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Susan暑假作文读后感(8)--分解人(新晋最喜欢科幻书,源自精神和肉体、堕胎、器官移植话题)

 

分解人

 

Susan 小哭译

 

最近我读了《分解人》(译者注:曾译为《解约》)这本书,我绝对是爱上它了!我想可能,只是可能,它会成为我新的最喜欢的一本书……或者新的最喜欢的系列,因为它不仅仅是一本书。《分解人》……象所有我喜欢的书一样,我无法描述它,也不想描述它,因为不论我写什么对它都是不公正的……记得我曾经说过我最喜欢的作者是尼尔.舒斯特曼(译者注:以前曾译为尼尔.沙斯特曼)吗?但是却没有一本他的书列在我最喜欢的书的清单里这事?那么,现在改变了。《分解人》可以明确地列在那里了,甚至会列在非常靠前的位置上。它绝对是非同凡响。

 

我最喜欢的是舒斯特曼即能让书的节奏很快且充满着激动人心的情节,又能让人们因其去思考很多关于人性和生命以及所有那些深奥的话题,他是如何做到的呢?通常,促使我那样思考的书没有多少对话,甚至有些枯燥,或说情节一点也不快;而那些充满了动作并让我的眼睛粘在书页上的书又不会是最好的启迪思想的书。《分解人系列》(虽然我还没有读完,我只是读完了第二本)却不但做到了两者的结合,还能完整地展开人物性格描写,有着正正好的即能吸引我的注意力又不会让我感到困惑的故事情节转折。它完美地集结了我对一本书的所有需求,是迄今为止各方平衡做得最好的一本。

 

(注释:我不是说这些书正在取代《EONA》成为我的最爱。我真的无法将这书和《EONA》做对比,因为《EONA》和这个是完全不同的体裁,所以它们两都是我顶级最喜欢的书。《EONA》有一个以魔法、龙以及流血战争和强烈的三角恋为中心的故事情节,背景是一个有着国王、王子、贵族和贵妇的场合;《分解人》则全是关于科学、技术、失控的孩子和人类的人性这些内容,背景则是现代美国社会。他们之间已经无法再更为不同了。)

 

不只是书中的故事不同非响地好,作者写作的方式以及他所选择的写作基调甚至更好。我认为一本书的三分之一在于故事本身,而另三分之二则在于作者怎么去讲故事。例如,托尔金在《指环王》一书中写了一个令人称奇的故事,但是他那枯燥和冗长的写作风格用其缓慢和乏味的文字掩盖了令人激动的故事情节。那就是为什么绝大部分的人选择看电影而不是阅读那本书。好了,我绝对地喜欢舒斯特曼的写作风格(我已经在前面标题为“尼尔.沙斯特曼”的文章中谈论过了),故事、情节、人物……它们全都非常地令人赞叹!

 

我真的不想给你列出太多关于这个系列的故事情节,那样会很长。我将只写出一些最基本的内容,即所有那些用来解释我的想法所需的部分。让我们从标题开始——“分解人”。对于这本书来讲,“分解人”有两个特定的意思:

 

 

 

分解人——尼尔.舒斯特曼版本[放松-缠绕-住的]

 

动词:用外科手术分解一个131718岁的青少年,并将其身体的组成部分捐献给有需要的人们的行为。根据法律,分解人的99.44%必须得被使用起来,允许遗弃或腐烂的部分不能超过0.66%。分解的过程始于家长签署一张分解单(现在可以理解为堕胎的替代手段)除去他们的孩子。而有关这一切,可能告诉、也可能不告诉这个孩子。在几周或几个月后,这个孩子会被带到丰收营分解掉。这个过程在肉体上没有疼痛,虽然情绪上的恐惧无法估量。人们坚信分解人并不是真的死了,只是活在分离的状态中而已,因此算是堕胎(违法的)的替代手段。从胚胎到13岁期间,一个孩子是安全的;而一旦过了17岁(过去是18岁)之后,又会再恢复安全。分解人可以帮助那些需要新的肺、心脏以及用来专攻某些专业的脑细胞、胳膊、腿或者他们能够提供的任何身体组成部分的人们,还能帮助父母不用真正地“杀死”孩子就可以把孩子摆脱掉。

 

