The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The doorman described Mrs. Westing as blonde, full-lipped, a good figure though on the skinny side […]
Judge Ford did not remember a mole; she remembered copper-colored hair and thin lips, but it was so long ago, and well--Mrs. Westing was white. Very white. (15.66-67)
Here, identity is based on appearance. The judge and Sandy remember two very different looking women when they think of Mrs. Westing. Of course, they're both biased – Sandy's deliberately lying to keep the judge guessing in the game, while the judge uses racial difference as a reason to explain why her memory may be foggy.
'What does it all mean, judge?' Sand asked, squinting at the pictures through his smeared glasses. 'Angela looks like Westing's daughter, and Theo looks like his father, the man Violet Westing really wanted to marry.' (15.69-70)
While we're probably supposed to think these resemblances mean something, the truth is, they don't. In another melodramatic mystery, Angela and Theo could be in danger based on this resemblance, or they could be fated to fall in love. But they aren't, and they don't. History is kind of amended in that a Theodorakis descendant marries a Westing descendant, fulfilling Violet and George's doomed relationship, but that marriage isn't based on look-alikes – it's Turtle, not Angela, whom Theo marries. It's almost as though these familial resemblances are nothing more than coincidences – helpful coincidences that keep some of the heirs from figuring out the truth.
Some scarring, not bad really, Angela. Besides, you always said being pretty wasn't important, it's who you really are that counts. (16.61)
When Turtle's trying to console Angela about how she'll be a little disfigured from the bombing, which Angela herself caused, she quotes her own words back to her. But it's one thing to say being pretty isn't significant when you are pretty. It's another thing to keep believing it when you can't rely on your traditional prettiness anymore. Notice, too, another important quote's echo here: "it's what you don't have that counts." Who you are is what matters, not what box your appearance fits into.