The Pigman

Paul Zindel

Characters

 

Angelo Pignati-a lonely, widowed, retired electrician who lives alone in a messy house in John and Lorraine's neighborhood.

Lorrian Jensen-Lorraine Jensen is a fifteen-year-old high-school sophomore who lives in the same Staten Island neighborhood as John Conlan, her best friend....

John Colan-John Conlan is a fifteen-year-old high-school sophomore who lives in Staten Island, New York, and is best friends with Lorraine Jensen,...

Bore-John's dad is one stressed-out guy

Norton Kelly-Norton is John and Lorraine's classmate, a mean guy who steals electronics and sells them illegally

Lorrians mom-Lorraine's mom has a hard life. She works as a home-care nurse for terminally-ill, elderly patients. She's been a single mother since before Lorraine was born

Johns mother-John's mother is a  "disinfectant fanatic". All she does  is clean, clean, clean. She deals with the tension between John and his father by either ignoring it or suggesting that John go to a friend's house, so as not to aggravate his father .

SEtting

The Pigman takes place in Staten Island, NY in the mid-1960s. Although John and Lorraine make a trip to Manhattan with Mr. Pignati, the rest of the action takes place onStaten Island, the southern-most of New York City's five boroughs.

Plot


  • Climax- Norton shows up uninvited to John's and Lorraine's party at Mr. Pignati's house and destroys the pig collection.Angry that he has not been invited, Norton shows up at the party. He steals electrical equipment and smashes the pigs, looking for money. Mr. Pignati comes home from the hospital unexpectedly and sees the ruin of his pigs and his wife's dress is ruin too.
  • Resolution-John tries to sort out his feelings about life and death.On the floor of the monkey house with Mr. Pignati's body, John thinks how sad it is that people can be as lonely as Mr. Pignati was. The position of Mr. Pignati's head disturbingly reminds John of his father. He thinks how futile the lives of his parents' generation are. He and Lorraine sadly leave the zoo, hand in hand.

Conflict

Norton wants to steal from Mr. Pignati, but John tries to put him off the trail with various lies.

Even before John and Lorraine meet Mr. Pignati, John protects him by telling Dennis and Norton he and Lorraine are not going to collect the money because Mr. Pignati caught on that Lorraine was not really from a charity and hung up. As the novel progresses, Norton's threats become stronger.

Theme

Growing up/Getting old‐ The Pigman follows the lives of two teenagers, John and Lorraine, who come from broken families and therefore tend to blame their problems on their upbringing. To makeup for the lack of fulfillment that they feel, they spend their time pulling pranks and telling jokes. However, as they come to know and love Mr.Pignati, they learn that life is made up of choices, and that they are incharge of those choices. By the end of the novel, theyhave made an important step in “growing‐up” in that they realize that they are in control of themselves, and no one else. They also realize, as they witness thedeath of Mr. Pignati, following the death of his wife, that life does not last forever. Everyone grows old, and ourchoices will effect how we enjoy the short time that we have.

Home- home is where love is

Symbolism

Cages-The monkeys, at the zoo, of course, are in literal cages. But nearly every character is in a metaphorical cage. John feels trapped by his father's expectation that John will become a businessman like himself; John's father is trapped in his narrow world at the Coffee Exchange; John's mother is trapped by her obsession with cleaning; Lorraine is trapped by her mother's suspicions; Lorraine's mother is trapped in her awful job; Mr. Pignati is trapped in his grief over his wife's death.

BOBO-Lorraine describes Bobo as "the ugliest, most vicious-looking baboon I've ever seen in my life" , and the zoo attendant who feeds him says, after his death: "Can't say I feel particularly sorry about it because that baboon had the nastiest disposition around here" . And yet Mr. Pignati loves Bobo, feeds him treats, worries about him, and calls him his "best friend" . Bobo seems to function as some sort of  son, and points to the fact that Mr. Pignati is kind of fond of misfits, whether their animals (like Bobo) or humans (like John and Lorraine). John later discusses baboons as a symbol.

foreshadowing/suspense

foreshadowing of death as seen throughout the whole novel. Mr. Pignati finds out that his best friend, a baboon  from the zoo, has died. Mr. Pignati dies shortly after

Connections

I have a connection to this book because 2 of my family members died. And one was a girl/women and one was boy/man.