名词:一个将要被分解的人,或者确切地知道他们将要被分解的人。一旦一张分解单被签署,就不能收回,所涉及的孩子因此就会被贴上“分解人”的标签,直到他/她被分解掉。分解人在社区里被当做负面事件看待,它不同于宗教的十一税。十一税来自于宗教家庭,他们生来就是被用来分解的。十一税被看作是向上帝祭献,大家通常都能接受,人们甚至是欢呼自己的分解日的到来,他们是最受尊敬的人。

 

结束

 

 

 

噢!太吓人了,是吗?我的意思是,用把一个孩子拆成小块来代替堕胎,并且因为他们并没有真的死去就认为是合理的,多么地令人恐惧啊!那明摆着就是错误的嘛!的确,他们没有真正地死去,他们的每一部分(好吧,实际上是99.44%)都还活着,但却不一样了呀!分解人这事有大把的错误,书中的主人公意识到了这一点,我很奇怪于他们竟然不能用语言将其表达出来。他们受到“分解人是正确的”这一信念的挑战,挑战者使其听起来好像正确的,而当主人公知道它是错误的时候,他们却不能把想法变成语言,这真的是很愚蠢,这看起来太愚蠢了。无论如何,我没有发现把我的想法变成冷静、符合逻辑的文字有什么难。下面我将重点反驳两个说法。

 

 

 

1:分解人并没有真正地死去,只是生活在分离的状态中,所以真的没有理由去害怕分解这件事儿。来吧,你不是真的死去,你所有的身体组成部分都还将活着,那么生活在分离的状态有什么不好的呢?你应该为这一新的奇遇而感到兴奋!你将用自己身体的组成部分来帮助别人!不完全地有用是不是比完全地无用更好?

 

我不知道为什么这个问题难住了这么多的人。医生们使被分解听起来好像根本就不坏,实际上还是一件好事儿似的。这个说法差不多是可信的,因为它近乎事实,只是混进了几个重要的谎言而已。医生们实际上并不理解的是为什么分解人并不喜欢被分解。看,那不是明摆着的嘛!我很奇怪于这本书里居然没有人这么说,他们真的被医生的说法给弄糊涂了。

 

是的 ,分解不是真正地死去,我明白,我同意。然而,那也不意味着分解人不应该为被分解感到害怕!他们害怕的原因很简单:和我们害怕死亡的原因是一样的。我确信几乎没有人是因为他们的身体将要停止工作而害怕死亡,事实上多数人害怕的是接下来发生的事情:精神的死亡。或者说,他们害怕被逼到精神里面,不能控制身体。他们要么害怕失去他们的精神(确实地),要么害怕被困于其中,要么害怕未知的一切。几乎没有人真的害怕肉体上的死亡。至少,我不怕。

 

所以,说分解人在肉体上并没有死亡没错,但是那也不意味着他们不害怕。他们有任何一个理由去害怕。那不意味着他们乐于被分解。对于一个分解人,被分解并不是将要被分成在分离后还能存活着的小块。它是下述这么回事儿:他们的大脑被分离,他们失去了他们的精神。被分解就相当于某种形式的死亡。分解人的精神死亡了,他们停止思考了;他们失去了对现实的理解力;他们不再有一个可以去控制着的肉体。还有,即使肉体可能存活着,但是这个真正的人,即这个人的精神,却跟死了差不多,因为它再也不能思考并形成清晰的想法了(当你的大脑被分成许多小块后就很难去思考)。他们再也不是从前的样子了。虽然肉体还活着,但是分解人的精神、个性和意识都不再存在了,所以……哦,被分解是相当地糟糕。对于分解人的精神,在分离状态下的“活着”就和死了一样。

 

关于上述说法的另一件事是接下来的部分:“在分离状态中活着”。如我之前为大家非常清晰地阐明过的,被分解并不是真的活着。你不能思考;你不能控制你的身体;你整个的存在不再重要。那是分解人害怕的第二件事儿,而医生们似乎并不明白这一点。确实,他们在肉体上是活着的,但是他们的精神呢?他们做为人呢?他们对这个世界不再重要。他们还有用的是他们的身体组成部分有多么地健康。没有人会再去关心他们的精神,没有人关心他们的想法,就是这么回事儿。这真是令人很伤心。想像一下,如果你发现父母不想再要你、你是一个失败者、你没有用处;你发现自己对这个世界唯一有用的是被切成小块卖掉;发现几乎没有人在乎你、他们所在乎的是你的身体组成部分和将要交给医院的金钱。那将是一场难以忘怀的痛苦经历。

