Chapter 8 – The Eejit in the Dry Field
Matt and Tam Lin depart for their picnic via horseback. Matt sees farm laborers working in the opium fields for the first time. He sees a many lying on the ground that has died of thirst. Matt is troubled that nothing could be done to help him. Cleanup crews will come for the man at the end of the day. The two will walk the final length of the trip as the horses are programmed to stay on the farm – the horse is a “Safe Horse” and has an implant to keep it from bolting or jumping, and even eating or drinking without a verbal command.
Tam Lin has taken Matt to an “oasis” off the property that El Patron does not know about and promises Matt to keep it a secret. Tam Lin wanted to tell Matt a few things without being spied on: Matt learns of the cloning process, why people dislike clones, and his relationship with El Patron. Matt also learns that eejits are similar to the “Safe Horse” in that they are programmed to do a specific task. Teacher will not return as she has now been programmed to mend curtains/peel potatoes. Tam Lin takes on a teacher role of sorts for Matt.
- Describe the farm workers. What are they doing?
- What was the fate of the man lying on the ground (p. 77-78)? What does this say of the value placed on his life?
- Why won’t the horse leave the farm?
- Where was their picnic? Why did Tam Lin keep this place a secret?
- What was the purpose of the picnic?
- Does Matt really understand who or what he is?
- How does Tam Lin describe the cloning process?
- What is an “eejit?” Examples?
- Will Teacher come back?
- What will be done about Matt’s education?