For this litspiration challenge on characterization, we had to pick a character by recording a round table and create a "playlist" with ten songs that we thought they would listen to based on the information we were given on the character in the book. We hope you enjoy!
1. Forever Young by Jay Z Feat. Mr. Hudson (picked by Osereme)
In the book El Patron lived longer than any human being, because of scientific advancement call Fetal Brain Implants. Because of that, El Patron was 143 when Matt was 9. Forever Young by Jay Z Featuring Mr. Hudson, was a song that related well, especially the chorus sung by Mr. Hudson, because of these following lyrics:
I wanna be forever young
El Patron grandson is called El Viejo (that means "the old one") because he looks older than his grandfather. Matt describes El Viejo as “not being able to string a sentence together” (Farmer 106). Matt also goes on to say that although El Patron is very old, he still has a sharp mind, unlike El Viejo. So compared to El Viejo, El Patron is younger looking.
When El Patron is at his party and says, “As long as there is mice to catch, I intend to keep on hunting”, it means that El Patron want to live as long as possible(Farmer 101). That is what Forever Young is also saying, that that they want to live young.
2. I Got Your Back by Gerald and Eddie LeVert (picked by Osereme)
This song was inspired by page 62 to 63 because on those pages El Patron says how Matt is the most important part of his life and how he is not to be mistreated. Now only does this express El Patrons love for Matt, it shows that under all that hard and authoritative exterior that there is someone that is a “softie” and shows emotion for the things and people he cares about. The song replicates this scene through a couple different things. First, through the fact that song is sung by a father and son because that captures the love, emotion, and affection through a father and son have that can’t be written down. Secondly, through the lyrics. The lyrics express that solid relationship and the love that the father and son have. An example from the lyrics would be:
And I’ll go to the war for you or
I’ll always be there for you or
But I’m the one to pick you up when you are down
3. Mirror by Justin Timberlake (picked by Osereme)
When El Patron says, “He is my clone.”, I immediately thought of the songs Mirror by Justin Timberlake. Timberlake is describing how someone is like his mirror and the other half to him. In The House of the Scorpion, the song Mirror is almost is the perspective of El Patron when first meeting Matt. Matt is literally El Patron reflection and together they are essentially two reflections into one, just as the lyrics says.
The lyrics in the song that stood out to be was:
Two reflections into one
Cause it’s like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me.
Also when El Patron called Matt mi vida (mi vida means "my life") another part of the song connected with this part of the book (Farmer 56). This part of the song goes as follows:
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold.
I thought it connected because El Patron starts calling Matt “my life”, it shows that Matt was worth more to be than anyone else to El Patron. Also when El Patron is leaving the Alacran Estate, he says that Matt is to be treated with respect, just as he is, was also another example.
I also choose this song because of the very beginning of the song. It goes low, high, low, low, low, high, low and it goes on. This relates to El Patron because it describes his mood. He’s happy for awhile then is mad or angry to a longer period. At his birthday, it seemed that he enjoyed telling his story, but once the crowd didn’t clap loud enough, his mood dropped (Farmer 101).
4. I Want It All by Queen (picked by Osereme)
At El Patron’s 143rd birthday, El Patron talks about this hard journey to the top. He says that he outlived his family members as he outlived his enemies. The song I want it all relates perfectly to this scene for two reasons. One, because of one line in the song that goes:
It ain’t much I’m asking, I heard him say,
Gotta find me a future move out of my way
The line describes a person's determination to succeed even though the odds may be against them. This was what, I though, El Patron’s attitude was when journeying to the top. Two, the song sets a tone of determination with a hint of desperation, the same tone that I was sensing when El Patron was talking about his journey to the top. I thought that was the song’s tone because of the line below and the way the person sang it:
...move out of my way
5. Witchcraft (Rob Swire Drumstep Mix) by Pendulum (picked by Azhar)
This song is mostly instrumental, so most of the meaning is in the mood of the song. The beginning of the song is quite light and happy (we’ll call this part light). The song changes from that light part into a very dark and fast part (we’ll call this part dark). The song becomes light again, but it changes into dark yet again. At the end, dark and light are actually mixed, but eventually the dark part overpowers the light part. This song could be a representation of El Patron’s mind. He is always nice towards Matt (the light part of the song), but he is quite the opposite when not around Matt. Since he is a very powerful drug lord (and the fact that Tam Lin defines him as a huge twisted tree), El Patron is assumed to be evil and, at the point I am in the book, mysterious.