 

 “部分有用总是好过整体无用”。是的,但是那并不适用于分解人。分解人在没有被分解的时候是有用的。他们也是人,和每一个其它的人一样!就因为他们的父母不想要他们,并不应该成为把他们变成某种意义上的次人类的理由;就因为他们正在经历着一个困难阶段并且似乎很难去照顾,也不意味着他们就是无用的,也不意味着他们就应该被分解;只是因为某个人的父母签署了分解单,也不应突然间就让某个人停止为人,并开始成为“只是另一个分解人;只是另一个讨厌的、没用的一堆身体组成部分”。

 

所以,综上所述,有着任何一个理由去为成为分解人而感到害怕、恐惧或生气。我不明白为什么书中的人们不能理解这一点(当然了,哼,这些支持分解人的人们)!他们谈论起分解人就好象分解人应该对此感到高兴才对似的,好像这就是另一种生存的方式,但是它不是!对于分解人来说,这简直跟死差不多!每当我读到那种宣传分解人对于总是给你惹麻烦的青少年有多么美妙的广告时,我都想要把那些可恶的激进市民(负责此事的人们,那些发明并正在实施分解的人,译者注:此处是专有名词,指某特定的人群)的漂亮脸蛋粉碎。

 

 

 

另外我真的不喜欢的是:2:分解人是一种代替堕胎的更好的办法。堕胎,意味着你在杀害无辜的婴儿;而分解人,分解人并没有真的死亡,并且身体的组成部分还能够帮助他人。

 

 

 

首先,我已经解决了分解人是死还是活的争议。他们死了,即使他们的身体组成部分还都在发挥着作用。所以,分解人和堕胎相比好在哪里呢?对于它们两个来说,所讨论的人都不复存在。它们所行的都违背了当事人的意志(它们都是由父母决定的)。支持分解人的一个说法是身体组成部分还能帮助他人。然而,这有一个巨大的“骗局”……对于堕胎,婴儿并不知道将要发生什么。婴儿几乎还不会思考,他们还不能形成条理清晰的思想。所以,杀死他们就和杀死一堆细胞类似。他们的大脑还没有发育完全到形成独自的个性而被称为“人”。对于分解人……分解人是能够思考的。他们有条理清晰的思想。他们的个性已经完全地发育好了。他们有一个“生命”。他们能对别人有反应,表达他们的思想。不像婴儿,除了基本的生存本能外甚至还没有很多想法。对于一个分解人,这个少年知道将在他的身上发生什么。他们知道不久后他们将不复存在。所以,这个方法真的好过在他们还不会数数的胎儿时代杀死他们吗?真的好过在他们已经如你我一样长大并拥有一个生命(拥有朋友和记忆以及经历)的时候毁掉他们的生命及存在吗?

 

分解人和堕胎的关系提醒了我一个吓人但却真实(我的看法)的类比理解:堕胎,你正在杀死一个没有任何个性和生命的胎儿。只有几个月大的胎儿,甚至还没有出生呢,他们就像是和我们能够正常思考的成年人完全不同的物种。杀死一个还没有出生的婴儿就象是杀死一个动物。按我的看法,这不应该算是谋杀。当然,这总归还是相当不好,最好不要做这事儿,但是如果必须得做,如果妈妈想堕胎,那我认为也还好。这就象是杀死了另一个、更低等的、一种动物。然而分解人(1317岁的少年),他们已经大到足够明白所有的事情,属于和那些成年人一样的物种,和那些做分解的人是一样的人。所以,分解人就像是杀死了同一物种中的某一个、另一个人类伙伴(是的,我称其为谋杀,因为分解人毁掉了一个人的生命并结束了他们的存在)。如果你这样地去想的话,分解人比堕胎错得太多了。

 

