Study Guide

Felipe in The House of the Scorpion

By Nancy Farmer


Have a looksee at this scene between Matt his and clone-daddy, El Patrón:

"Is that the place behind the hole in the rock?" Matt asked, to be sure he was correct.

"Of course, Felipe!" El Patrón snapped. "You climb through that hole every single day." (20.42-43)

Uh, wait a minute guys. Who's Felipe?

El Patrón, ripe old mummy that he is, is starting to suffer from the memory issues that come with old age. So in this moment, he confuses Matt with his son, Felipe, who has been dead for over eighty years. At Celia's suggestion, Matt has decided to "be" Felipe for El Patrón, so he doesn't bother to correct the mistake.

What's interesting here is that, if you think about it, by mixing Matt up with his son, El Patrón reinforces Matt's belief that El Patrón loves him and won't hurt him. Really, who would hurt his own son? This episode allows Matt to continue believing that in El Patrón's eyes, he just might be more than a clone. Sorry, Matt. No dice. It's only two chapters later that El Patrón blows all hope out of the water by coming dangerously close to killing Matt for his heart.

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