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The Westing Game

The Westing Game

  

by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game 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

Ah, Wisco. Cheese curds. The Dells. The Packers. Reclusive millionaires and their empty luxury apartment blocs.Hmm. One of these things is not like the others...Okay, so the Badger State might not...

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

The real mystery about The Westing Game is why it hasn't been made into a (successful) blockbuster by now. It has all the hallmarks of a hit. Hidden identities. Murder. A cast a nutso characters sn...

Tone

In the strategy-based Westing game, it's the narrator who holds all the cards—er, chess pieces. We might think Mr. Westing is smart for designing such a complicated, tricky game, but ultimately t...

Writing Style

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

What's Up With the Title?

This title The Westing Game refers to a "game" the characters are playing: find the answer to Sam Westing's will, and win $200 million. Simple, right? Ha. Nothing—not even the title—is simple i...

What's Up With the Ending?

Okay, so there are actually three endings to this novel—which is something that hardly ever happens outside of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story. However, maybe it's fitting for the game-within-a...

Tough-o-Meter

Good news: The Westing Game is way less of a brain strain than the average game of chess.The Westing Game isn't that tough to read, at least on the surface. Sure, there's a great mystery throughout...

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 t...

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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