我想到的一件事儿,是关于书中的人物凯姆的。凯姆是一个实验品,是用分解人身体组成部分做出来的一个人。这些身体组成部分的来源好之又好。腿来自于一个赛跑选手,心脏来自于一个奥林匹克游泳健将,大脑的不同分块都充满着信息,充满着许多种语言……凯姆整个是由分解人所组成的。所以,凯姆是一个人吗?我认为他是一个人。我的意思是,他有着与构成他的身体的少年完全不同的个性。他有着与跟分解人完全无关的自己的思想和自己的感觉。他是一个个体。只是因为他的肉体由不同的孩子构成并不能使他与人有多么地不同。我的意思是,他在分解人系列第二本书中有着他自己的篇章和故事,按照我的观点,任何有着清晰思维的、能讲他的故事的都可以被称为人(我不认为他有什么错。他没有任何过错。那些孩子们被分解不是他的过错)。

 

我还没有讲述的一件事儿是某个强烈反对分解人的人是否应该利用分解人的身体组成部分。故事中有几个例子。有一个强烈反对分解人的人就在死亡的边缘,如果他将身体中坏了的组成部分换成好的组成部分的话,保证能够存活。例如:总司令(那些逃跑的分解人的难民营的头)心脏病发作。保证能够救活他的办法是:用一个新的健康的心脏替换他自己的心脏,一个来自于分解人的心脏。这个总司令应该换吗?我想,在这本书里,他不应该换。于是就算是他恢复了健康,但从早到晚他真的都很虚弱。另一个人拒绝使用从分解人那里来的脊柱,于是腰部以下残疾了。他们是勇敢无畏呢?还是愚蠢固执呢?

 

我想这只是我的观念,如果一个人要将要死了,那么他们的朋友应该允许他们有一个身体组成部分的替换,即使这有背于他们的原则。因为你看,那个孩子已经被分解了,有问题的人就要死了!但是如果不是濒临死亡的局面,就应该对从分解人那获得身体组成部分这事儿说不。

 

相比于最后一个问题,这本书中的大部分问题和争论都很容易回答,而这最后一个问题是:你愿意死还是愿意被分解?嗯……这是一个很难的问题。我愿意死还是愿意被分解?嗯,我的思想都将停止。没有了我的思想和意识,我的身体组成部分活着与否并没有什么关系。我愿意选择死以支持我对分解人一事的反对,而不愿意被抓去分解,让当局去从抓捕另一个逃走的分解人中得到满足吧(我指的是,如果我是一个逃走的分解人,不得不做一个要么死、要么被抓起来分解的决定的话)。是的,被分解会帮助那些需要我身体组成部分的人,而且还不会有疼痛,但是那也意味着放弃和屈服于那些分解人的支持者,我将永远也不会那么做!所以,是的,我愿意选择死也不会选择被分解。然而,就算我现在会坚守这一答案,但是当我站在枪口下,被迫去做一个决定时……那会儿我可能不会这么坚定,因为被分解意味着我还有几个小时才会失去意志,而我可能会为那几个小时去挣扎……所以,这真的是一个很难回答的问题。现在,我愿意说选择死,但是事到临头……

 

关于《分解人系列》我就说这么多吧!我没有讨论太多的故事情节,我也不想讨论,因为那样做只会让这本书蒙羞。我知道,总有读了这篇文章而没有时间读《分解人》一书的人,但是我希望他们会明白这是一本了不起的书!我等不及去读今年秋天和明年夏天将要推出的这个系列剩下的部分了!

 

【小哭介绍背景】这是暑假译文中曾经被我放弃翻译的一篇,可是在和SusanELA老师交流之后,决定捡起来。事情的经过是这样的:上周有一天我同时给Susan的三个老师写了邮件,第一封就是给这位Susan曾经在八年级印象一文中介绍过的威尔基女士。因为我和她早已经建立起了联系,所以那天就直接针对几件具体的事情在谈。我其中提到的一件是,听说威尔基女士非常喜欢的作者、也是Susan现在最喜欢的作者——尼尔.舒斯特曼要来学校和同学们见面,而我已经把Susan暑假作文系列翻译完了,那其中和舒斯特曼相关的几篇文章,到时候让Susan交给作者如何?不想老师回信详细地介绍了见面会的细节,并说到时候我可以和Susan他们一起参加见面会。于是我想还是赶快把最长的这篇读后感也给译了吧。必竟总共也才三篇小文,不差这最后一篇了。

 

