In the novel unwind by Neil Shusterman shows us a world where abortion is banned. As result of that there is a huge population of unwanted children. To deal with the overgrowing population the government have passed a law called the ‘bill of life’. This law states that a child can be signed over by their parents to get unwound which means getting dissected into vivisections. Then their body parts are donated to others in need. In this society one of the main conflict are the AWOL teenagers. This conflict leads the audience to three other conflicts man vs self, man vs nature and man vs society. Man vs self-conflict is when a person goes through a mental and physical struggle. In the novel Connor who is one of the unwind goes through this conflict. This conflict starts when he decides to run away from his house because he had been signed over to be unwound by his parents. When Connor and his two friends are running away Connor learns to control his overwhelming anger.we know this because when Roland is trying to rape Lisa (Connor’s friend) connor notices and wals away making Lisa angry. At the start we see that Connor is a really rebellious but as he travels with his friends he learns to control over his anger. This was really necessary because later on in the novel this quality helps Connor become the new caption of the —–.
Man vs. Self – Connor
Man vs. Self is a type of conflict where a character in the book is up against themselves through mental and physical struggles. In the book, Connor goes through many struggles and conflicts with himself. From the very beginning of the book he had to make an extremely tough decision; one that would change his life forever. “‘We should run away,’ Ariana says,” (Shusterman 4). Connor’s friend Ariana suggests that they should run away to escape his unwinding. He had agreed to leave home and “kick AWOL”, leading a new life running away from the Juvey Cops. His decision to leave without Ariana in the end may have saved his life. It allowed him to escape and to avoid capture. Also, when Connor was on the freeway, if Ariana was with him he may not have rescued Lev or got with Risa. This decision changed his life and in the end probably made his life more exciting, as well as saved him from capture. Connor’s bravery and decision making within himself shows that
he overcame any conflicts that he faced, even when facing them alone. Man vs. Man conflict is when two characters in a book are enemies and must battle out their differences. In the book Unwind, Connor and Roland become enemies from the moment they meet in Sonia’s basement. (Sonia is an elderly lady who helps hide Unwinds from the Juvey Cops.) Roland puts up his guard around Connor, because he feels the need to have everyone under his control at all times. He is definitely not keen on the idea of Connor coming in and taking his spot as the “Alpha Male”. The feud between Connor and Roland only continues and grows, becoming more and more dangerous. Only when Risa informs Connor of Roland’s real intentions does he understand the potential danger at hand, ” ‘A kid like Roland doesn’t want to fight you. He wants to kill you,’ ” (Shusterman 147). Up until this point Connor was sure he could fight Roland and win, never did he think he was at risk for death. Several close encounters occur in the book where they almost beat each other up, but the major conflict lies in the end of the book. At Happy Jack Harvest Camp, once Roland and Connor are alone in the bunks, he uses this moment to his advantage. Roland picks a fight with Connor, eventually getting him to start swinging. When Connor is pressed against the wall, Roland’s hand around his neck cutting off his air supply, he thinks this is the end but then the unexpected happens. Connor falls to the floor gasping for air, his windpipes finally free: “Roland looks at the hand that came so close to taking Connor’s life. He wasn’t able to go through with it,” (Shusterman 279). Finally, Connor is free of Roland.
Man vs. Nature – Running Through the Wild
When man is up against nature, sometimes the struggle might be too tough to withstand. In Connor’s case, whether he’s running across an interstate full of cars speeding towards him, or weaving his way through a forest to escape the cops, he always pulls through. In the beginning of the book, soon after Connor decides to run away, he finds himself running through the forest with another girl named Risa, both trying to escape their unwinding. When a Juvey Cop runs down Connor and Risa they concoct a plan within seconds to use the forest to their advantage. While Connor hides in the high branches of a tree, Risa pretends to have a broken arm at the base of the tree. She calls
for help and Connor knocks the cop out. A perfect plan, a perfect team. Not even the unfamiliar, dark forest can stop these Unwinds, because they can and will conquer any obstacle that comes their way.
Man vs. Society – Connor, Risa, and Lev vs. Unwinding
When a character in a book has trouble with society, whether they are not accepted socially or viewed as a threat, this is called Man vs. Society conflict. In the book Unwind, Connor Lassiter and his friends Risa and Lev are children who are up against a society of adults who want to catch them and have them unwound.They are put through a constant struggle trying to weave their way out of numerous obstacles while still having to avoid the dangerous juvey cops waiting to catching them. It’s a constant struggle, everyday, knowing you are unwanted by society as a whole. There is no place for the young teenagers to turn to, except when they finally meet a woman named Sonia, who hides them in her basement for a little while until a truck picks them up, claiming to take them to a place of protection from their unwindings. The teenagers finally end up in an area called “The Graveyard”, finally free from society because they are in the middle of a desert. Even when obstacles are thrown at these characters such as an entire town coming after them, they will keep running for their lives.