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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Westing Game

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Apart from the overarching Westing game, chess is the most important game in Raskin's book. Several characters play it really well – we hear of the Judge, Theo, and Turtle all going up agains...

Setting

THIS SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS.Nearly all of the book's action takes place in two domestic settings: the new apartment building, Sunset Towers, and the neighboring Westing house. (The fact that the...

Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Omniscient) is the perfect point of view (POV) for a complex murder mystery like this one. We actually can't think of anything else that would work better. This POV allows Raskin to r...

Genre

While The Westing Game is marketed as children's literature, won the Newbery Medal, and was written by a children's books author and illustrator, we think it's primarily a mystery. At a bookstore,...

Tone

In the strategy-based Westing game, it's the narrator who holds all the cards. We might think Westing is smart for designing such a complicated, tricky game, but ultimately the narrator's even smar...

Writing Style

The text can get a bit complicated, on a grammatical/word choice level, when the narrator switches rapidly back and forth between telling the story from several points of view, all the while keepin...

What's Up With the Title?

This title refers to a "game" the characters are playing: find the answer to Sam Westing's will, and win $200 million. But it also refers to another, similar game that only the narrator and one cha...

What's Up With the Ending?

OK, so there are three endings. That's kind of weird. However, maybe it's fitting for the game-within-a-game structure of the book. Untying such a complicated concoction takes more than one ending....

Tough-o-Meter

The Westing Game isn't that tough to read, at least on the surface. Sure, there's a great mystery throughout the book, but you can just read along with the characters and figure out the clues along...

Plot Analysis

All of the carefully selected tenants move into Sunset Towers.This section does a great job of setting up both the time/place of the action and the many characters that will be living in it and tak...

Trivia

Did you know Ellen Raskin started out as a children's books illustrator? She even designed the cover for A Wrinkle in Time. (Source)This book's first title was Eight Imperfect Pairs of Heirs. (Source)

Allusions

The Bible (8.37-38)William Shakespeare (8.37-38) (10.50-51, 53)The Bobbsey Twins (10.54)Aeschylus (15.21)Quintus Fabius Maximus (15.21)Uncle Sam (4.24)"America the Beautiful," (7.27, 14.49, 14.52,...
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