Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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FREE ONLINE BOOK SUMMARY - THE WESTING GAME
Chris Theodorakis tries to tell Theo about the limping man but his stuttering overwhelms him. Instead, Theo describes a spooky scene of Westing dead and rotting on the Oriental rug, much to Chris' delight.
Sydelle Pulaski gets out of her taxi, receiving no help from the driver
and Sandy nowhere to be seen. Even though she is limping now, Sydelle
is never noticed by anyone, though she moved to Sunset Towers with the
hope of meeting elegant people. The only person who pays attention to
her is crippled Chris Theodorakis, who she pities. However, her purchases
today - painting utensils and crutches - will get her noticed. She does
not pay attention to the smoke rising from the Westing house.
Most of the major traits and interpersonal dynamics of the large cast of the novel are captured in a shared moment of watching the smoke rise from the Westing house - which is symbolically the signal for the beginning of the game proper. In the Wexler family, readers see beautiful Angela as being favored by Grace over the more difficult Turtle, as well as Angela's bovine willingness to do whatever her mother wants. Turtle asks Flora for help, something which becomes more common as the novel progresses. Doctor Jake Wexler is away from his family, indicating his emotional distance as well. Crow's religious fervor is also displayed, as well as its irrational use to blame people she doesn't like for non-religious reasons. With the Hoo family, readers see James' anger and Madame Hoo's longing for China. Chris Theodorakis is portrayed as pitied and rarely heeded, despite the valuable knowledge he wishes to share. Sydelle Pulaski's desire for attention blinds her to the smoke that starts the Westing game - which is fair, since she's the mistake in Northrup's choosing of tenants and doesn't have the same initial stake in the game as the others.
While all this is obvious enough, the subtle dynamic that becomes more obvious from a second reading is between Judge Josie-Jo Ford and doorman Sandy McSouthers. The trust Judge Ford establishes with Sandy McSouthers is assumed by the judge to be about money: first the large tips she gives and later the way she gives Sandy her half of the ten thousand dollar checks during the Westing game. Thus, she simplifies both Sandy's motives and feels no need to question his identity. This trust is also part of Sam Westing's plan, as it makes it easier to manipulate Judge Ford throughout the game.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 09 May 2017