What is the conflict Matt faces in Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion?

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Nancy Farmer's novel raises the age-old conflict of "nature versus nurture," which plays out in Matt because he is a clone of El Patron. Matt must confront the internal conflict of facing "himself" as the evil human being who decided to have himself cloned in the first place.

As Matt grows up, he must accept that he is not a unique individual. The deep questions about the limits of his possible resistance to the person from whom he was cloned structure the novel. If Matt is indeed an exact copy of El Patron, will he inevitably grow up to be a greedy, unscrupulous man? The efforts that El Patron goes to in order to give Matt a happy childhood, ironically, enable Matt to become a different person.

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