The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"F-for p-plain g-g-grain shed." Chris spoke slowly. He had practiced his recitation over and over, hour after lonely hour. "G-grain--oats--Otis Amber. F-for, shed--she, F-Ford. F-Ford lives in f-four D." (14.43)
When you consider how many other wrong answers are spouted off by other characters and quickly forgotten or tossed aside, it's tempting to pay more attention to Chris's "recitation" because he's worked so hard on it. More than any other description, this passage really points out the cruelty of his condition and the courage of his spirit. Can you imagine working for hours just to articulate one sentence? How much do we admire Chris for that?
What a spectacle she made, her wide rear end sticking out, singing in that tuneless, nasal voice. The derisive smiles soon faded as, pair by pair, the heirs heard their code words sung. (23.70)
When we're reading literature, we sometimes forget that singing can be a powerful communication tool too, because we get so focused on written text. Here, though, because everyone's been working so hard to figure out tiny elements of a larger idea, they're doubly stunned – first, by the song, and second, by the realization that they've been working with the wrong medium. It also makes sense that Sydelle would choose to reveal that she and Angela know everybody else's clues in the most dramatic way possible; she loves attention, even though she doesn't always realize when it's unflattering.
"Cheer up, my friend, the game's not over yet," Sandy whispered. "You still can win. I hope you do." (24.15) (25.29)
This speech Sandy makes to Turtle is important both when he says it, right after the heirs have found out their answers are wrong, and when she remembers it before the trial scene. Her memory of his encouragement, combined with that last wink he gave her, makes Turtle think that something's up, and the game's still afoot. No one else realizes the inheritance is still up for grabs; with this reminder, Sandy points Turtle in the right direction to figure out the puzzle's solution.