What are some real-world conflicts in the book Unwind.

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that one of the main real-world conflicts that Unwind wrestles with is the issue of abortion.  Before chapter 1 even begins, readers are told that a second civil war has occurred.  On one side of the conflict was the Pro-life army, and the other faction was the Pro-choice army.  Interestingly, neither side won the war.  A treaty of sorts was created called The Bill of Life.  

The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched
from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen.

However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively "abort" a child . . .

Readers are told that this agreement appeased both sides of the conflict.  Children must be born, but abortion can still happen between the ages of 13 and 18.  

It would seem that the Pro-life faction would never agree to such a thing.  Why would a Pro-life supporter think that aborting a teenager is okay? The answer is that "unwinding" is possible.  Unwinding is the process by which every single piece of the unwound child is harvested and used in an organ donation process.  People consider unwinding a process that allows a child to be aborted and killed while at the same time stay living . . . in pieces.  

. . . the child's life doesn't "technically" end.
The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called "unwinding."

The process of unwinding brings up the real world issue of organ donation.  Some people do not agree with the process, but other people think it is a wonderful gift.  Unwinding is an interesting concept because no part is wasted.  It is all used.  That is not possible with today's technology; however, the Admiral brings up an interesting point about organ donation and unwinding.  

"If more people had been organ donors, Unwinding never would have happened."

The above are not the only real-world issues that the book brings up.  Child abandonment is definitely an important issue brought up in the book.  Since a mother cannot abort her child, she must give birth to it.  That does not mean the mother has to keep the child.  Many mothers decide that abandoning their baby on someone's doorstep is a viable option.  This process is called "storking." 

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his novel, Unwind, Neal Shusterman addresses numerous real-life, real-world issues.  Presumably the most obvious of the issues touched upon in the story is that of the huge conflict between pro-life and pro-choice supporters.  This conflict is the basis for the bill that is passed that gives parents the choice to unwind their teenaged children.

Some other societal concerns that play roles in Shusterman's book are euthanasia, parental rights, terrorism, organ transplants (especially considering what many find to be questionable scientific advances and ethics), and religious extremists.  Shusterman does not shy away from bringing controversial topics into play in his writing.

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his novel, Unwind, Neal Shusterman addresses numerous real-life, real-world issues.  Presumably the most obvious of the issues touched upon in the story is that of the huge conflict between pro-life and pro-choice supporters.  This conflict is the basis for the bill that is passed that gives parents the choice to unwind their teenaged children.

Some other societal concerns that play roles in Shusterman's book are euthanasia, parental rights, terrorism, organ transplants (especially considering what many find to be questionable scientific advances and ethics), and religious extremists.  Shusterman does not shy away from bringing controversial topics into play in his writing.

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Unwind

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