ENG 2DG – 80
March 12, 2017
Desperate Situations Call for Desperate Measures
What would one do to get out of a sticky situation? Would one stick to ethics and morals, or sacrifice anything to get what they want? Some might say one would stay true to their morals, but be selfish and self-centered when such a situation arose. We do not know what one would do to save themselves in a potentially fatal situation, or get what they desire. In Neal Shusterman’s Unwind, the author uses conflict, setting, and character to emphasize that one would do anything to save themselves, or secure something they truly want.
No one wants to be in a conflict. Whether it is with themselves, nature or with another person, because it brings out the worst in a person. Connor is caught running away from his home to escape getting unwound, and is thrown into a person vs society conflict – between himself and the Juvy cops chasing him. He almost gets hit by a car; seeing a kid inside, he makes “another split-second decision. [Connor] reaches though the window, pulls up the lock, and opens the door.” (Shusterman 19). Connor, who is in a situation that might cost him his life, decides to kidnap another kid as a hostage. He risks another’s life to save his own, without thinking about consequences. Connor is taken to the warehouse before he is flown to the ‘Graveyard’. He meets Roland, a power-hungry teen that stops at nothing to be at the top of the food chain. Risa warns Connor of Roland, as he has the adeptness to stop him. Connor is thrown into another person vs person conflict, but “a kid like Roland doesn’t want to fight [him]. He wants to kill [him].” (Shusterman 147). Once again, Roland will stop at nothing to win the conflict, including murder, due to his need for power. Connor, Roland, and Risa are caught after leaving the Graveyard, and sent to a harvest camp. Roland fights Connor, both of their repressed anger released all at once. Connor is once again in a person vs. person conflict. Roland catches Connor by the throat, and chokes him. Roland has “never killed anyone[,] until now” (Shusterman, 278), and almost takes Connors life. To win the conflict, Roland was more than willing to kill Connor, to get what he wanted – revenge for taking away his power in the Graveyard. Conflicts drive people to take violent action, to achieve their own desires or to save themselves.
Setting can influence decisions a character makes. They can make rash decisions to get out of the situation and not think of the outcomes. Connor and Risa travel through a series of safehouses to reach a place called the ‘Graveyard’, a place where decommissioned planes are recycled. Unwinds are congregated into a warehouse where they wait to be flown to the Graveyard. The warehouse is not the best place to stay, with hundreds of scared, dirty unwinds packed in a relatively small space. Connor does not like the warehouse, and gets into fights regularly. Connor “do[...