The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

802 Words4 Pages
The Westing Game starts out with the delivery of six letters signed by Barney Northrup, to six different households on the Fourth of July. The letters offer a once in a lifetime chance to rent an apartment at the new and luxurious Sunset Towers, located on the shores of Lake Michigan. However, in the movie, Sunset Towers was located in the city. In the book, Sunset Towers was built mostly of glass and stood five stories high. Noticed in both the book and movie, Sunset Towers oddly faces east instead of west where the sun actually sets. In both the movie and the book, Barney Northrup manages to rent all the apartments out to the six hand selected households, which includes the Wexler family, the Theodorakis family, the Hoo family, Judge Josie-Jo Ford, secretary Sydelle Pulaski, and dressmaker Flora Baumbach. The building also accommodates the businesses of Jake Wexler, George Theodorakis, and James Hoo and employs a cleaner, Berthe Erica Crow, a door attendant, Sandy McSouthers, and a delivery boy, Otis Amber.

In the Westing Game, simultaneously on Halloween the characters share a defining moment when they see smoke rising from the supposedly empty Westing house, which symbolically signals the beginning of the game that no one is aware of just then. As a result, rumors spread that Sam Westing, the rich industrialist who owned Westing Paper Products, went missing a long time ago and his dead rotting body could be in the house.

For both the Westing Game and Get a Clue, on a dare, Turtle Wexler goes into the Westing house where she discovers what she thinks is the body of Sam Westing, dressed up like Uncle Sam. The next morning, the newspaper reports the death of Sam Westing, but nothing about how.

Later on...

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...bout one another. Through the conflicts of the game, the heirs end up forming friendships.

Finally, the heirs meet back at the Westing house to share their answers, but nobody had correctly solved the mystery. Sandy McSouthers ends up falling to the floor, lying motionless, until he is pronounced dead by Dr. Sikes. In the book, the heirs start pointing fingers, but eventually they were told that Sandy McSouthers died of natural causes due to an illness he has been stricken by. In both the book and movie, before Sandy “died” he had whispered to turtle. Sandy Mcsouthers lived on as Julian Eastmen, which was the fourth disguise of Sam Westing.

The book is written in third person, which allows the author to introduce characters and related information at different times. The movie was, although, in first person so that there could be a main character.

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