Study Guide

Unwind Religion

By Neal Schusterman

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The pro-life, pro-choice abortion debate is often divided down religious lines, with many people who consider themselves devoutly religious being pro-life, and others being pro-choice. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that religion plays a major role in Unwind. Strangely, the parties almost seem to have reversed, though: In this world, it's the religious who willfully give up their children in a process known as human tithing. Which isn't to say that they're the only ones who unwind their children, though their beliefs make their decision a bit more palatable.

Questions About Religion

  1. What are Connor, Risa, and Lev's religious affiliations, if any, and how does this affect their outlook on unwinding?
  2. Which other characters met along the way might consider themselves religious or believers in God? How do they compare with Lev, who's had the most religious upbringing of all the book's characters?
  3. At the end of the book, Pastor Dan says, "I still very much believe in God—just not a God who condones human tithing" (7.68.60). What does he mean by this? Do you believe Lev will find the same thing?

Chew on This

The fanatically religious characters put God before life, and so for them, life is expendable.

Those who do not have faith believe that life is everything and there is no afterlife, which is one reason they are so scared of being unwound.

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