How do you think it would feel to be raised knowing that your body was going to be harvested, even if it was for a God? In the novel Unwind by Neal Shusterman, one of the characters changes drastically throughout the book. The book takes place in a future dystopian society where unwinding, a process where children between the ages of 13 and 18 have their body parts are harvested and sold as replacement body parts to other humans, is now a normal part of society. Three runaway unwinds go on a journey to fight for their lives. One of the main characters, Lev, develops greatly throughout the novel by firstly being a holy tithe, then questioning his faith, and eventually realizing that his purpose in life is not to be a tithe.
At the beginning of the novel, Lev is a tithe and believes that it is his destiny to let himself be unwound. He doesn’t believe in doing the wrong thing and tries his best to be ...view middle of the document...
As Lev continues on with Connor and Risa, he starts thinking about his situation. Eventually, he meets Cy-fi who changes his entire perspective on the process of unwinding, or on tithing to be exact. As Cy-fi has a mental breakdown caused by the body part he shares with an unwind named Tyler, Lev completely disregards what he previously thought about unwinding. He knows that this has changed him, stating, “He knows he’s been changed by this moment, transformed in some deep and frightening way (193).” He now knows that what he previously thought about God and religion in his old life isn’t how life is truly supposed to be. Although he is coming to terms with this revelation, Lev is still torn between believing what he has always known or believing what he is slowly starting to learn.
After being a runaway unwind for some time, Lev has finally accepted that his life isn’t what he thought. He now know that he doesn’t have to be a tithe and give up his body parts, but keep hidden so that he isn’t caught and unwound. Lev isn’t the young, innocent boy he used to be and gets involved with a group of clappers who put his life in danger numerous times. In fact, Lev says himself, “These are the kinds of people his parents would hate. He could join them just out of spite, but that’s not enough… Lev realizes that there is more… Anger, but just not anger: a will to act on it as well (230).” The old Lev never would have gotten himself in a dangerous situation, but would be trying to find his way back to a harvest camp to complete his tithing. He’s finally broken free of the religious restraints that have held him his whole life and sees the world in his own way now.
As much as Lev changes throughout the book, he still stays the same person on the inside.
Lev’s journey is one of self discovery that all people can learn from, child or adult. Instead of always believing what you’re told and what you grow up around, go out and discover the world through your own eyes. Things aren’t always what they seem, just like being unwound isn’t.