The House of the Scorpion

by Nancy Farmer

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Who are the scorpions in The House of the Scorpion? Are they the Alacráns?

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It is possible to interpret that the Alacráns are the scorpions—or, in another way of interpreting, El Patron is the scorpion. Because scorpions are arachnids, they have many symbolic similarities to spiders and are considered connected to evil. Scorpions are also considered a symbol of rebirth after death. The Alacráns are all deceitful, unhappy, and untrustworthy. The family's underhandedness is something that scorpions can be interpreted to symbolize. El Patron clearly embodies the idea of rebirth after death, and Matteo is very directly connected to this as well. "The house of the scorpion" absolutely refers to the big house, which is full of scorpion imagery, contains much deceit, and which is, very explicitly, "the house of rebirth after death."

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