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Transcript of The Pigman
My assigned literature circle book is "The Pigman" by Paul Zindel.
Zindel wrote a total of 39 books, all of them aimed at children or young adults. He had two children; novelist and actor Lizabeth Zindel, and son David, a filmmaker. Zindel was born May 15, 1936 and died March 27, 2003 because of lung cancer. (He was 66.)
"The Pigman" takes place in 1968 New York, on Staten Island. John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen live and go to school there as high school sophomores.
Characterization of a Main Character
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 clothes. He finds that John and Lorraine have had a party in his house where he experiences not only personal damage, but also emotional betrayal by two young people he believed were his friends.
1. Fate or Destiny- Lorraine’s character, for example, is obsessed with all the omens foretelling unhappiness, coming problems, or even death that she missed. She believes that if she had only recognized them as they occurred much of the tragedy she and John experienced would have been avoided. John, on the other hand, is the first to accept the reality that they have created their own heartbreak and now they must deal with the consequences the best they know how. Lorraine eventually understands the truth about destiny as well: we are our own destinies.
Figurative Language Chart
Although John and Lorraine make a trip to Manhattan with Mr. Pignati, the rest of the action takes place on Staten Island, the southern-most of New York City's five boroughs. The setting change to Manhattan advances the plot by showing that time has passed from one place to another.
Page 3, Paragraph 1. “Thirty-four scrawny, undernourished apples rolling up the aisles sound just like a herd of buffalo stampeding.” (The sound of the apples rolling was really loud.)
Page 5, Paragraph 1. “She looked a little bit like a Saint Bernard that just lost its keg.” (She looked upset.)
Page 42, Paragraph 4. “I swear he looked just like a great big baby that had just made a super-duper mud pie.” (He looked pretty excited.)
Page 103, Paragraph 5. “A chip off the old block.” (John behaved the same way his father did.)
Page 176, Paragraph 4. “Keep your eyes glued to the peas and every speck of dust on the floor.” (Pay attention to the little things in life.)
Lorraine knew the wheels in the John's head were turning. (Lorraine knew John was coming up with a plan/thinking.)
Page 19, Paragraph 2. “I suppose it all started when Lorraine and I and these two amoebae called Dennis Kobin and Norton Kelly were hot on these phone gags. (In John's opinion, Dennis Kobin and Norton Kelly useless losers.)
Page, 97, Paragraph 3. “The Pigman, John, and me- three funny little monkeys.” (They all looked a bit peculiar.)
Page 50, Paragraph 5. ”The old fossil had me on the run from the minute I got there." (The elder ordered me around from the minute I got there.)
Lorraine Jensen, a high school sophomore, is sensitive, compassionate, and very skillful at observing others. She wants to be a writer, and is especially interested in psychology. She also has a mystical, superstitious side, often interpreting unusual occurrences as omens.
Lorraine is afraid of her mother, who, in addition to frequent verbal abuse, often slaps her. Lorraine tells us that she often cries herself to sleep. Her shyness and fragile self-confidence are not helped by her mother's constant harsh criticisms, such as: "You're not a pretty girl, Lorraine."
Lorraine is the moral compass, usually trying to do the right thing. Though she is not perfect, she tries to make good decisions. Lorraine especially struggles with basic teenage self-consciousness. Her mother comments about her weight and lack of beauty, which she tries to shrug off, but can’t help thinking about it often.
The greatest external conflict would be the parents and friends with whom John and Lorraine associate. The parents place restrictions on them so that they cannot visit Mr. Pignati or feel any sense of freedom. Their friends, especially Norton, cause problems in the end, especially when they have a party in Mr. Pignati’s house and Norton destroys many of Mr. Pignati’s valuables.
Types of Characters in "The Pigman"
John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen
John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen
Like John, she is an inventive liar. Lorraine effortlessly makes up lie after lie. She frequently tells her mother that she is studying at a friend's house, when she is at Mr. Pignati's house with John.
