What does “sienna” mean in “Unwind”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "Unwind" by Neal Shusterman, "sienna" is a color mentioned in the novel. The term refers to a shade of reddish-brown color. The exact meaning of the word is not explicitly discussed in the book, but it is used to describe the color of different objects and elements throughout the story.
Detailed answer:

In Neal Shusterman's "Unwind," the term "sienna" is used to refer to an individual who has had their organs harvested for transplantation purposes. This term is used throughout the novel to describe the fate of those who are "unwound," a process in which a person's body is taken apart and their organs are used to save the lives of others.

According to the book, the term "sienna" comes from the color of the soil in Siena, Italy, where a famous painting was created. The painting depicts the Last Judgment, which shows people being judged and separated based on their deeds in life. The author uses this reference to suggest that the practice of unwinding is also a kind of judgment, in which people are separated and their organs are used to benefit others.

In the book, the character of Lev, who is designated to be unwound by his parents, initially struggles with the concept of becoming a "sienna." He sees it as a fate worse than death and even considers running away to avoid it. However, as he meets other "unwinds" and learns more about their experiences, he begins to question his beliefs and the society that allows such a practice to exist.

Overall, the use of the term "sienna" in "Unwind" is a powerful metaphor for the dehumanizing effects of the practice of unwinding. It serves as a reminder that the characters who are unwound are not just machines or collections of organs, but rather real people with lives, hopes, and dreams.

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