Albany Senior High School, Year 11 English - Unwind

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Information icon.svg ASHS Year 11 - Unwind
Description:
A collaborative text book structured and built by staff and students at Albany Senior High School
Subject:
Type:
Creator/Reviewer:
Date:
10/08/2010
License:
Contributors:
See: History
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Objectives
Key focusing questions for this topic:
  1. What are the most important events in the novel?
  2. What are the personalities of the central characters and relationships between them?
  3. How does the setting inform a reading of the novel?
  4. What big ideas does the novel explore?
  5. How does the style of the novel relate to its central ideas?




Plot



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Activity

Summarise the important events from each section of the novel. Use the questions as guides, include anything else you think is important.
If a section has already been filled out, refine, change (use the discussion tab) or add to what's already there.



Part 1 “Triplicate”

Connor Lassiter already realized that he is going to be unwound. He's starts talking to his friend Ariana about what he should do. Ariana gives him the idea of running away or kicking AWOL but Connor knows that he couldn't run away alone so he asks Ariana to come and she says sure. That night he packs his stuff and walks over to Ariana's house to see if she was ready. Ariana backs out and says she can't run away. Connor reluctantly leaves her house, and hitches a ride with a trucker. The next morning when Connor wakes up the Juvey-cops are at the door but Connor bolts out the door into the interstate. A tithe,(who we find out is named Lev),is in a car that is slowing down and Connor decides to "help" the tithe. They almost get run over by a bus which has StaHo kids from across the area going to different places. A girl named Risa, who was going to be unwound, is one the bus when the bus stops suddenly as Connor and Lev are passing. Risa bolts out of the bus as everyone is distracted and runs to the forest where she meets up with Connor and Lev. After Connor shoots a traq bullet into a guards leg the three Unwinds start traveling in the forest, trying to survive. At the end of the section they start walking into a city.

Part 2 "Storked"

Connor, Risa, and Lev go around a suburb trying to get different clothes to wear. While doing this, they find a newspaper and, upon reading it, realize that there is no report of them missing. They spot a police officer on the street and then decide quickly to get on a school bus to avoid detection. Right before Conner gets on the bus, though, he sees a storked baby waiting on a doorstep to be picked up. He feels terrible when he sees it and sees the people who live there expressions when they see the baby, like they don't want it. He decides impulsively to take the baby with them (which Risa and Lev aren't thrilled by). On the bus, Lev tries unsuccessfully to communicate to a student that he has been kidnapped by AWOL unwinds because he just wants to be tithed like he's known all his life. This escape attempt foreshadows what Lev will do in the near future. Connor and Risa (pretending the storked baby is her and Connor's own) meet a girl named Alexis, who is a single mother. Once the bus arrives at the school, the Unwinds decide to hide in the girl's bathroom to wait for an opportunity to escape. At one point during a passing time, however, Lev escapes in a crowd and goes to the office to report Connor and Risa. After informing the school administration about his kidnapping, Lev decides to call Pastor Dan and is shocked to find that Pastor Dan doesn't want Lev to be unwound. Lev learns that everyone outside of his family thinks he was already unwound, and that Pastor Dan wants him to seize this opportunity to create a new life for himself. This revelation causes Lev to become confused and lost. He panics about having told the school about Connor and Risa, and he impulsively pulls the fire alarm to create another opportunity for them to escape. Connor and Risa find it to risky to leave the school, so they hide in a science classroom during the school's evacuation. While in the classroom, though, the baby cries and catches the attention of a teacher named Hannah. Hannah is sympathetic and helps them avoid the police by directing them to a nearby safe house for Unwinds. Connor, Risa, and the baby go to the safe house, which is downtown in the back of an antique shop. At the safe house they meet Sonia, who leads them to a hidden basement where they meet other AWOL unwinds named Roland, Mai, and Hayden. A few days pass and Sonia makes all the AWOL's write letters to people they love from their old life that will be mailed when they turbn eighteen. Eventually the “Ice-Cream Man” comes to take the Unwinds from safe house to safe house until they arrive at a big warehouse full of other Unwinds.