The memorize game

Comment Stream

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2 years ago
0

There homes are similar because they both dont have any love at home and they dont have much attention either. And having a comfortable home is needed because if your not comfortable then you dont feel safe or portected, And Mr.Pignat impacts john and lorrains life a lot because he showed them what there parents dont show them which is attention and love.

2 years ago
0

John and Lorraine's homes are similar because there is always conflict between them and their parents. They are different because Johns mother is a stay at home mom and Lorraine's mother is always working. It is important having a home in which you feel comfortable in because later in life you will overcome many obstacles and you will return to that place for advice. Mr. Pignati's home is important to the novel because the main characters go there to escape all their problems.

2 years ago
0

John and Lorraine's are very similar because in both of there homes they have family that does not even seem like family just people that they have known for a long time and the people thay live with just make them feel so bad and so lonley that there is nothing there for them but a roof over there heads. John and Lorraine's homes are different because John has both of his parents at home and even thow they do not make him feel bad about himself they do seem to not realy care about him at Lorraine's home she only has one parent and that parent is her mother and her mother just makes her feel very terible about her self and only treats her like a maid. I think that having a home were you feel comfortable is very important because you have a place were you can feel safe loved and like you could be youself. Mr.Pignati is very important to this story because he is the center of the hole novel.

2 years ago
0

well there homes are similar because there both a wreck but they are also different because there parents have different expectations from one an other. It is very important to have a good home and it is nice to be loved. It is a home for them because there houses they don't feel loved

2 years ago
0

There homes are similar because they both have parent that treat them wrong and don't care for them as they might need. They are different because Lorraine only has a mother and John has both of his parent that encourage him to do wrong and Lorraines mom wants her to make tho right story. Having a home is where u are loved and feel comfertable. Its important because thats where they go and feel comfertable and know that they ae safe

2 years ago
0

John and Lorraine are similar because of the bond they share with Mr. Pignati and their parental issues. Having a home that you feel comfortable in is important because it a place where you can relax be yourself without someone judging you for who you really are. Mr. Pignati's home is an important part of the novel because it gave John and Lorraine and Mr. Pignati a chance to be who they really are.

2 years ago
0

John and Lorraine had similar homes because in John house his parents just did not care what he did so he just what he want too and then Lorraine was just a girl who want to have friends at school but her mother was did not want her out the house because she dad cheat on her dad with a another woman so she think all man or boys or no good .Then they are different because john was a kid who made his mind up up front and Lorraine was a girl who to herself because she though that people did not want to talk to her but then one day she meet John.Well with house you would be on the street and who would love you. Mr.pignati home play a big part in the book with the house there would not have a place to meet

2 years ago
0

John and Lorraine's home is similar because they both don't really have a good environment of a home. They have different homes because at John's house his parents don't really care for him, his dad drinks and his mom is a clean freak. Lorraine's home doesn't have a father and her mother is always criticizing her and working. It is important to have a home you feel comfortable in because you don't want to live in a home your not comfortable in because it's your home and your supposed to feel welcome. You are also supposed to feel safe. Mr. Pignati's home is important because that's where John and Lorraine feel welcome and let loose and have fun, and they feel the opposite of when they feel in their home. So, they liked going to Mr. Pignati's home better than their home.

2 years ago
0

I think John and Lorraines houses are different and similar in their own different ways. Johns house has +3 people in his house, however Lorraine doesn't have a father figure. In that case she has less so it may seem empty or not feel like home. It's important to have a home where you feel comfortable in so, you can have a nice nap at night and not be scared of anything. For example, if you went to a neighborhood that had a rumor saying there were many murderers happening there!

2 years ago
0

Also mr. pignati's house is important to him because his wife lived there probably.