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

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Matt, or Matteo Alacran, is the protagonist of Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion. Matt is the clone of an opium dealing drug lord named El Patron. Matt faces many different conflicts.

First, Matt is locked in a basement so that he does not know what El Patron will do to him (external conflict). 

Second, El Patron tries to take Matt's heart in order to survive (after a heart attack). Unfortunately for El Patron, Celia has slowly poisoned Matt over the years so that his heart could not be used by El Patron (both external conflict). 

Third, Matt is placed in an orphanage and must fight to survive (external conflict). 

Lastly, Matt must make it to where Maria is (at a convent). Matt's health proves to be an issue on his voyage (internal conflict).