Study Guide

Unwind Morality & Ethics

By Neal Schusterman

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Morality & Ethics


We considered making that one word our entire introduction to this section, but figured we'd clarify just a bit. When was the last time you heard a political debate that didn't bring up either pro-life or pro-choice? Even more than gay marriage (which is also briefly addressed in Unwind) abortion is the hottest ethical question in the United States since Roe v. Wade, and Neal Shusterman's novel addresses it one of the strangest possible ways.

Questions About Morality & Ethics

  1. Why do parents choose to have their children unwound? Just because the procedure is legal, does that mean it's ethical?
  2. Why do you think this law satisfied parties on both sides of the debate? Why would pro-life advocates approve? What aspects do pro-choice people like?
  3. We're going to pose a question that Risa ponders: "Which was worse […] to have tens of thousands of babies that no one wanted, or to silently make them go away before they were even born?" (2.20.31). Is there any middle ground or compromise in this issue? Turn to the text for support.

Chew on This

There is no such thing as universal morality. In this world, it is widely seen as okay to unwind a child, so very few people rebel against the Bill of Life.

There is such a thing as universal morality, and it is never okay to murder a child, not even in this world, which is why our main characters rebel.

Unwind Morality & Ethics Study Group

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