In Ellen Raskin's novel The Westing Game, what five identities does Sam Westing use?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Ellen Raskin's 1978 mystery novel The Westing Game, the character of Sam Westing, in addition to that identity, assumes four others:

Barney Northrup, the mysterious, eccentric real estate agent whose ruse attracts each of the potential heirs of Sam Westing;

Julian Eastman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Westing Paper Products Corporation;

Sandy McSouthers, the "stocky, broad-shouldered man in the doorman's uniform at Sunset Towers";

and Windy Windkloppel, the true(?) identity of Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, Julian Eastman, and Sandy McSouthers: "I, Samuel W. Westing of Westingtown, born Sam “Windy” Windkloppel of Watertown (I had to change my name for business purposes. After all, who would buy a product called Windkloppel’s Toilet Tissues?)..."

Raskins' novel plays with the identities of the main character to confuse the "suspects" as well as the reader. That the author is playing a game with identities is not a part of the mystery; enough clues are provided along the way to allow for an educated guess regarding the identities of the above-named characters, especially the fact that each name is a point on the compass.