What are some different types of conflicts in the novel Unwind by Neal Shusterman? 

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In the novel Unwind by Neal Shusterman, it is society's struggle against itself which leads to the Heartland War, a civil war between pro-life and pro-choice activists. To end the war, a disastrous policy is created that leads to the "unwinding," or killing, of children. In theory, the children live on because their body parts live on, but in reality, the children are killed. It is inside this conflict that the novel is set.

While a man vs. man conflict created the backdrop of the novel, the overarching conflict of the story is man vs. self. This is evident in the individual development of every major character, but it is most significantly shown through Lev’s character. Lev’s parents tithe him, and Lev willingly travels to the Harvest Center to be unwound.

Through his interactions with other children at the Harvest Center, Lev begins to question what he has always believed. Lev’s struggle is internal; he must overcome his conviction that he is destined to be unwound. This is not only a man vs. self conflict for Lev, but also a man vs. society conflict. Society teaches Lev that it is just for adults to choose to unwind their children. Lev believes that lie, and he struggles to accept the truth that his parents and pastor are wrong. It is Lev’s evolution from a believer to a doubter that enables society to change by the end of the novel.

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Man vs. man is a conflict type in this novel. Connor and Roland do not see eye to eye throughout the story, and their conflict comes to physical violence on a couple of occasions. Their conflict with each other affects other characters in the book, too, because many of the Unwinds at the Graveyard find themselves supporting either Connor's or Roland's viewpoint.

Man vs. self is another conflict type in the book. I think that the best example of this conflict type is found in Lev. His parents are having him unwound as a tithe. He has been raised to think that it is supremely special, but as the events of the novel unfold, Lev begins to doubt all of his former beliefs about unwinding. By the end of the novel, his attitude has been completely turned around. Lev is conflicted and struggles to reconcile his childhood beliefs with what he sees unwinding is really doing to young people.

Lastly, man vs. society can be found in Unwind. Connor and all of the other AWOL Unwinds are knowingly breaking the law by running away and hiding. The Admiral is intentionally caring for and hiding Unwinds because he disagrees with the procedure. Finally, the clappers turn themselves into suicide bombers in order to draw attention to the system and hopefully destroy it.

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