In the book Unwind by Neal Shusterman, how has Connor changed since the beginning of the book? Why has he changed this way?

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Unwind is a young adult dystopian novel written by Neal Shusterman . After the Second Civil War, fought by the pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement, and the government, ensuing legislation allows parents to “unwind” their children. Unwinding is a process where people between thirteen and eighteen years old are forced...

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Unwind is a young adult dystopian novel written by Neal Shusterman. After the Second Civil War, fought by the pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement, and the government, ensuing legislation allows parents to “unwind” their children. Unwinding is a process where people between thirteen and eighteen years old are forced into harvest camps. At the camps, their bodies are dissected and their body parts reused.

One of the main characters is Connor, a 16-year-old troublemaker. Connor’s parents choose to have him unwound to get rid of his delinquency. During his attempted escape, he earns the nickname “Akron AWOL” after taking a hostage and shooting a police officer.

At first, Connor only cares about himself and causing trouble. After a series of chance encounters with others destined to be unwound, as well as a series of stays at safe houses, Connor morphs into a courageous and selfless teenager. Because of his connections to others, he is ready to give his life if it means being able to save his new friends. This transformation is mirrored in his relationship with Risa, throughout which becomes more mature and giving.

At The Graveyard, Connor and Risa are willing to work until they turn 18 and become safe from the legislation. However, they learn there are other factions within the group who are more concerned with destroying all facilities which perform the unwinding functions.

Instead of joining these groups and potentially causing more death in a reckless manner like he would have at the beginning of the novel, Connor acts with more care. Connor has a newfound appreciation for life and eventually takes over control of The Graveyard.

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Connor becomes a kinder, more mature, and less impulsive person by the end of Unwind. He changes in these ways because he has a place where he fits in and finds people who care about him.

At the beginning of the book, Connor lives with his parents and his brother. He's not entirely happy, but there's no indication that any of his behavior is outside the realm of normal teenage rebellion. However, he is crafty. Once he discovers that he's being unwound, he gets better grades, treats his parents with more respect, and acts differently in the hopes that they will regret their choice. Then he leaves.

Connor is clearly an outsider in his own family. Once he becomes close with Risa and Lev, however, he finds a place that feels like home for the first time. He also learns that he's good at something. He can fix things that are broken. His responsibilities to his friends and towards The Graveyard give him something new to focus on. He no longer needs to act out for the sake of acting out.

Connor is kinder by the end of the book. He learns to slow down and think things through before leaping into situations. He's still willing to cause trouble, but there's usually a reason for it. Normally, the purpose is to improve the world in some way.

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As Connor must learn to fend for himself while fleeing for his life, he develops self-sufficiency and learns to trust others. From being an impulsive, hot-headed child, he develops into an adolescent who understands the value of strategizing and anticipating the moves of others as well as following his own instincts. Despite the difficulties the relationships frequently present, his alliances with Lev and Risa help Connor gain insight into the advantages as well as the risks of depending on others. Connor comes to accept his role as a leader once he learns that he is capable of being reliable, and that his actions actually matter in others’ lives.

Although he initially generates resentment when he intrudes into Lev’s supposed destiny, the impact stays with him as he learns he can make a difference. Connor’s interactions with adult authority figures, notably the Admiral, are also important steps to his maturing sufficiently to take on a major leadership role. Accepting that not all rules are arbitrary, for example, is a big step toward gaining the wider perspective he needs to keep the rebel followers organized into effective resistance. In confronting his attitudes toward the Admiral’s possible incorporation of unwound parts, Connor learns to accept ambiguity as an unavoidable aspect of life. His deep distrust of adults—understandable in light of his parents’ decision—can now be contextualized within specific situations.

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Connor begins the book as an impulsive and rebellious child.  That rebellious streak is the main reason that Connor's parents are having him unwound.  It's also what saves his life.  Had Connor simply sat at home, the unwind police would have taken Connor.  That would not have made for a very fun read.  Instead, Connor slips out during the night, hides in a truck at a truck stop, causes a major freeway accident, and kidnaps a kid named Lev.  All in the first chapter!  

Connor is for a sure a fighter as well.  He very much hates the societal system that exists, and he wants to fight against it by escaping.  But the way that Connor fights is probably the biggest change in him from the beginning of the novel to the end of the novel.  When the novel begins, Connor is incredibly selfish.  He only wants to watch out for himself.  His life is the most important life.  By the end of the novel though, he sees his life as equal to the other unwinds.  He is still just as much of a fighter and a rebel as ever, but at the end of the novel those character traits are focused on a larger goal.  The goal of helping other escaped unwinds.  

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