Pigman
By Paul Zindel. The Pigman is a story about John and Lorraine, high school
sophomores who, not getting what they need from their families, must
surreptitiously seek love, reassurance, and meaning on the outside. In each
other and Mr. Pignati (the Pigman), owner of a porcelain pig collection, they
find love and reassurance; the meaning they find in themselves, in the unfolding
of their relationship with Mr. Pignati and the drama leading to his death. John,
a handsome and wild boy, drinks and smokes excessively; and, as Lorraine points
out, only his good looks have kept him out of reform school. Lorraine, a shy
girl John\'s own age, has low self-esteem and mild paranoia. John becomes
attracted to her because he sees in her the same spontaneous, crazy quality that
he has and no one else seems to share. John and Lorraine meet Mr. Pignati via a
phone game to see who can keep a stranger on the line the longest. They get a
$10.00 donation for a bogus charity and feel guilty about it, since they
perceive how lonely the Pigman is. To make up for taking the money, they take

Pigman to feed his only friend in the world, Bobo, an incredibly bad-tempered
baboon. Mr. Pignati, as he shows them his pig collection that once belonged to
his deceased wife, gives John and Lorraine the run of his house. Soon, Lorraine
and John become close friends with the Pigman, who takes them to Beekman\'s, a
large department store, where he buys them rollerskates and gourmet food. They
play games together. They are like the three monkeys that they see in the pet
department at Beekman\'s, hugging each other to be loved, and all the while the
cold, indifferent world goes about its business ignoring them. One day during a
game of rollerskate tag in his house, Mr. Pignati has a heart attack while
chasing John up the stairs. He is taken to the hospital, and in his absence John
and Lorraine use the house to throw a wild party. Mr. Pignati returns
unexpectedly at the height of the commotion. John and Lorraine are taken home by
the police; the Pigman cries alone in his room. John and Lorraine feel
remorseful for betraying Pigman\'s friendship and for the destruction of his
precious pigs by their uninvited friend, Norton, a thief, looking for money. To
smooth things over, they convince Mr. Pignati to join them to see Bobo at the
zoo the next day. But Bobo is dead. Poor Mr. Pignati cannot take the heartbreak.

His wife is dead. The pigs are destroyed. His best friend Bobo is dead. Mr.

Pignati dies, too. John and Lorraine know they are partly to blame for his
death. They know now they are also responsible for what happens in their lives.