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Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

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The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; detailed analysis; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.



THE WESTING GAME STUDY GUIDE / SUMMARY

THEMES - THEME ANALYSIS

As a cozy mystery which is dependent on strong characterization and a constantly shifting plot, the themes of the novel develop in conjunction with the revelations of the Westing game. That is, the solving of the mystery ties into and defines the themes: the more we know about the secret of Sam Westing and his heirs, the deeper our appreciation for the larger ideas at work in the novel.

The theme of information and how it is interpreted is at the heart of any mystery novel, and that is no different here. However, as a game where the different mystery solvers make illogical and sometimes wacky leaps in deduction, the emphasis of the Westing game itself is as much on the interpretations as in the information it tries to unearth. Each of the pairs of Westing heirs treat their clues in a different manner and come to radically different conclusions, many depending on wordplay of various kinds. However, none of the pairs come up with the right answer: all their interpretations, all the contortions of information to try to come up with the name of the heir who took Sam Westing's life, add up to nothing. It is only when the heirs pool all their clues and look for the absence of information - that....... i

The theme of identity is of course tied intimately to the actual character development of the large cast (see above) but also manifests thematically in the use of masquerades and the way people present themselves - both to other people and to themselves.

Masquerades are not only a way that individuals present themselves to other people, it's a way that individuals better learn to.........

The theme of masquerade persists until the end of the novel with two characters: Turtle Wexler and Julian Eastman, Sam Windkloppel's last disguise. Turtle pretends to be.......

The minor theme of games develops more as a motif for the major themes but develops as the nature of the Westing game changes for the heirs. If anything, the message that is gained from the theme of games is that one must be aware of all the rules before one can win at a game. Nobody knew all the rules to the Westing game, especially not .......

The theme of work and education is described in detail for each character in Character Analysis, so it will suffice to say that the novel begins with many characters who are unhappy with their work situation and wish to change it. The Westing game and its aftermath result in changes that help steer most of these characters into new jobs........

 

The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; detailed analysis; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

 

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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin-Free BookNotes Summary


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