In Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers, how has the main character, Reese, changed from the beginning of the book to the end of the book?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way in which Reese has changed is in his understanding that the world is larger than his own plight.  In being able to empathize with and channel his energies towards Icy, his growing friendship with Mr. Hooft, and reflection about the world and his place in it, Reese has changed.  He begins to understand what is "real" and what is not.  The elements that are not "real" are the elements that landed him in prison in the first place.  The conditions that were real, such as his love for his sister and standing up for that which is right, were not actively pursued in Reese's time leading up to Progress. Reese embraces these conditions of the real as a result of his time in Progress.

Another element that reflects the change in Reese is the embrace of complexity in his being.  Reese recognizes that there are challenges in maturation.  These challenges include when to fight, when to acknowledge one's own self, and when it is best to lose one's self in a higher ideal.  These acknowledgements of complexity arise as a result of his time in Promise.  In these ways, Reese becomes a fluid and rich character in Myers's text.

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