‘Unwind’ is a novel that was authored by Neal Schutserman. The novel is predominately set within a dystopian society that permits parents to give their children’s body part as donation. This article would present a brief summary of the novel. The novel is characteristically divided into seven different parts. It should also be noted that the book is divided into four book series. The book is based on the three important characters, Risa, Connor and centres around their life after the second civil war. The society in those times was based on the influential impact of the U.S military, Pro-Choice War and the Pro-Life War. Further, the story unravels that in those times, the parents could choose to individually unwind or get rid of their unwanted children. This refers to the fact, that the parents could choose to get their unwanted children euthanized or get the bodies of the unwanted children as donation. It should be stated in this context, that the major plot of the story centres on the ethical rights of the children. The further paragraphs would characteristically delve deeper into the plot of the story. The novel ‘Unwind’ is set within a dystopian society which is the reverse of a ‘utopian society’. The story is centred on United States and initiates at the end of the Second Civil War. The primary agenda of the war revolved around the mortality issue associated with abortions. The government recommends the option of ‘Unwinding’ as a potential solution to appease the Pro-Life and the Pro-choice armies. It is important to note in this context that unwinding is a type of retroactive abortion where the parents are legally permitted to give away their children up to the age of 13 to the government, so that the government could get their bodies dismembered and distribute the organs of the children to those in need of organ transplants. Further, it has also been mentioned in the novel that teenagers that could escape from the ritual and were not given to the government up to the age of 13 years of age could survive for the rest of their lives. The irony of the situation is ‘unwinding’ was considered legal and was permissible but premature abortion was considered illegal within the society.
Connor Lassiter is one of the protagonist of the Story who is sixteen years old and is a victim of the unwinding process. It so happens that Connor finds out about the contracts that his parents signed and how his parents planned to get him unwound and give him away to the government to get him euthanized such that his body parts could be donated to people who were in need of organ donation or transplants. Connor finds out about the agreement and runs away from his home. In the pursuit to get away from the hell and survive, he happens to meet the other two characters, Risa and Lev. On meeting the other two characters, he comes to know that Risa is also an ‘unwinder’ like him. On the other hand, Lev happens to be a ‘tithe’. In this context, it should be mentioned that ‘tithe’ is a child who is destined to be unwound in future and is taught to accept the process of ‘unwinding’ as a way of life.
Connor on meeting Risa and Lev associates himself with their feelings and sets out on a spree to exhilarate them from the pain and sufferings that follows post the unwinding process. Connor decides to lead Risa and Lev and becomes the leader of the escape journey to save themselves from the unwinding process. At a significant instance in the story, Connor happens to shoot a cop with his tranquilliser gun and this acquires him the label of Akron AWOL. In the process, Connor comes in contact with many other unwinders and the group of unwinders consider him as a visionary leader. Other unwinders look up to him as a saviour who had raised his voice and fought against the brutal unwinding law. Lev in this case struggles to run away from unwinding and in the attempt he happens to mess up and as a result he parts his ways from Risa and Connor.
Connor and Risa continue with the revolution and end up within an underground rail road which is a secret network that is operated by the Admiral. The Admiral works to offer protection to children who are running away from the unwinding process and work for the welfare of the children who do not want to be unwound. The Admiral decides to rescue the children who were escaping from the ‘unwinding process’ and in the pursuit to offer protection, ships the children to the graveyard. In the process, Roland the villain of the story who is on his spree to retrieve the children to get them unwound, catches hold of them and transports them to the Harvest Centre.
The plot assumes a twist and at the Harvest Centre, the third character Lev shows up with a group of children who belonged to the cult community of clappers. Clappers were basically suicide bombers and before the cult community could implement their action to practice, Roland unfortunately falls victim to the process of unwinding. Soon after Roland, Connor becomes the target for unwinding. The plot offers a twist, where in the pursuit of saving Connor from the process of getting unwound, the clappers decide to blow him up and with Connor ends the revolutionary struggle against the unwinding process.
The story sheds light on the brutal torture that the children experienced during the second civil war. Unwinding is definitely not the correct solution to the problem. The irony of the fact being that the children were not the masters of their destiny who had planned their birth and existence. The author has brilliantly highlighted the pathos and agony of the children and has urged people within the society to take strong actions so as to protect the human rights of the children and transform the society into a better place to live in.
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