82 pages • 2 hours readNeal Shusterman
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“Connor wonders how he can call the place he lives home, when he is about to be evicted—not just from the place he sleeps, but from the hearts of those who are supposed to love him”
Throughout the novel, Unwinds share stories of betrayal. Connor wonders how he can go home to a place where no one wants him. Not only have his parents neglected to tell him he is going to be unwound, but they also neglect to tell him he won’t be going on vacation with them. This passage addresses both the concept of familial love and childhood trauma.
“What do you mean ‘change’? Dying is a little bit more than ‘change’”
When Risa hears that she is to be unwound, she gets upset but is told to calm down because change is always scary. For Risa, to call unwinding a “change” allows the others to distance themselves from what the act of unwinding truly is—a death sentence.
“And to our parents! Who have always done the right thing. The appropriate thing. Who have always given generously to charity. Who have always given 10 percent of everything to our church. Hey, Mom—we’re lucky you had ten kids instead of five, otherwise we’d end up having to cut Lev off at the waist”
Lev’s brother lets his speech drip with sarcasm, suggesting that though what is being done might be deemed appropriate, it certainly doesn’t make up for what is happening to Lev. The image of Lev being cut in two shatters the idea that in making Lev a tithe, his parents are being pious; instead, his brother reveals it for what it really is—an act of violence against one of their children.
By Neal Shusterman