Unwind Questions and Answers
by Neal Shusterman

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Why at the end of every chapter, does a character or the main character get hurt?

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The decision to have a main character get hurt or in trouble at the end of each chapter is a decision made by the author.  The story doesn't have to be written that way, but that is what Shusterman decided to do.  The decision makes sense though, because what that does is essentially end each chapter with a cliffhanger.  Readers do not like to stop reading right at the edge of a cliffhanger, so the reader is motivated to keep on reading.  By ending each chapter in this fashion, Shusterman is providing a slight nudge toward readers to keep reading the book.  TV shows do this all the time too.  Most notably shows like Lost, 24, and Prison Break.  By ending each episode with a big "what will happen?" scenario, the creators of the show increase the chances of that viewer watching the next episode to find out the answer.  Unwind uses this same tactic with decent effect.  

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jessdave | Student

  There appears to be a two-fold reason to the misfortune that befalls a character at the end of each chapter. The first is to create a tension that propels readers onto the next chapter motivating them to read to the end of the book. The plot is slow in spots so this drama compels the reader through some difficult subject matter. The second is more to coincide with the dystopian landscape where the characters reside. Unwind discusses frequently the "perfect world" that people believe they live in and how the Unwinds themselves can see past this facade into the true dark heart of the society. A character being placed in harms way shows the reader the duality of the world and the peril that the characters face regularly. This adds tension as mentioned above but it also adds depth to the environment and shows why the characters are struggling to be free from the world and its harshness.