money to train me when there were a thousand other applicants with a far cleaner profile?” - Vincent.
Both Matt and Vincent have a deep desire to fit into their society and they’ll do whatever it takes in order to be someone who is equal, especially for Matt. Throughout the novel all he wanted to do was fit in, have a loving family with a mother and father. He wanted everyone to appreciate him for who was not for what he was. “What if he was wrong? What if El Patrón really loved him” (Pg.216)
While it might not seem like it, Vincent ultimately wanted the same thing as Matt! He wanted to be like everyone else who was genetically superior so that he could enter the space program and become what he dreamt of becoming all his life. But his status of an “invalid” would come to haunt him for as long as attempted to enroll. So the only solution for Vincent would be to assume the identity of someone who is qualified to be there which might seem simple but is really an extremely difficult feat to pull off successfully but Vincent’s desire to become an astronaut drove him above and beyond where what he once thought was impossible became possible.
Both protagonists had a dream, a desire to be something different, something they’re not, to defy the almost impossible just to fit into society like everybody else, unfortunately, this is a huge issue in our society today, the makers of both the movie Gattaca and The House of the Scorpion brought a very relevant issue into their books in which both protagonists fought against.
Discrimination is the unjust treatment of people based on many things but could be, sex, religion, and race. It is a HUGE problem in our day and age, you might have thought this was only a problem a few decades ago, but still to this day discrimination is still present. Vincent and Matt both suffer the unfortunate stigma around their place and society and there isn’t much way for them to combat it, they obviously can’t fight back and even if they can get rid of the disgust or unequal opportunities provided, they can never fully shake that that is who they are and they really can’t change their interior identity. They will always be themselves and there is nothing they can do about it. The people who actually care will look further than what lies beyond the cells and will see the true beauty of who you are.
Anyway, I think that just about wraps this blog post, I found a very interesting news article that really relates to Gattaca and so if you want you could totally go check it out!!!
Well, that will be it from me, until next time.