By: Paul Zindel
The characters in the story are: John Conlan-A handsome young boy who likes to drink, smoke, and prank people. Lorraine Jensen- A sensitive and compassionate person, has low self-esteem, and is very good at interpreting others. Mr. Pignati- A lonely, widowed, retired electrician who lives in a messy house. Lorraine's Mother: Works as a home-care nurse for terminally ill,elderly patients. John's father- Has an incredibly stressful job as a commodities broker on the Coffee Exchange, where John's brother Kenny works. John's mother- A disinfectant fanatic all she does is clean, clean, clean, and she ignores the tension between John and his father. Norton Kelly- John's classmate, a mean guy who steals electronics and sells them illegally. Information from: (www.shmoop.com/pigman/characters.html)
The setting(s) of this story are Mr. Pignati's house, John's house, Lorraine's house, The mall, Hospital, School, the graveyard, and Staten Island New York.
Initial situation- John and Lorraine become friends with The Pigman. They think he is weird at first but later, when they get to know him they like him. Conflict- Norton wants to steal from The Pigman but John tries to stop him. Complications- Norton meets John at the cemetery and asks if The Pigman has anything worth stealing. Climax- Norton shows up uninvited to The Pigman's house and destroys his pigs!!!. Suspense- Mr. Pignati goes upstairs and cries, and John and Lorraine go home. Denouement- John and Lorraine apologize to Mr. Pignati and they ask him to come to the zoo. He agrees and later finds out BoBo died, he has a second heart attack and dies. Conclusion- John thinks how the position Mr. Pignati's head is in reminds him of his father, and he wonders how long until his parents die.
The main conflict in "The Pigman" is when the main characters John and Lorraine choose to throw a party in Mr. Pignati's house while he is recovering in the hospital after he had a heart attack. When he returns to find the party going on and many of his collectible ceramic pigs broken, he is sad because those pigs meant everything to him because, the pigs brought back good memories of him and his wife Conchetta.
Maturation- In the last few paragraphs of the novel, the theme of maturation is explained. John says that both he and Lorraine trespassed where they didn't belong and that something died in them when Mr. Pignati died.
Friendship- A friendship is built between John and Lorraine and the Pigman.
Death- Death is mentioned throughout the book, showing the fragility of life.
Pigs - The pig collection symbolized Pignati's relationship with his wife and Pignati's fragile heart because when Norton breaks the pig collection, it's as if Pignati's heart is broken.
Monkeys - The three small monkeys resemble the friendship shared between the three protagonists ( John, Lorraine, and Mr. Pignati).
In the book it foreshadowed when Lorraine had a dream about when she was in Mr. Pignati's house and she was walking towards the pig room, she went in the room and saw a coffin with a dead body then she woke up. That foreshadowed that someone was going to die or get hurt.
Text-to-self- Like John and Lorraine I like to sneak to places where I'm not supposed to be, and I like to drink stuff just like John but instead of beer/wine I drink soda and juice because my mom would notice if her wine is gone. Text-to-text- When Mr. Pignati showed John and Lorraine what life is all about. This connects to Rikki - Tikki-Tavi because Rikki had a choice to give up fighting the cobra Nagaina. Text-to-world- When John and Lorraine thought Mr. Pignati was weird/crazy he taught them a lesson, and that lesson was to not judge a book by it's cover.
One golden line was "we must have looked like 3 monkeys." (p.79) This line is a simile describing how Lorraine thinks her and John's relationship is with Mr. Pignati. Two is when " they just whisked him on the stretcher like an old sack of potatoes." (p.100) That line is a simile and it's describing Mr. Pignati on the stretcher. Three " There something about his voice made me feel sorry for him." (p.22) This line is telling us that Lorraine is sad for Mr. Pignati because he was telling a joke that he used to tell his wife.
Scenes From The Book
At the end of the book John an Lorraine think it's their fault Mr. Pignati died because if they would have never pranked him in the first place they wouldn't be here and John learns that he is growing up because he is learning to take responsibility for his actions.