Part 3 "Transit”

This is an appropriate title because "transit" refers to the act of passing across or through or passage from one place to another. During this section, the main characters are being moved from one place to another. The section begins with Lev, who we last saw calling the cops on Conner and Risa at the high school and then being trampled by the crowd evacuating the school. After he escapes from the school he meets a kid named CyFi. CyFi teaches Lev to sharpen his street smarts so he doesn't go hungry. During their travels, CyFi and Lev go into a Christmas shop and CyFi (who claims to hate stealing) thieves a shiny ornament. CyFi later explains to Lev that one eighth of his brain belongs to an Unwind, who sometimes takes over his mind and body. Next, we catch up with Risa and Conner, who are at the warehouse with hundreds of other Unwinds. Risa begins to realize the power games Roland is playing, and convinces Conner to think more strategically about how to take Roland down. Soon after, Roland tries to make a pass at Risa in the bathroom during Christmas dinner. Conner doesn't fall for the bait and instead listens to Risa's advice, managing to diffuse the situation.

Part 4 "Destinations"

The several of the characters reach important destinations: Risa and Connor end up in The Graveyard, while CyFi and Lev reach Joplin, Missouri, the home of Cy's transplanted brain's owner. The section begins at a pawn shop, where Lev tries to sell a diamond bracelet (stolen by CyFi/CyTy) to the pawnbroker in order to get some money. Over at the warehouse, Risa, Connor, and the other Unwinds are being herded by the fatigues into airline packing crates in groups of four. Connor gets into a fight with one of Roland's followers so he can avoid sharing a crate with Roland. Connor ends up “rooming” with Hayden, Emby (short for "mouth breather"), and Diego. As they travel in the darkened crate, the four wonder where they are being transported to. During the trip, they discuss whether unwinds are considered dead or alive, and whether they would rather be killed or unwound. Hayden then asks what happens to someone's soul when they get unwound, and it strikes up a big debate on their way. When the plane lands and the crates are opened, Risa finds out that they have landed in an airplane graveyard in the middle of nowhere and hears that five kids suffocated to death on their journey here. She worries about Connor's safety, but then finds him among a crowd of Unwinds who are waiting to receive clothes and food. At this point, The Admiral is introduced, Risa sees Roland, and the Unwinds find out they will remain in The Graveyard until they reach the safe age of eighteen. The book cuts over to Lev, who is following CyFi to Joplin, Missouri. CyFi's transplanted brain is telling him that he belongs in Joplin, although he's not sure what he'll find when he gets there. CyFi starts having a seizure-like tantrum as they are walking around in Joplin, and things begin to look familiar. CyFi follows the impulses over to the home where Tyler, the Unwind who unwillingly gave CyFi a part of his brain, lived. CyFi/CyTy realizes that Tyler's parents had him unwound, and that Tyler is not aware that he has been unwound. CyFi/CyTy requests a shovel from Tyler's parents, and digs up a briefcase full of stolen jewelry and shiny items that Tyler had previously buried. The police are there but not aware of the situation. Tyler/CyFi falls to his knees, begging his previous parents not to unwind him. Lev threatens the parents with a shovel, and forces them to tell Tyler, their unwound son, that they will not unwind him. Lev realizes that he is not safe in the presence of the police since he's an AWOL unwind, so he runs away.

Part 5 "Graveyard"

