The Westing Game

The Westing Game Imagery

Fourth of July

Sam Westing's flair for the dramatic is described in detail through his love for Fourth of July pageants and all things Fourth of July related. When the Westing mansion is ultimately destroyed, it goes out in a burst of red, white, and blue fireworks that celebrate Sam Westing's love of all things American.


With two restaurants in Sunset Towers, there is quite a bit of food imagery in the novel. The description of the actual menu items at Shin Hoo's restaurant (the short ribs seems to be the specialty) and the items at the coffee shop are juxtaposed by the entrees made up by Sydelle and Chris, from "french fried mouse" to "chocolate covered moose."


There are multiple mentions of chess and other competitions in the novel. Everyone begins to see themselves as a "pawn" in Sam Westing's chess game. At one point, when Crow is framed, J.J. Ford realizes that she is being sacrificed like the chess piece "the queen." In the backdrop, Doug Hoo's competitions and medals also inject the ideas of games, winners, and losers into the novel.

Paper Products

Sam Westing owns a paper factory and his products are scattered throughout the book. Westing Paper Products makes items such as disposable paper diapers (which he allegedly stole from Mr. Hoo). Mr. Hoo also has paper products of his own: his paper innersoles which he eventually sells and makes quite a bit of money.