The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game Patriotism Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
A great patriot, Samuel Westing was famous for his fun-filled Fourth of July celebrations. Whether disguised as Ben Franklin or a lowly drummer boy, he always acted a role in the elaborately staged pageants which he wrote and directed. (4.22)
This portion of text comes from the obituary printed about Westing in the paper, and for almost everyone – except a very select few – it stands as his permanent obituary. It reveals that patriotism was a huge part of Westing's character; it was important to him on both serious and fun levels. However, in retrospect this is also a huge clue about Westing and solving the mystery. See, the game itself is an "elaborately staged pageant" that "he wr[ites] and direct[s]," and the disguise he concocts is his best one yet.
Hail to thee, O land of opportunity! You have made me, the son of poor immigrants, rich, powerful, and respected.
So take stock in America, my heirs, and sing in praise of this generous land. (6.32)
While this almost seems like hyperbolic language – it's so excited and so full of praise – Westing's being serious. He loves America and is a true patriot. Plus, he's totally ready to give the country props for all the opportunities it bestowed on him. See, Westing had the ideal immigrant experience, the one the American dream is supposed to be like, but doesn't always turn out to be. Since the country's system worked for him, he sees the country as "generous" and bountiful.
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine. (14.52)
It's interesting that Theo picks this part of the song to sing to Angela – more accurately, it's interesting that the quote from the will leads to this part of the song – because if it had been from the first verse of "America the Beautiful" instead of the third, the solution to the clues would have been found that much more quickly. This verse is less well known today than the first, which is usually all people can recite off the top of their heads.