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The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion

by Nancy Farmer

Foil

Character Role Analysis

Tom Alacrán and Matt

Tom is a total punk. Calling him a mere "foil" for our hero, Matt, might sound like the understatement of the century. However, Tom never gets the chance to grow into a full on big-baddie, like El Patrón. While he definitely causes Matt a lot of grief, there are also moments when it's clear that Tom and Matt have a lot in common. The two are both outcasts in a way (Matt as a clone and Tom as an illegitimate kid). But Tom makes very different choices than Matt, and those bad choices highlight all of Matt's good ones.


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