So... my group and I have already discussed many elements and ideas in our second round table discussion, but here is some of my personal insight into the beginning of the book! I'll be focusing on just a couple elements and going deep, rather than scratching the surface of many elements.
To me, the depth of the book began even before I started reading. The title, " The House of the Scorpion" holds so much, and now that I have read on, the concept is further developing. At first glance, it would seem this book is about scorpions. I see it as a metaphor of evil and corruption having control. Since I am now further in, I've discovered that the symbol for the Alacran family is the scorpion, and I think this builds on my original idea, as I now believe that the evil and corruption is the Alacran estate, or possibly El Patron himself, as we can already infer that there is darkness and greed within, thanks to Farmer's superb use of foreshadowing.
Along with this foreshadowing, another element of the novel that is prominent to me is the way Farmer moves and controls the narrative. I find there to be an excellent use of mystery, as I am constantly questioning myself as well as the book, wanting to develop my knowledge and find answers, and yet Farmer is able to keep me asking questions at the same time. All of that, and she manages to make it engaging and not insanely confusing!
Having said that, there was one area that had my brain going crazy. The whole concept of Matt's trauma and consequent avoidance of interaction really intrigued me, but at times left me a bit too confused. I found myself contradicting what the book said and what I thought, and vise versa. By page 49, I essentially just decided to wait it out and see what Farmer had to say, because my head was spinning at why Matt was isolating himself and why he was making the choices he was.
Before I make this a novel itself, I'd like to touch on one last idea: metaphors. In the start of the novel, one prominent metaphor I could infer was that of Matt's want for a green meadow of grass. To me, this was a metaphor for hope and life, as opposed to drugs and corruption, which are the poppies. As we continue to learn more about the opium fields and their role, I believe me point is reinforced. Throughout what I've read so far, smaller metaphors have been popping up, and they continue to build upon each other and support different ideas and themes such as power, corruption, prosperity, morality, hope, and greed.
Oh gosh. I better stop before I write too much. So goodbye.
Hope you enjoyed my rambling :)