不想这一翻译,还真的有惊喜。一是发现这篇比上一篇《地狱边缘》好译;二是细读才知道,这一篇竟然已经晋级到Susan最喜欢的书目里面数一数二的位置了!不等我彻底理顺译文句子的衔接部分,那边琳达妈妈留言要Susan阅读书目的清单了。赶紧快溜地、提供点Susan的阅读书目吧,这次到美国开会要给孩子买书,就参考你家Susan的书单了。我这边一路小跑着把之前翻译的成果奉上,还解释说你飞机一落地,我这边就能把正在整理中的这最后一篇给你传过去。结果人家说别了,发个书名就行了。我再一细问,那七篇读后感,你读了哪篇没?人家说是下午就要打包装行李了,前一天发过去的全部读后感,计划在飞美国的路上读呢。嗯,十几个小时的无聊时间呢,估计读完后就是写了笔记飞机也落不了地。

 

《分解人》这本书,里面涉及的内容比较深奥,但是趣味性却似乎有增不减。我一边翻译一边复习了下载到电脑中的尼尔的两小段视频,发现这本书的灵感来自于三个方面:一个是青少年让大人心烦到想给他们扔掉;一个是关于堕胎这个话题;一个是器官移植。于是作者那绝顶聪明的脑袋瓜就把这些普通人剪不断理还乱的思绪和观念给揉进了他的这本科幻小说中。所以,Susan的读后感中充满了对这几个话题的讨论,看来Susan确实抓住了主题;看来作者成功地将孩子们引导到了宗教和哲学思维上面来了。难怪威尔基老师强烈推荐舒斯特曼的书!难怪Susan学校请舒斯特曼来学校做报告!!还有哪个作者能让孩子们进行严肃思考的同时,会把书写得读起来令青少年们欲罢不能呢?

 

我在网上搜过多次,都没见到过中文的内容。不想今天竟然搜到了如下发表于 2010-5-12 09:49的繁体中文内容(一个大概是盗版书的下载网站),于是我马上跟风修正了我翻译的书名,觉得人家起的名才是恰到好处。我把字体变成简体的了,列在下面:

 

“本书的背景设定比较趋近于狂想,但所造成的冲击和引发的各项议题均值得细细探究。米国因对堕胎等议题的歧见爆发第二次内战,为了平息战火,加上器官移植技术的进步,他们通过所谓的「生命法案」:人类从受孕到十三岁这段期间,必须获得良好照护。然而从十三岁到十八岁成年的期间,监护人可选择将之「分解」,亦即摘除其有用器官移植给他人,然而在技术上仍属「存活」。

 

故事中也真有法律机制,强制命令小区群体应付个体父母无力养育孩童的情况(即「送子」);把分解人的年龄设定在十三到十八岁,除了这个年龄层的器官逐渐发育成熟,而且「生猛好用」以外,筛选分解人的过程也隐含有「人择」的概念,甚至是一种处理青少年问题的方法,刚好抵销掉可能过于庞大的出生人口。

 

我们可以看到三名主角(一名「不良少年」、一名被认定天赋不足的孤儿,一名从小就接受宗教洗脑,认定自己是「什一奉献」的贡品)如何在紧张刺激的逃亡过程中谋求生存的同时,接受社会化过程的洗礼;另外有反派也藉由类似的过程中,利用自身「优势」,制造出追逐权利与霸凌的机会。

 

书中很强调器官移植后,「生」与「死」的界线。移植过后的器官仍多少保有原主人之意识,甚至影响到被移植者。

 

作者在后段引进足以造成稳定系统完全崩坏的混乱恐怖团体,制造出剧情的最高潮。”

 

哈哈,Susan强烈不讲的故事梗概,终于找到了!谢谢大家网的SHERO

 

附上英文原文:

 

Unwind

 

Recently, I just read the book ‘Unwind’, and I absolutely loved it! I think maybe, just maybe, it’ll be my new favorite book… or new favorite series, since it’s more than one book. Unwind… like all of the books that I like, I can’t describe it, don’t want to describe it, because whatever I write will hardly do it justice… remember when I use to say that my favorite author is Neal Shusterman, but none of his books are on my favorites list? Well, that just changed. Unwind is definitely up there, maybe even on the very top. It was absolutely phenomenal.