The newly arrived AWOL Unwinds face a tribunal of sorts with the top three that were designated by the Admiral to find what job they would be doing. Connor gets mechanic, Risa is assigned medic and Roland is learning how to fly a helicopter from "Cleaver" another high-up that isn't an Unwind like the other high-ups. During the course of a month the Unwinds get used to their lives in the Graveyard which include something called work call which Unwinds can nominate themselves to take a job they like. Also people grow suspicious of the Admiral because of his abnormally white teeth which they think are from a Unwind. Rumors fly that the Admiral is just here to pick and choose Unwinds. A few days later Lev shows up in the Graveyard. How he got there is unknown but he looks so different that at first Connor couldn't recognize him. A few days after this the Admiral summons Connor on the pretext that Connor needs to fix a coffeemaker. Admiral says that he hears of Connor a lot because of his fights and how they always resolve something. Connor realizes the coffeemaker is in working order and figures out there's something else the Admiral wants to talk about. The Admiral explains that Connor's feelings of unease around him are based on rumors. The Admiral wears dentures and he started this because of the mistake of letting his son be Unwound. The Admiral also shows him the dead bodies of his top five, the three that gave the tribunals, and two others newly arrived people meet. The Admiral wants Connor to be a spy and find out who killed them. The Admiral also tells Conner the whole truth about the Heartland War and how the Bill of Life came to be. Lev meets up with Cleaver, and two other kids who want to shake up things in the world. In the next few days Risa notices something going on with both Connor and Lev and tries to get to the bottom of it. The next work call Lev and his gang sign up for a job on an oil rig in Alaska. The Admiral admits to Emby, one of the people in Connor's crate when they arrived in the Graveyard has his son Harlan's lung. He sends Emby to his ex-wife to meet other parts of Harlan. It is then revealed that Harlan is the basis of a urban legend Humphrey Dunfee. After the inhabitants of the Graveyard realize people are missing people become a mob trying to the Admiral. Someone unplugs the power line which shuts down all power in the plane the Admiral and Risa are in, making the temperature soar to around 100. While this is happening Connor is trying to get a confession out of Roland that he killed the top five. When word reaches Connor about the mob he rushes over to try and help, leaving Roland. Connor gets the mob to stop and opens the door to a dying Admiral. He had a heart attack because of the heat in the plane. He rushes to Roland since he is the only one who can fly a helicopter since the mob killed Cleaver because he was associated with the Admiral after he makes a comment about suffocating. Connor figures out he killed the Goldens, the top five. They fly a helicopter to a hospital to try and save the Admiral. Admiral doesn't want a Unwound kids heart so they do what doctors did before the Heartland Wars. Roland turns in Connor, Risa, the people who live in the Graveyard and inadvertently himself. The Juvey-cops take away Roland, Risa and Connor to a harvest camp.

Part 6 "Unwound"

They arrive at the harvest camp and realize that exercise is a main focus. At every sports court there are either cameras for every person playing or people with clipboards watching to see how their body moves and if muscles work right. It is found out that Lev's group killed the Goldens by suffocation before Lev got there and they are planning on blowing up the harvest camp by being Clappers who are people who ,when they ingest a certain liquid, self-destruct if their blood comes out of their veins. Roland gets Unwound a few days later and the process is explained in detail for the first time. The person is conscious until they take the last chunk of themselves out. The law says that people being Unwound have to be able to see it happening to them and be awake. They don't feel pain because of a drug they inject in him. After Roland is gone it's Connor's turn. It's exactly the time the Clappers are going to detonate the building he's going into so Lev runs to Connor to try and save him as he walks into the building. Right after Connor walks in the build explodes as the two other Clappers explode. Lev doesn't. Lev runs in and saves Connor who is missing an arm and an eye, and Risa from the demolished building.

Part 7 "Consciousness"

At the hospital Connor wakes up and realizes he has Roland's arm and eye. The nurse gives him a fake I.D. which says he just old enough not to get Unwound. Risa turns out to be paralyzed from the waist down because she refused to be given parts of other people. She knew if she accepted she would be sent straight to another harvest camp. But since she's paralyzed shes unelligible to be harvested. Lev can't be Unwound because the fluid he drank to be a Clapper stays with you your whole life, even if he got rid of most of it. The authorities say they always knew about the Admiral's Graveyard but they left them there because it get the Unwound's out of the cities hair so Connor and Risa start that up again along with some of the surviving original Graveyard people. The Admiral lives but he lives in his house in Texas. Lev goes to live with his brother who never wanted him to be Unwound. At the Admiral's house there is a party going on with all of the people who have the parts of his son, including Emby to celebrate his Unwound son's 26th birthday.


Characters



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Activity

Fill out the tables for each character. Ensure you examine your novel to verify each entry before putting it into the wiki.
If a section has already been filled out, refine, change (use the discussion tab) or add to what's already there.



