Difference Between Tom And El Patron In The House Of The Scorpion

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In The House of The Scorpion, Matt encountered numerous people who greatly impacted his life. A couple of these people were Tom and El Patron. Tom being young and El Patron very old, at first glance there is little these characters have in common. However, even with several differences, the roles these characters assumed in Matt’s life were surprisingly alike.

Tom and El Patron both acted as negative influences in Matt’s life. Neither of them respected Matt as a person. El Patron saw Matt as an image of himself rather than a human being. “When the old man looked at Matt, he saw himself...” (Farmer 192) El Patron often referred to Matt as his clone and nicknamed him “Mi Vida,” Spanish for “my life.” Tom didn’t view Matt as a human being, either,
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For example, El Patron had a greater influence on Matt. Throughout the book, it became clear that El Patron’s desire and love for power was rubbing off on Matt. “‘It’s my party too,’ said Matt, ‘and I can have anything I want. Isn’t that so, mi patron?’” (Farmer 109) Tom’s behavior may have prompted Matt to do certain things, but did not directly influence him. Another difference between Tom and El Patron was the way they treated Matt. El Patron loved Matt, because he loved himself, and was willing to do almost anything for Matt to be happy. Tom, on the other hand, despised Matt and was cruel to him whenever he got the chance. Consequently, Matt’s relationship with El Patron was strong and caring, while his relationship with Tom was a string of revenge. “If she couldn’t bring herself to punish Tom, he would do it for her.” (Farmer 105). Matt’s love for El Patron made the old man even more dangerous than Tom; with the wholehearted trust Matt had in El Patron, he could easily trick and betray Matt without arising suspicion. In addition to this, El Patron was a more dangerous character than Tom because he had more control. He was obsessed with power and could have as much of it as he wanted. “Power’s a strange thing, lad. It’s a drug…” (Farmer 243) Tom had very little power, so it was difficult for him to put Matt in any significant danger.

Despite their differences, the ways that Tom and El Patron impacted Matt’s life in The House of The Scorpion were easily comparable. The attitudes and actions of these major characters made crucial developments in Matt’s character. Without Tom’s and El Patron’s strong attributes, Matt may have been a completely different
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