The Westing Game
How we cite our quotes:
Friday was back to normal, if the actions of suspicious would-be heirs competing for a two-hundred-million-dollar prize could be considered normal. (15.1)
We think this calls for an LOL. It's also a great example of irony. Participating in a contest to win hundreds of millions of dollars is not, and will never be, normal. So "normal" in this context doesn't mean what we consider "normal"; instead, it means that backbiting, spying, and generally acting suspicious has come to stand for typical, expected behavior. And that's all because of the money.
Only one thing mattered: Saturday's big track meet. If he won or came in a fast second he'd have his pick of athletic scholarships. He didn't need the inheritance. (18.24)
Doug is one of the few players who are not interested in playing the game. We can applaud his determination to make something of himself on his own terms, working with his innate abilities to create a profitable career – instead of relying on other people's money, he's working on paying his own way. Snarkily speaking, though, Doug's just not that good at or interested in strategy.
You're awfully hard on yourself, judge. And on him. Maybe Westing paid for your education 'cause you were smart and needy, and you did all the rest by yourself. (21.41)
Once we find out that Sandy's really Sam Westing, this line takes on a much deeper meaning. Judge Ford's upset that she owes Westing a debt for her education, and she's never going to pay it back. She worries that Westing helped her out so he'd have a judge on his payroll. It seems here like Sandy is just trying to calm her down. But as Westing, this could be the full and only reason why he helped the judge in the first place – because she was "smart and needy," and he had the means to help her. He gave her the opportunity, but she's giving him too much credit.