Primary Characters

Character Brief physical description Personality Motivations How they change Characteristation Image
Connor Lassiter [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What evidence is there to suggest he changes? His ways of thinking and decisions.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Risa Ward [What does she look like?] [How does she react under given circumstances?] [What drives her to do what she does? This could be personality and background.] [What evidence is there to suggest she changes? Her ways of thinking and decisions.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Lev Calder [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What evidence is there to suggest he changes? His ways of thinking and decisions.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]


Secondary Characters

Character Brief physical description Personality Motivations Characteristation Function Image
Roland [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
The Admiral [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
CyFi [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Pastor Dan [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Emby [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Cleaver [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Mai [What does she look like?] [How does she react under given circumstances?] [What drives her to do what she does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Hayden [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Harlan Dunfee [What does he look like?] [How does he react under given circumstances?] [What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) does Shusterman do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]



Setting



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Definition
Research setting and write your own, concise definition for it here! Cover all aspects of setting: social/political, physical and temporal/time.



The Heartland War



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Activity
Write a historical article detailing the causes and results of the Heartland War.


You may have to infer some of this information from what we learn in the novel.



Locations within the novel



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Activity
Design a tourist poster for one of the following locations in the novel or choose your own location. You are trying to encourage people to visit this location.
  • Include illustrations that accurately depict what this location looks like.
  • Describe what the location is like. Be as accurate as possible even though you may use adjectives that aren't particularly encouraging.
  • You may construct this with electronic tools or scan the finished product. Ensure you adhere to WikiEducator's copyright requirements when designing this resource.




Happy Jack Harvest Camp

[Upload poster here!]

The Graveyard

[Upload poster here!]

Antique Shop

[Upload poster here!]


Style

Terminology



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Activity
Neal Shusterman has created some new words and changed the meaning of some words to help him express new ideas.
Fill out the following table of words or phrases used in the novel.



Word/Phrase Definition Example of word/phrase in use
Harvest Camp
Storked
Unwind
Tithe
Boeuf
StaHo
Heartland War
Chop Shop
Umber
Sienna
Bill of Life
Clapper
The National Unwind Database
Juvey Cops
AWOL
Humphrey Dunfee
The "Goldens"


Euphemisms



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Definition
A euphemism is a mild word or phrase that's used to refer to something unpleasant or embarrassing.




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Activity
  1. Write definitions for the euphemisms below (add more if you can think of them.)
  2. Provide an example of a character using the euphemism in the book.
  3. Explain why the character may have chosen to express the idea using a euphemism.
  4. What does it tell us about the idea/and or the character?




Living in a Divided State
Harvest Camp
Add other euphemisms here

Close Reading



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Activity
Close reading.
  1. Find a passage with a specific technique or where Shusterman does something with language that creates a particular effect.
  2. Name the technique or describe what he is doing with the language.
  3. Describe the effect it creates.
  4. Explain how it creates this effect.
  5. Explain how it is linked to any themes / big ideas.



Quote
Technique / Language use
Effect
How this effect is created
Link to theme(s) / big idea(s)

Quote
Technique / Language use
Effect
How this effect is created
Link to theme(s) / big idea(s)


Themes / Big Ideas

Survival

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Value of Human Life

Dollar symbol.jpg

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Teenage Rebellion

James Dean in East of Eden trailer 2.jpg

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Government Oppression and Power

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Medical Ethics

Surgeons at Work.jpg

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Parenthood

1970sfamily.jpg

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Love

Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the novel? How are some of the events that take place in the novel linked with this theme?

Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the novel relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)


Related Ideas



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Activity
These are words associated with ideas in the text – words to make you think and make connections to other texts, cultures and ideas in history.
For each of these words, find a definition, how the idea is explored in Unwind and a context where the term is used outside Unwind .



Word/Phrase Definition How the idea is explored in Unwind
Elective Surgery
Anarchists
Thanksgiving
Pro-life and Pro-choice
Stem cells
Ethnic Cleansing
Medical Ethics
Rite of Passage/Bar Mitzvah
Nihilism
Civil War
Music played within Nazi Concentration Camps
Underground Railroad
Suicide Terrorists
Blood Donation
Abortion
Anti-Rejection Drugs


Further Reading

External Links





Related Texts

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  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Children of Men by P.D James
  • The Declaration – Gemma Malley
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

Films

  • Gattaca - Andrew Niccol
  • Logan's Run - Michael Anderson
  • Blade Runner - Ridley Scott