6. Add it Up by The Kinks (picked by Azhar)
This song is about how money, wealth, and power can corrupt you. The lyrics for this song can very easily be used to describe El Patrons greed. The lyrics that I thought described it were:
Money can't cover up the fact you're getting older every day
And you can't disguise your sad little eyes that give your loneliness away
El Patron is very greedy and can never let any part of his wealth go. He used his power, wealth, and influence to even break the law. I think the lyrics are very powerful and really match up with El Patrons greedy personality. Evidence from the book that may imply that is:
The flow of wealth should be from the outside (Farmer 107)
You’d need a wallet as big as the Grand Canyon to hold El Patrons paper money (Farmer 107)
The lyrics seem to be from the perspective of someone observing the rich person, so in perspective of the book, this song would be from the perspective of someone El Patron may have harmed. I believe that this song, and El Patron, are meant to be together forever and ever.
7. Money by Pink Floyd (picked by Jessica)
This song was inspired by page 107. El Patron said, “You can tell how much someone loves you by the size of the present.” He also said, “The flow of wealth should be from the outside.” As you can see El Patron is very greedy and so is the song Money- Pink Floyd. “Money, It's a gas, Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.” I was thinking on how El Patron made him money, and after I listened to this song... I thought maybe he stole some of it. He said he was poor so how did he make his money?? “Money, So they say, Is the root of all evil today.” (Money - Pink Floyd). A lot of people in the book said that El Patron was evil, “He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.”
8. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People (picked by Jessica)
Pumped up Kicks is about shooting people with pumped up kicks. It has no relation to that. It's the idea of being in charge and telling people what to do and boss them around. For example if El Patron doesn’t like someone he can turn them into eegits. In the song the guy says, “all the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun... I think this part relates because El patron is saying to the people they better run, better run before he catches them. El Patron has a lot of power. “And I don't even know what but he's coming for you, yeah, he's coming for you.” El Patron is very sneaky and he could be watching everyone around the house, coming for them...
9. I've Got it All by Modest Mouse (picked by Jessica)
“Every instance , How can someone inconsistent mess up so consistently” There is no page in the book that shows El Patron think this about Matt. I think that El Patron is thinking this because Matt messes up a lot, and so did he. He knows that Matt is just like him, and he might be wondering why does he mess up.This quote from the song is inspired from page 101: “What a shock it's mister sweet and awful.” I think that mister sweet and awful is El Patron. “He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.” On page 101 El Patron is telling his story, “Matt thought the audience looked bored, although they tried to conceal it.” “”I have outlived all of them all as I outlived all my enemies Of course I can always make more enemies.” El Patron looked around the audience, and several people tried to smile.” This links to the sweet awful part in the book because no one wants to listen to him anymore, and he can be nice at times and also mean. “I've got it all, most, I've got it all almost all figured out.” He is rich and doesn’t care what people think about him.
10. Big Money by Rush (picked by Jessica)
This song connects to El Patron because it is talking about how if you have a lot of money you get to be in power. “Big money got a mighty voice.” This is if El Patron doesn’t like someone he can do whatever he wants with him/her. Just like how El Patron turned rosa into an eegit for mistreating Matt. He also wanted his clone to still have a brain, so they let him. “Big money got a mighty voice, Big money pull a million strings , Big money hold the prize” This also connects to what I said before... “Sometimes pushing people around, sometimes pulling out the rug, Sometimes pushing all the buttons, Sometimes pulling out the plug,” he can have anyone as his body guard and can control the people around him, (push people around). El Patron is like a big bully, everyone listens to him. “It's the power and the glory, It's a war in paradise,” and he only bosses people around for the power and paradise of being rich.