The Westing Game

The Westing Game Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Describe how the pairs assigned by the Westing Game compliment each other. Give examples of how they improve each other's lives.

    Sam Westing assigned the pairs by personalities and what each player needed to learn from the other. For example, Grace Wexler learns from Mr. Hoo's business savvy and grows to want to become more a part of his restaurant. Grace finding her own purpose also allows Angela to have space from her mother to grow. Sydelle grows in confidence through having Angela as a partner and this allows her to finally feel seen by her neighbors. Finally, Chris benefits from Denton's medical background and actually gets to experience treatment he would not have otherwise.

  2. 2

    Describe the dynamic in the Wexler family. Is it a happy one? Why or why not?

    The Wexler family dynamic is not a happy one. Grace Wexler spends most of her time doting on Angela, making her feel forced into her upcoming marriage and largely ignoring Turtle. This attention on Angela makes Angela feel trapped into obeying the wishes of her mother rather than following her own path, which leads her to becoming the bomber. Dr. Wexler's finances are also an issue; he feels like a loser because he is not able to adequately support his family.

  3. 3

    How is the Westing Game a uniquely American novel?

    The Westing Game celebrates the diversity of America and rewards uniquely American values. The inhabitants of Sunset Tower are from different ethnic backgrounds - Greek, Chinese, black, Polish, and Jewish - and different economic backgrounds - from very rich to very poor. Yet, they are all stronger when they are working together as a team and learn and grow from each other's cultures. Sam Westing's game also rewards hard work and gives people opportunities to improve themselves rather than simply giving them money. Ultimately those who work hard are rewarded and the Westing Game empowers the players to be their best selves.

  4. 4

    From Sam Westing's perspective, what is the point of the Westing Game?

    For Sam Westing, his game is created as a form of penance for those who he feels he's wronged (his former wife) and a way to have fun and be generous to those who have played a role in his life. With Crow, he wants to give her the opportunity to move on and find happiness even without him, and the game allows him to bring her to their old home and give her money she would not accept from him directly. It also allows him to reward those who are a part of his life with a small amount of money to help them begin the search for what they truly want in life. After the Westing Game, Angela, who was simply going to be married, finds her passion and studies to become a doctor, largely because of the introspection that the game triggers in all of the players.

  5. 5

    Discuss J.J. Ford's journey with her own identity. What effect does the Westing Game have on it?

    Judge Ford is initially wracked with guilt over an unpaid loan the Sam Westing. We learn that he sponsored her to go to school and she never repaid the debt. She is sensitive about the fact that she received money from him, as well as the fact that her family acted as servants at his home. She is at first insulted by her clues "stars are shining brother" which she feels is a racial slight, but ultimately as she plays the game she grows more comfortable in her identity and finally pays back her debt directly to the man who gave her the money in the first place.