 

One of my favorite things was how Shusterman kept the pace of the book to be fast and action-packed, and also managed to make it one of those books that make you think a lot, about humanity and life and all that deep stuff. Usually, books that make me think like that are with few dialogue, or kind of boring, or not very fast paced; and books that are full of action and keep my eyes glued onto the page aren’t the best thought provokers. The Unwind Dystology (I haven’t finished it yet, though, I’ve only just finished the second book) did both, and also had fully developed characters and a plot that has just the right amount of twist and turns to keep my attention and not confuse me. It’s the perfect balance of all I want in a book, and the best balance so far.

 

(Note: I’m not saying this books is replacing Eona as my favorite. I can’t really compare this to Eona, because Eona is a completely different genre than this, so they’re both my top favorite books. Eona had a plot focused on magic and dragons and fighting a bloody war and an intense love triangle, and was set in a place with kings and princes and Lords and Ladies; while Unwind was all about science and technology and runaway kids and the humanity of humans, and was set in the modern day America. They can’t possibly be more different from eachother.)

 

Not only was the story in the book brilliant, the way the author wrote it, and the voice in which he chose to write it in, was even better. I think a book is only a third about the story and two-thirds about how the author tells the story. Tolkein, for example, wrote an amazing story in Lord of the Rings, yet his boring and super-long writing style covers up the exciting story in sluggish, boring words. That’s why most people watch the movies instead of reading the books. Well, I absolutely love Shusterman’s writing style (I’ve already talked about that earlier, in my writing titled Neal Shusterman), and the story, the plot, the characters…they were amazing too!

 

I don’t really want to give you too much about the actual plot of the book/s, since it’ll take way too long. I’ll just write the basics, that’s all I need to explain my thoughts. Let’s start with the title, Unwind. Unwind has two meanings that are specific to the book:

 

Unwind-Neal Shusterman Version [uhn-whine-d]

 

Verb. The act of surgically dissecting a teenager between the ages of thirteen to seventeen/eighteen and donating the body parts to those that need them. By law, 99.44 percent of all unwound teens have to be used, allowing the disposal of that 0.66 percent that might be rotten or somehow unusable. The unwinding process begins when a parent signs the unwinding order (wich is now a subsitute for abortion) to get rid of their child, may or may not tell the child about it, and within weeks or months, the child will be taken to a harvest camp and then dissected. The process is physically painless, though the emotional terror cannot be measured. People hold firm in the belief that teens that are unwound are not really dead, just living in the divided state, and therefore is now an alternative for abortion (which is illegal). A child is safe from conception to age thirteen, then safe again once they pass the age of seventeen (it use to be eighteen). The unwinding process helps those that are in need of new lungs, heart, brain cells that specializes in certain subjects, arms, legs, or any body part that they can afford, and help parent get rid of unwanted children without actually ‘killing’ them.

 

Noun. A person about to be unwound, or know for certain that they are about to be unwound. Once an unwinding order is signed, it can not be taken back, the the child in question is therefore labled an Unwind until the day he/she is unwound. Unwinds are treated as a negative influence in their community, and are different from Tithes. Tithes come from religious families, and they are born to be unwind. Tithes are seen as sacrifices to God, and usually accept, even welcome, their own unwinding day. They are treated with the utmost respect.

 

END

 

Ugh! Disgusting, right? I mean, taking apart a kid in place of abortion, and it’s justified because they’re not really dead? How horrifying! That’s just plain wrong! Sure, they’re not really dead, every part of them (well, 99.44 percent, actually) lives on, but it’s just not the same! There are a bunch of things wrong with unwinding, and the main characters in the book realized that, yet I’m surprised they weren’t able to put them into words. They were challenged by the belief that unwinding is right, and the challenger makes it sound as if it is right, and while the main character knows it’s wrong, they were unable to put their thoughts into words, which was really stupid, because that just makes them look stupid. However, I don’t find putting my thoughts into cool, logical words hard.

 

#1: Unwound teens aren’t really dead, just living in the divided state, so there really is no reason to be scared of unwinding. C’mon, you’re not really going to be dead, all of your parts will live, so what’s so bad with living in the divided state? You should be excited for this new adventure! And you would be helping others with your body parts! Isn’t it better to be partly useful than completely useless?

 

I have no idea why this question stumps so many people. The doctors make it sound as if being unwound isn’t bad at all, that it’s actually a good thing. The statement is almost credible, since it’s mostly truth, just mixed with a few important lies. What the doctors really can’t understand is why Unwinds dislike unwinding. Well, that’s pretty obvious. I’m surprise nobody in the book actually said this, that they actually got confused by the doctor’s statement.

