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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

IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS - QUOTES AND ANALYSIS

The Westing Game is full of puzzles waiting to be solved, including the opening paragraphs:

The sun sets in the west (just about everyone know that), but Sunset towers faced east. Strange!

Sunset Towers faced east and had no towers. This glittery, glassy apartment house stood alone on the Lake Michigan shore five stories high. Five empty stories high. (1)

Immediately, the importance of a sense of direction is reinforced by the contradiction between name and fact, a pattern that would repeat itself throughout the novel. Thus, even the building where the heirs live is a part of the overall mystery, a symbol of all that follows.

Further, the building faces away from the west - that is, Sam Westing and the past - and faces east - that is, Julian Eastman and the future of the Westing fortune.

Grace stood before the front window where, beyond the road, beyond the trees, Lake Michigan lay calm and glistening. A lake view! Just wait until those so-called friends of hers with their classy houses see this place. The furniture would have to be reupholstered; no, she'd buy new furniture - beige velvet. And she'd have stationery made - blue with deckle edge, her name and fancy address in swirling type across the top: Grace Windsor Wexler, Sunset Towers on the Lake Shore. (3-4)

This internal monologue shows how Grace Wexler values the opinions of her desired social peers, but also resents that her own lifestyle doesn't match theirs. These aren't friends but "so-called friends" and she relies on surface appearances and a fake maiden name to impress them, as seen by her imagined stationery.

With the tenants confirmed, the narrator asks rhetorically,

Who were these people, these specially selected tenants? They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake. Barney Northrup had rented one of the apartments to the wrong person. (5)

The question posed by the omniscient narrator is playful and reinforces the themes of the novel. First to be listed are the roles........

 

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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