Mark Reads ‘The Westing Game’: Chapters 9 / 10

In the ninth and tenth chapters of The Westing Game, suspicions run high while Judge Ford learns something interesting of James Hoo, and then she invites them all to her apartment for a party. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Westing Game.

Chapter Nine: Lost and Found / Chapter Ten: The Long Party

  • I’m guessing I’m going to have to wait a bit to find out whether or not my theory is correct, but I do love the we delve in deeper to these characters! In particular, I’m surprised by the developments here for Angela Wexler, who is clearly not at all what she seems on the outside.
  • It’s also clear that these people’s prejudices, bigtory, or preconceived notions of one another is going to get in the way of solving this puzzle because I’m convinced that the clues aren’t meant to be solved on their own. There’s no way it makes logical sense that a four-word clue would provide an answer to this giant mystery all on its own! That’s why I have to give major props to Judge Ford, who is the first person to actually get as many of the heirs as she can in a single room.
  • So, Flora and Turtle appear to be the only heirs who have actually spent part of their first check. What are the others going to do with their money? I mean, as long as they’re still in the game, they’ll get $10,000 at each step of the way, right?
  • This chapter (and the next, too) really shows how awful Grace Wexler is to both of her daughters. Initially, we see how Grace treats her daughter with kindness and affection right up to the moment where Turtle refuses to share her clues with her, and then we get this: “It did no good being nice to that ungrateful child, never satisfied, always whining about something or other.” Maybe she acts the way she does because YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY ABYSMAL TOWARDS HER.
  • I still don’t like Sydelle, either. Either she or Angela is stealing shit from people’s apartments. THAT IS MY THEORY.
  • The first big bombshell in this book, though, comes from Judge Ford’s inquiries with the local newspaperman: James Hoo sued Sam Westing for alleged theft of one of his inventions. WHICH EXPLAINS A LOT ABOUT JAMES HOO.
  • The party itself appears, on the surface, to be a disappointment, but I disagree. I THINK IT’S RIDDLED WITH CLUES. Well, not just clues! Yes, this is a giant mystery, but Raskin doesn’t ignore character development at all. WHICH IS MY EVERYTHING.
  • (That’s not to say I understand everything here. For example, Grace’s comment about Ford’s apartment being three bedrooms just confused me.)
  • The obvious thing I picked up is that this whole situation has created a sense of nervous fear in everyone. There’s the fear that someone in the room is a murderer, sure, but I think that some of the heirs aren’t even sure this whole Westing game business is a real thing, you know?
  • We learn the most about Angela from a couple brief scenes from her point of view. I’d assumed that she enjoyed being the center of attention in her family (and in general), but Raskin reveals that Angela more or less despises the way her mother treats her and expects her to be the obedient, perfect child. On top of that, it’s also demeaning to Angela that everyone centers her identity around her husband and not herself. If you look back on these chapters (and most likely the entire book before this), I think it would be easy to point out how often this happens. We’ve heard so much about D. Denton Deere, but what do we actually know of Angela?
  • I’m glad that Jake at least attempts to involve Madame Hoo in a conversation, though I’m really hoping that Madame Hoo’s appearances are not what they seem because she really comes off as a huge stereotype so far.
  • I think Sydelle’s twin outfit idea is one of the silliest things I’ve ever come across.
  • As the party continues, nothing ever gets better for anyone. Everyone is so on edge that they all keep saying awkward shit to each other or offending each other or doing absolutely nothing to get to know one another. And that is a problem because part of the will very explicitly states that they need to discover who everyone really is. That’s not happening here, with one exception: Judge Ford. She doesn’t get to ask James about his lawsuit, but she’s still trying.
  • Oh, lord, I’m still so confused. Onwards I go!

Please note that the original text/videos contains use of the word “invalid.”

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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