 

Yes, Unwinds aren’t really dead, I understand, I agree. However, that doesn’t mean Unwinds shouldn’t be scared of being unwound! The reason that they’re scared is simple: the the same reasons that we’re scared by death. I’m sure few people are scared of death because their bodies will cease function, most are scared by what follows: the death of the mind. Or, they’re scare of being trapped in their minds, unable to control their bodies. Either they’re scared of losing their mind (literally), or they’re scared of getting trapped in them, or they’re scared of the unknown. Few people are actually scared of physically dying. At least, I’m not.

 

So, saying that Unwinds aren’t physically dying is true, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be scared. They have every reasons to be. That doesn’t mean they should welcome their unwinding. For an Unwind, being unwound isn’t about being separated into pieces that are still alive after being separated. It’s about what follows: the separation of their brain. The loss of their minds. Being unwound is like dying in a way. The Unwind’s mind dies. They cease to be able to think. They loose their grips on reality. They no longer have a body to control. And, even though the body might be alive, the actual person, the mind of that person, is about as good as dead, because it wouldn’t be able to think and form coherant thoughts anymore(pretty hard to do that when your brain’s separated into a dozen pieces). They wouldn’t be able to be anymore. Though the body is alive, the mind, the personality, the conciousness of the kid that is being unwind cease to exist. So… yeah, being unwound is pretty bad. For the mind of the person that is being unwound, ‘living’ in the divided state is about as good as dead.

 

Another thing about that above statement is the next part: “living in the divided state”. As I have so clearly spelled out for everyone earlier, being unwound isn’t really living. You don’t get to think. You don’t get control your body. Your whole existence cease to matter. That’s the second thing Unwinds are scared of, that doctors don’t seem to understand. Sure, they’re physically alive, but what about their minds, their persons? They cease to matter anymore to the world. All that matters about them is how healthy their body parts are. Nobody cares about their minds anymore, nobody cares about them, period. It’s really sad. Imagine, finding out that your parents don’t want you anymore, that you’re a failure, that you’re useless. Finding out that the only way you can matter in the world is to be chopped into pieces and sold. Finding out that hardly anyone cares about you, that all they care about is your body parts and the money it’s going to give to the hospitals. That’s got to be a traumatic experience.

 

“It’s better to be partly useful than completely useless.” True, but that doesn’t apply to Unwinds. Unwinds are useful when they’re not in pieces. They’re people too, just like everyone else! Just because their parents don’t want them doesn’t make them somehow sub-human. Just because they’re going through a hard time and appears to be hard to take care of doesn’t mean that they’re useless. That doesn’t mean they should be unwound. Just because a person’s parents signed the unwinding order doesn’t suddenly make that person stop being a person and start being “just another Unwind, just another unwanted, unuseful pile of body parts”.

 

So, overall, there is every reason to be scared or afraid or angry about being unwind. I can’t understand why people in the book can’t understand that (the pro-unwinding people, of course)! They talk about unwinding as if Unwinds should be glad about it, as if it’s just another way of living, but it’s not! It’s as good as death, for the kids that are going to be unwound! Every time I read about one of those advertisements about how wonderful unwinding would be for your troubled teen, I feel like smashing those pretty faces of the hateful Proactive Citizenry (the people in charge of, those that invented, and are currently enforcing unwinding).

 

Something else I’m really ticked off about: #2: Unwinding is a way better alternative for abortion. With abortion, you’re killing innocent babies, while with unwinding, the Unwind isn’t really dead, and the body parts can help others.

 

First of all, I’ve already settled the issue of whether and unwound person is dead or alive. They’re dead, even though their body parts are all functioning. So, what are the pros of unwinding compared to abortion? With both of them, the person in question cease to exist. Both are done against the person’s consent (they are both orders by the parents). A pro of Unwinding is that the body parts can be used to help other people. However, there’s a HUGE ‘con’… with abortion, the baby has no idea what is about to happen. The baby can barely think, they can’t form coherant thoughts yet. So, killing them is just killing a bunch of cells. Their brains aren’t developed enough to form individual personalities that are able to be called ‘people’. With unwinding… the person that is about to be unwound can think. They can form coherant thoughts. They have fully developed personalities. They have a life. They can interact with others, express their thoughts, unlike a baby, who doesn’t even have much thoughts other than basic instinct of survival. With an Unwind teen, the teen knows what is about to happen to them. They know that they will cease to exist soon. So, isn’t it way better to kill them while they’re babies, when they don’t even count as people yet, than to destroy their life and existence when they’re old and have a life (with friends and memories and experiences) just like you and I?

