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Analysis

Bobo

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Lorraine describes Bobo as "the ugliest, most vicious-looking baboon I've ever seen in my life" (6), 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" (14). And yet Mr. Pignati loves Bobo, feeds him treats, worries about him, and calls him his "best friend" (6). Bobo seems to function as some sort of surrogate 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:

And maybe Lorraine and I were only a different kind of baboon in a way. Maybe we were all baboons for that matter—big blabbing baboons—smiling away and not really caring what was going on as long as there were enough peanuts bouncing around to think about— […] baffled baboons concentrating on all the wrong things. (15)

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