Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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THE WESTING GAME - FREE BOOK SUMMARY
Turtle prides herself on her braids, so her decision to seek out Flora's help in that matter not only shows how the Wexler family is falling apart, but how the Flora/Turtle bond is quickly growing. This works both ways, as Turtle has a maternal figure in Flora and Flora has a daughter figure to replace her dead Rosalie. Turtle's request that Flora call her Alice is a way for the two to share a bond all their own, even if it isn't Turtle's real name. The choice of Alice may reflect the most famous literary Alice, as Turtle herself is in a strange new wonderland within the intricacies of the Westing game.
Theo's common sense notion of pooling resources is foiled by the conflicts
between the heirs, first from Sydelle's missing notebook and then by the
explosion described in the next chapter.
Loud bangs shock the group. Theo and Doug run into the kitchen and Mrs. Theodorakis runs out, covered in what looks like blood but is actually tomato sauce. Everyone but Sydelle goes into the kitchen, which is covered in tomato sauce and fire extinguisher foam. Hoo thinks the cans of tomato sauce exploded from stove heat but George Theodorakis asserts that it was a bomb. Catherine Theodorakis says there's no real damage but they'll need to close up several days to clean up. Sydelle at last arrives in the kitchen, assuring everyone she's fine but a bit woozy.
Angela is in Sydelle's apartment while her partner transcribes her Polish shorthand, when Turtle knocks on the door demanding the newspaper Angela took from her desk. Turtle asks if Angela has seen her Mickey Mouse watch and warns Angela that she left the engagement ring on the sink again. Sydelle says Grace Wexler wouldn't stoop low enough to steal it, which makes Turtle laugh. Turtle says Grace thinks Angela stole the shorthand notebook since Angela does anything her mother wants her to do. Angela asks if their mother really said that and Turtle says she didn't but knows how adults think. As an example, she adds that Angela doesn't want to marry Denton Deere; when Sydelle disagrees, Turtle says that at least she doesn't need a crutch to get attention. Angela tries to defuse the situation and sends Turtle away; Sydelle opines that Turtle's figurative crutch is her big mouth, but Angela knows it's her braids.
The newspaperman calls Judge Ford and says that a photograph from twenty
years ago lists George Theodorakis as the escort of Violet Westing, Sam
Westing's daughter. She now knows of four heirs with Westing connections:
James Hoo, Theo's father, Sandy McSouthers, and herself. She decides to
hire a private detective, looks in a phone book, and finds a name which
grabs her attention. She isn't sure if she's playing into Sam Westing's
hand but calls anyway and is greeted by "a snowbound private investigator"
whose voice is the same as the person she thinks it is.
The first bomb immediately stirs tensions among the tenants and the heirs, but the lack of any real damage indicates a desire for mischief but not any real suffering. The bombs are a release of anger and a cry for help, but not vindictive or evil. Readers learn in this chapter that Angela has taken a newspaper from Turtle's desk, but the candles may still have been taken as well at the time. The revelation of George Theodorakis' romance with Violet Westing paves the way to expect something similar between the two younger characters who most resemble them in looks, Theo Theodorakis and Angela Wexler.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 09 May 2017