Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The House of the Scorpion: Introduction
The House of the Scorpion: Plot Summary
The House of the Scorpion: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The House of the Scorpion: Themes
The House of the Scorpion: Quotes
The House of the Scorpion: Characters
The House of the Scorpion: Symbols
The House of the Scorpion: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Nancy Farmer
Historical Context of The House of the Scorpion
Other Books Related to The House of the Scorpion
- Full Title: The House of the Scorpion
- Where Written: United States
- When Published: 2002
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopian Novel
- Setting: Opium, a fictional country occupying what was once the US-Mexico border.
- Climax: Matt narrowly escapes being killed by fleeing Opium.
- Antagonist: Matteo “El Patrón” Alacrán
- Point of View: Third Person
Extra Credit for The House of the Scorpion
Strong Language. According to Farmer, her publisher made her edit out parts of The House of the Scorpion where Celia, the main character’s caretaker, says “Damn” because “good” characters are not allowed to swear in children’s literature. “Good” characters are also not allowed to be written smoking. Farmer herself disagrees with these rules and says she would break them if she were to write the novel all over again.
Close to Home. Farmer was partially inspired to write The House of Scorpion after she and her husband encountered a dying Mexican man in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. The man was severally dehydrated and lost after fleeing from border patrol. Farmer and her husband gave the man water and helped him to the nearest city, but never learned what happened to him after that.