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Unwind

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by

Paige Koblitz

on 12 June 2014

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Transcript of Unwind

Unwind
Author
Neal Shusterman has always enjoyed writing, even as a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York. Upon graduating high school from the American School of Mexico City, Shusterman attended college at UC Irvine. He had a spot on the swim team, and he also wrote a humor column. In the year after he graduated, Shusterman already had a book deal, and took on the job of writing a movie script. Since then, he has wrote for movies and telvision shows. He has also wrote his own novels. Shusterman also has experience in film directing, writing music and stage plays, and developing games. He holds a high reputation as a great storyteller and speaker and is asked to speak at many schools and conferences for children and teens. Today, Neal Shusterman lives in Southern California with his four children.
Themes
Character Descriptions
Connor
Risa
Risa Megan Ward grew up a ward of the state in Ohio State Home 23. Her course of study in the State Home was piano. The reason for her unwinding was that there was not enough room in the State Home, and like many other teenagers living in State homes, the only alternative was to be unwound. From her time in the State Home, Risa learned how to care for people with injuries and illnesses, and she likes to help people too. Risa is very smart and always thinks ahead in order to survive.
Lev
Levi Jebediah Calder was born into a very religious family. Lev is the youngest of ten children. Before he was even born, it was already decided that he would be tithed-unwound as an offering to God. His whole life, he grew up thinking that being a tithe was special, and he actually wanted to be unwound. After being taken hostage by an AWOL unwind and realized no one was looking to save him, Lev called his pastor who told him to hide from the police to escape his unwinding. After this, Lev starts to question who he really is as a person and wonders if his life really has a true meaning. After his time with CyFi, Lev is affected in a way that makes him tougher emotionally. He becomes street smart in ways that help him to survive.
Connor Lassiter is a typical rebellious teenager. He doesn't always get good grades, he doesn't like to listen to his parents, and he gets in a lot of fights. His parents finally get tired of his attitude and sign the papers to have him unwound. Connor finds the papers before his parents tell him, and he decides kick-AWOL and hide out until he's 18. Although Connor sometimes makes irrational decisions, he is actually really smart and does what he can to survive. Other unwind kids look up to Connor and think of him as a leader even though Connor doesn't really try to win them over.
Plot Overview
Ethics
Power
Mind/Soul Consciousness
Character Map
Connor
Risa
Lev
Didi
Hannah
Roland
Mai
Hayden
Sonia
In a second civil war, known as the Heartland War, America is divided in half by Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. To end the war, The Bill of Life was passed which stated: "Human life may not be touched from the moment of conseption until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen a parent may choose to retroactively 'abort' a child on the condition that the child's life doesn't 'technically' end. The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called unwinding." Unwinding became an ordinary and accepted practice. Parents unwound their children for many different reasons. Most of the time rebellious teenagers got unwind because their parents didn't want to deal with the trouble they caused. Some families unwound their children as an offering the god of their religion. These children were known as "tithes". Foster children were also common to unwinding. If a State Home got too full, many children were chosen to be unwound to relieve the problem. When the unwind order is signed, the child being unwind is sent to a harvest camp where they're body parts are then separated and sent to where they can be used. Newborn babies could also be storked. This means that the parent of the child can leave the baby on a random doorstep, and if they aren't caught by the homeowner, then the homeowner is obliged to take the baby in as their own and raise it.
Quotes
Connected Reading
Cyrus "CyFi" Finch
All Runaway Unwinds
The Admiral
Emby
Diego
The Admiral
The Admiral was a former admiral of the U.S. Navy. He fought and helped put an end to the Heartland War. Since he was one of the founders of the Unwind Accord, he was expected to set and example, and he unwound his son. The Admiral is the mastermind of the Graveyard. The kids must obey his rules and his rules only. He has helped save thousands of unwind lives.
"There was a time, shortly after the Bill of Life was passed, that Dumpsters such as that would be tempting to girls like her. Desperate Girls who would leave unwanted newborns in the trash. It had become so common that it wasn't even deemed newsworthy anymore-it had become just a part of life...Thank goodness for the Storking Initiative, that wonderful law that allows girls like her a far better alternative."
"He wishes he could truly take these waste-of-life out rather than just taking them down."
Society Structure
Protagonist
& Antagonist
You could say that the main antagonist is the country and it's laws against the unwinds. When you go deeper into the story, you can see that Connor is the protagonist of the story and most of the time he's going against Roland.
Survival
"You can't change laws without first changing human nature."
Both are similar in that they have governments that are super controlling of their lives. The main characters of the books have no say in what happens in their lives, but both fight for survival although they are suppose to die.
Roland
Roland had planned on being a military boeuf, but even the military thought he was too hard core for them. He has anger issues. He got into a lot of fights at school. Roland was sent to be unwound because he beat up his stepdad for beating his mother, and in the end his mother took her husband's side. Upon meeting Connor, Roland is threatened by him. Roland is always trying to get people on his side even if it means sucking up to them. He wants to look like he's in power, and he would do almost anything to achieve that.
Hayden
Hayden's parents chose to unwind him after going through a very bad divorce. They had him unwind because both didn't want the other parent to have custody of him. He has a very sarcastic attitude, but he also asks a lot of serious questions in hopes of stirring up some conflict. He never seems to want to give his own opinion about anything though.
Mai
Mai was born into an Asian family. Her parents kept trying to have a boy, but they had four girls before that happened. Mai was the fourth of the four girls, and she was chosen to be unwound. She has a sort of "I hate the world" attitude, which is probably what leads her to become a clapper-a sort of suicide bomber who injects explosives into their blood and is set off by clapping.
Cyrus "CyFi" Finch
Unlike most characters in the book, CyFi is not an unwind. He grew up in a "yin family" which means he had to fathers. He was in an accient where he was hit by a car while riding his bike. It caused a lot of brain damage, but with unwinding it's easy enough to replace the brain tissue. Usually a patient with this injury is suppose to get a mixture of brain bits from different people, but CyFi's dads paid off a surgeon to give him an entire replacement from one unwind donor. This worked out to his disadvantage though as CyFi then had a sort of split personality, because the donor brain still had some control over his part of the brain. The unwind part of the brain makes CyFi steal lots of things, although stealing is always wrong in CyFi's own beliefs. The unwind compels CyFi to go back to his hometown in Joplin, Missouri, so CyFi runs away from home to go there. This is when Cyrus meets up with Lev. CyFi finally makes it to the unwind's house, and his dads are there waiting for him. The unwind part of his brain still thinks that he is alive, and in order to get some closure he needs his parents to tell him that they won't unwind him, so they do.
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