How did Lev change from the beginning of Unwind to the end?

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Lev begins the book as an obedient and docile boy but grows to better understand his own value as he learns to fight for what's right and go against the established rules of society.

Lev is a tithe. This means that his very religious family voluntarily gave him up to...

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Lev begins the book as an obedient and docile boy but grows to better understand his own value as he learns to fight for what's right and go against the established rules of society.

Lev is a tithe. This means that his very religious family voluntarily gave him up to be unwound. This means that he would be taken apart, and his body parts would be donated to others. He was willing to embrace this fate and even tried to bargain with Connor when they met so that he could continue on his way to be unwound.

After he tells about Connor and Risa's escape, he feels guilt. He doesn't want them to be caught, so he breaks the rules for the first time in his life to help them escape. This is a big change for his formerly-obedient character who had never broken a rule in his life. It also gave him more independence than he'd had before.

After he meets and travels with CyFi, he becomes more willing to do what needs to be done to protect himself and others. He's no longer the clean and honest kid he used to be. Instead, he's becoming a survivor. He ultimately agrees to be a clapper—someone who is infused with chemicals that makes their blood explosive. He chooses not to clap, however, showing how much he still values human life.

Lev goes from being a naive and willing tithe to a defiant and understanding clapper during Unwind.

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When we meet Lev, he is a tithe kid and proud of the gift he will be to the world. He believes whole-heartedly in unwinding and supports his family's choice to sacrifice him. As the story continues, however, Lev meets the other unwind kids and comes to understand the reality of not only how the unwinding process works but also what it's like to be a child who's not making the choice yourself. CyFy exposes Lev to the underbelly of the unwinding community and ultimately turns Lev against them.

Lev decides to become a clapper and intends to sacrifice his life to destroy the unwinding camp. Lev does not change as a person. He wants to contribute to the world. Once he is separated from this family, however, and forced to interact with other victims of unwinding, he sees that acting as a tithe isn't the way to change the world. His path is to save lives, not to stand by while they are taken.

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At first, Lev comes across as quite a spoiled, entitled character. His status as a tithe has given him a smug sense of superiority over others. Yet Lev's holier-than-thou attitude is wholly misplaced. Due to his upbringing—or brainwashing, as you might prefer to call it—he has no understanding of the inherent evil of the unwinding process. As such, he's puffed up with pride at being a tithe, and looks down upon the Unwinds, or "the terribles" as they're also called.

Over the course of the book, however, Lev acquires more wisdom and street smarts. He begins to realize the true nature of what unwinding really involves and how it destroys lives. As well as becoming more courageous, Lev starts breaking the rules, becoming ever more defiant of the accepted social norms. No longer naive in the ways of the world, he develops quite a cynical side to his personality, becoming in some ways rather an unattractive figure, as can be seen when he tricks a trader over a diamond bracelet.

Nevertheless, Lev's experiences as an outlaw don't completely hollow out his soul. He's still fundamentally a good young man, who wishes that his parents could take care of him once more, only this time properly. He also joins with Pastor Dan in expressing his wish to believe in a God who doesn't sanction the barbaric practice of unwinding.

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The most obvious way that Lev changed from the beginning of the story to the end of the story is in what he is called.  In the beginning of the story, Lev is a "tithe."  This means that he is willingly giving up his life to be unwound.  He will die so others may live.  At the end of the story, Lev is no longer a tithe.  He is a "clapper."  His body has been injected with an explosive compound that will explode if he gets hit hard enough.  What I find interesting is that whether Lev is a tithe or a clapper, he is still willing to give up his own life so that other people may live.  

But his motivation for dying is what the big change in Lev is.  At the story's start, Lev fully supports the unwinding process.  But at the end of the story, he is completely against the unwinding process.  That is why he becomes a clapper.  He wants to destroy the harvest camp. Ultimately, Lev goes from being a character that is kind, loving, and full of optimism, to being a character that is cold, hardened, and quite pessimistic.  

CyFi is the character that helps Lev see the dark side of unwinding, but CyFi only helps begin the change.  Unfortunately, the book Unwind does not clearly explain how or why Lev decides to become a clapper. Shusterman explains more about Lev's motivation to become a clapper in his short story "Unstrung."  It's a digital novella and a quick read.  

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