In Unwind by Neal Shusterman, can any of the characters be considered heroes? Who? Why and why not?

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lusie0520 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is possible to make a case that several of the characters in Unwind are heroes.  Here are the main three, in my opinion: Connor, Lev, and Admiral Dunfree.  Connor is an obvious choice because he is rebelling against a society that would take his life just because his parents are tired of dealing with him.  Instead of going quietly to be “unwound,” Connor fights and escapes.  He demonstrates bravery when he does this, but his heroism is shown throughout the novel when he tries to help others, such as Lev, survive, too.  Connor shows the reader that the decision made by his parents is the wrong decision—he is a good and honorable person who can, and does, make a difference in the world. 

Lev is also a hero.  As a tithe, at first he believes he should do what society expects of him.  In fact, throughout the novel, he is resentful of Connor for saving him.  He even turns Connor in, but he regrets his actions later on.  Lev’s heroism is displayed when he finally begins to doubt the ethics of unwinding, and he saves Connor’s life.

One can also make the case that Admiral Dunfree is a hero.  Although he is definitely not a hero in the traditional sense, what he is doing is heroic.  He saves the unwinds by keeping them in “The Graveyard” until they are 18.  Like Lev, he believes in the Bill of Life, but he changes his mind when his own son is unwound.