Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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THE WESTING GAME - FREE STUDY GUIDE
Each pair then receives a check for ten thousand dollars and an envelope
containing a set of clues, with no two clues being alike. The will further
warns that it isn't what you have but what you don't have that counts.
Each pair receives cut squares of Westing Superstrength Paper Towels with
one word typed on each square. All but the last pair look at their clues,
as Sydelle is intent on watching and listening, which Angela admires as
a smart move. Judge Ford apologizes to Sandy and says she will leave the
game because of the minstrel dialect in her clues, but Sandy pleads for
her to stay for the money that will help his family. She agrees. Turtle
makes sure Flora memorized all their clues then she eats the papers they're
printed on. E.J. Plum explains that no copies of the will will be made
available, but the heirs realize they do have a copy: the shorthand of
Sydelle Pulaski, now pleased with the attention she suddenly receives.
Sandy asks if there's a final statement and that nothing makes sense,
only to have the will conclude that death is senseless and life is senseless
unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows.
In closing, the will reminds the heirs to buy Westing Paper Products.
Outside of the will itself, chess is the most important game in the novel. Tellingly, until the very end of the novel, one person plays with all the other chess players in the game: Sam Westing in his different guises. As Sam Westing, he taught Josie-Jo Ford chess as a child; as Sandy McSouthers, he secretly plays chess with Theo; and as Julian Eastman, he plays chess with his heir Turtle Wexler.
The pairs of players that Westing designates in his will are shown to be "perfect" partners as Christos Theodorakis asserts at the second meeting. Several of these partnerships serve clear functions in the game: Judge Ford is paired with Sandy McSouthers in order to keep her involved and monitor her activity; Otis Amber is paired with Crow in order to keep her in the game against her better judgment.
Raskin's love for wordplay is seen in how the absent Jake Wexler fills out the line for "position", punning on the idea of how one poses one's body as opposed to occupation; this also shows what little regard Jake has for his job as a podiatrist, which contrasts sharply to the more elaborate job descriptions offered by Denton Deere and Judge Ford.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 09 May 2017