In 2002, the year The House of the Scorpion was first published, there was over 5,000 tons of Opium produced for both illegal and legal purposes. That is 2.5 TIMES the amount produced in 1980. Still, estimates show that to meet medical demand, opium production should be around 25,000 tons/year (Wikipedia 1). Opium is a big issue in The House of the Scorpion, as the country of Opium has based its whole economy on what we think of as illegal drugs. In Opium, from what I can gather, all drugs are legal. Opium made and agreement with the USA. That was that they would not ship drugs to them (the USA), however, this just meant that drugs were shipped to Africa, Europe, and Asia instead. In our world today, illegal drugs (narcotics) are a problem on the streets. Drugs such as heroine or morphine can be derived from poppies, which, in turn, opium is derived from. These are some select moments where Matt is given hints or understands the problem with drugs.
“… The cleanup crews at the end of the day will find him.” (Farmer 78) (In reference to the dead eejit in the field)
He understood the full extent of it now. It wasn’t only the drug addicts throughout the world or the Illegals doomed to slavery. It was their orphaned children as well. You could say the old man was responsible for the Keepers. (Farmer 368)
Another issue I noticed was cloning. National Geographic recently published a magazine with cloning as a topic on the front cover. Intrigued, I read it. What I found inside stunned me. Cloning is possible! But humans, as a race, are considering whether it is moral and ethical. Would adapted ecosystems be harmed from the reintroduction of extinct species? Do we, as a race owe it to the species to revive them because we made them go extinct?
Why had the fierce man called him a “little beast”? And why had Emilia told Maria he was a “bad animal”?
It had something to do with being a clone and also, perhaps, the writing on his foot. (Farmer 34)
Drug production, except medicinal purposes is bad for our world, as this book shows. And again, from what I gather, cloning of humans for organs is legal in many countries in The House of the Scorpion. And what I have to say to that is: Would you kill yourself for your own organs in another version of you?