 

Unwinding vs. abortion reminds me of a chilling but true (in my opinion) metaphor: With abortion, you’re killing babies, who don’t have any personalities or life. Babies that are only a few months old, not even born yet, are like a completely different species than us, than grown-up humans that can think properly. Killing a baby that’s not even born yet is like killing an animal. It doesn’t count as murder, not in my opinion. Of course, it’s still pretty bad, and it’s best if we don’t do it, but if it’s nessaccery, if the mother want to do abortion, then I think it’s fine. It’s like killing another, more inferior, species of animal. Unwinding, however, is like killing our own species, because by the time the child is old enough to unwind (ages thirteen to seventeen), they are old enough to understand everything, and are considered the same species as adults, as the people that actually does the unwinding. So, Unwinding is like killing someone of the same species, another fellow human (yes, I call it killing, because unwinding destroys a person’s life and snuffs them out of existence). If you think about it that way, unwinding is waaaay more wrong than abortion.

 

Something else I’ve thought about is the character of Cam. Cam is an experiment, a person made entirely of unwound body parts. Dozens of them, taken from the best of the best. The legs of a runner, the heart of an olympic swimmer, different brain pieces all filled with information, filled with dozens of languages…. Cam is entire made of the body parts of unwound kids. So, is Cam a person? I consider him to be a person. I mean, he has a completely different personality than the kids that made up his body. He has his own thoughts, his own feelings, that have no connections to the unwound kids. He is an individual. Just because he’s physically made up of different kids does not make him a hundred different persons. I mean, he narrated his own chapters in the second book of the Unwind Dystology, and in my opinion, anyone that have coherant enough thoughts to narrate his own story can be called a person. (And I don’t think he’s “wrong”. There’s nothing wrong about him. It’s not his fault all the kids were unwound.)

 

One thing I haven’t quite figured out yet is whether somehow who is strongly against unwinding should take unwound kid’s body parts. There was a few instances in the story where a strong believer of anti-unwinding is near the brink of death, and they would be guranteed to survive if they switch their bad body part for a good one. Example: the Admiral (head of a refugee camp for runaway Unwinds) is having a heart attack. Guranteed way to save him: switch his heart with a new, healthy one. A heart that came from an kid that was unwound. Should the Admiral take it? I think, in the book, he didn’t take it, and he pulled through, but was really weak. Another person refused to take an spine that came from an Unwind, and was handicapped from the waist down. Were they brave and courageous, or were they stupid and stubborn?

 

I think, this is just my opinion, that if that person is going to die, then their friends should allow them to have a body part transplant, even if it does go against their cause. Because, c’mon, that kid was already unwound, and the person in question was about to die! But other than near-death situations, taking body parts that came from an Unwind is a no-no.

 

Most of the questions and arguments in the book are easy to answer, other than the last one, and this one: would you rather die or be unwound? Hm… that’s a hard one. Would I rather die, or be unwound? Well, my mind is going to cease to exist either way. And without my mind and my conciousness, whether my body parts are alive doesn’t really matter. I think I would rather die in support of my anti-unwinding cause than be caught and unwound, and give the authorities the satisfaction of catching another runaway Unwind (this is if I was a runaway unwind that has to make the decision to either die or get caught and unwound). Sure, being unwound would help other that need my body part and would be relatively painless, but it would mean giving up and giving in to those that support unwinding, and I’m never going to do that! So, yes, I would rather die than be unwound. However, I might be sure of my answers now, but when I’m standing at gunpoint and being forced to make the same decision… I might not be so sure then, because being unwound means that there would be a few hours until I loose my conciousness, and I might be able to fight my way out in those few hours… so, it’s a really hard decision. Right now, I would say die, but later….

 

 

 

That’s about all I have for the Unwind Dystology! I didn’t talk about the plot too much, and I don’t want to, because I would only disgrace the book. I know that whomever reads this wouldn’t have time to read Unwind anyway, but I hope they would understand that it’s a great book! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series that’s coming out this fall and next summer!

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