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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 (continued)

Other pairs also face tensions of their own, most notably Angela Wexler when she finds she is paired with the gaudy Sydelle Pulaski:

Angela stepped tentatively behind the secretary, not knowing whether to ignore her disability or take her arm. At least her crippled partner could not be the murderer, but it was embarrassing being paired with such a... no, she couldn't feel that way. It was her mother who was upset (she could feel the indignant anger without having to look at Grace); her perfect daughter was paired with a freak. (35)

This is the first real stirring of rebellion on Angela's part, a desire to not listen to her mother and not be as judgmental about surface appearances. There are two threads of thought here: the voice that represents her mother's disapproval of Sydelle, and the resistance to that voice. Any actual opinion of Angela may have about Sydelle isn't expressed, further emphasizing the conflict between pleasing Grace Wexler and resisting Grace's influence. Angela spends so much time concerned whether she is pleasing or displeasing her mother that she doesn't really understand herself.

The importance of identity and self-awareness is emphasized in Sam Westing's will, as it instructs,

ELEVENTH Senseless, you say? Death is senseless yet makes ways for the living. Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want, and which way the wind blows. (38-39)

The expected theme of a legacy - death making way for the living - is expressed, but within the flowery language of the last sentence we also have an important clue about the nature of the Westing game. The heirs must not only know who they are and what they want, but the way the wind blows - that is, the directions on the compass - will also expose who Sam Westing is. Also notice the tone of this passage: seeking to give advice, but arrogant and superior in doing so. It is very much what Sam Westing was like, for those who knew him.

Given their clues, the heirs begin to work with the words and engage in outrageous acts of wordplay to find a suitable answer. One such example is the following from Christos Theodorakis:

FORD PLAIN GRAIN SHED
Grain = oats
= Otis Amber. For + d (from shed) = Ford. But neither the delivery boy nor the judge limped, and he still hadn't.........

 

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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