Lorraine attempts to put the brakes on John's wilder schemes; and she tells John that he should not have a party in Mr. Pignati's house.
Character Trait Chart
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. Norton meets John at the cemetery and asks John if Mr. Pignati has anything worth stealing, specifically what kind of electronics he has. Angry that John is not forthcoming with information, he threatens to "pay a visit" to Mr. Pignati "real soon."
Mr. Pignati goes upstairs and cries. John and Lorraine go home. John and Lorraine call Mr. Pignati to apologize and offer to help clean up. They suggest a trip to the zoo. When Mr. Pignati learns that Bobo has died, he has a second heart attack.
Mr. Pignati ends up dying from the heart attack. He has been betrayed by John and Lorraine and even though at the time of his death, they are trying to seek his forgiveness, the death of the baboon, Bobo, who became his only friend after the death of his wife, proves to be more than he can bear and he dies. John and Lorraine learn from their own broken hearts that they made some seriously flawed decisions and now they will pay for that the rest of their lives.
The problem within the story is when Mr. Pignati's valuables are stolen and his wife's pig collection is broken.
The person that is causing the problem is Norton Kelly.
By: Erica Kwok
When John, Lorraine, Norton Kelly, and Dennis Kobin make prank phone calls, Lorraine picks out Mr. Pignati's phone number and pretends to be calling from a charity. From the first meeting, the two teenagers and the old man become close friends. Mr. Pignati happily takes on the role of a father-figure for the two teenagers.
2. Growing Up- Both John and Lorraine have dysfunctional families and find it easy to point to their parents as the source of their problems. However, as they create this relationship with Mr. Pignati, they begin to mature and recognize that, in spite of the temptation to blames others, in the end, life is what each of us makes of it and we are the only ones we can blame when it goes wrong.
Character: Lorraine Jensen
Lorraine's mother frequently tells her that she's not pretty, and to top it off, Lorraine has paranoia.
Lorraine states in the novel- "I know just how the minds of animals work—just the kinds of games they like to play." At the zoo, she is annoyed that the attendant dumps the fish into the sea lion pool, instead of making feeding time into a game.
Likes to interpret others
Lorraine says early in the story- "John has compassion deep inside of him, which is the real reason we got involved with the Pigman."
The book starts out in 1968 New York, Staten Island. John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen narrate the story themselves; John doing all the odd chapters and Lorraine, the even. They are both high school sophomores at Franklin High.
Page 180, Paragraph 3. "Right in the bright sunlight you could see the flashing dome pulsing. (The light on the ambulance was flashing.)
Page 122, Paragraph 3. “The door opened with a sigh.”
(The door creaked open.)
The problem is resolved by John, who in turn beats Norton up for doing so. The story states, "A second later my hands grabbed the back of Norton's neck, and I pushed him forward with so much force he must have traveled the length of the living room before we both fell to the floor."
Mr. Pignati suffers a heart attack while he and the teens are playing tag with roller skates, and is sent to the hospital; John and Lorraine agree to take care of his house while he recovers. The true betrayal comes when John invites friends over to Mr. Pignati's house. The situation quickly turns into a drunken, boisterous party. Lorraine's friend rips one of Conchetta Pignati's dresses. Norton ransacks Mr. Pignati's house and destroys Conchetta's collection of porcelain pigs, which Mr. Pignati holds very dear to him.
Mr. Pignati returns to find his house ransacked, and is incredibly hurt when he finds out John and Lorraine were responsible for the incident. Feeling terrible, the two offer to take him to the zoo to help make up for it. When they reach the zoo, they discover that Bobo the baboon has died. Overcome with grief and the heaviness of the recent events, Mr. Pignati has a heart attack and dies, leaving John and Lorraine grieving and reflecting on the fragility of life.
Page 58, Paragraph 2. The sun smiled. (The sun was shining.)