Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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THE WESTING GAME - ONLINE BOOK REVIEW / ANALYSIS
The use of the elevator as a bulletin board is a sign of how the Sunset
Towers heirs are becoming more of a community, opening up new means of
communication in unexpected places. It also hints at Madame Hoo's stealing
of valuables from other tenants, as Flora Baumbach is missing her pearls.
Angela's reluctance to marry is revealed in her refusal to wear the engagement
ring, while Grace Wexler's slow transformation into a restaurateur is
seen in her suggestion to have Hoo provide food for Judge Ford's party.
Grace and Jake Wexler are the first to arrive, Grace not wanting to miss a clue or wait around in her apartment with a murderer loose. The party goes on and on, as no one wants to be the first to leave. Jake checks on daughter Angela, who is upset for two reasons: everyone mentions Denton when speaking to her and Grace scolded her in front of everyone for dressing up in a "twin" costume with Sydelle. Jake then speaks with Madame Hoo; Angela points out she doesn't speak English but Jake says she never will if no one talks to her. Judge Ford speaks to Angela about her upcoming marriage, and Sydelle joins them, trying to get her to speak about twins. The judge leaves and Sydelle complains to Angela about the twin angle not working.
Judge Ford watches the only pair in Sunset Towers who are not heirs,
George and Catherine Theodorakis, the parents of Chris and Theo. Chris
continues to watch legs for a limp. There's a long line at the bar as
Theo tries to explain chess to Sydelle. Mr. Hoo chides his son for not
hosting Theo's meeting at the restaurant instead of the coffee shop. Grace
speaks to Angela again about dressing up the same as Sydelle, then mentions
Mr. Hoo catering the wedding shower on Saturday. Upset, Angela rushes
into the kitchen to be alone; instead, she finds Crow there, who provides
comfort. Flora and Turtle call for bets on whether "May God thy gold
refine" is from the Bible or Shakespeare. Turtle guesses that Sydelle's
shorthand notes were stolen when they argue over the exact wording. Theo
asks politely and Sydelle quotes the line, "Spend it wisely and may
God thy gold refine". Disappointed that there were no further clues,
the guests end the party.
The title "The Long Party" may be an homage to the classic Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye. Jake finally befriends his partner, Madame Hoo, by simply talking to her and in doing so encourage her to learn English. He sees no reason to do otherwise, showing an innate empathy that isn't as evident in his wife Grace. The behavior of the different pairs helps reveal what their suspicions are, as seen by the "twin" costumes of Angela and Sydelle as well as Theo asking everyone for a game of chess. The stress of outside expectations begins to take its toll on Angela, who is consoled by Crow. This begins the subplot of Crow seeing her long-dead daughter Violet in Angela, who bears a strong resemblance in both looks and situation. As with the meeting at the Westing house, the fact that George and Catherine Theodorakis are not heirs is noted again, this time by Judge Ford; their lack of participation is a clue that not only reveals a connection to Violet Westing, but also Sam Westing's desire to be more compassionate than in the past.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 15 May 2008