by Paul Zindel
The Pigman Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter)
"Bobo's getting old. . . ." I heard Mr. Pignati say as I served him a glass of wine. John had a can of beer, and I just didn't feel like anything at that moment. […]
I sat in a creaky wooden chair near the window and I could feel a terrible draft. […] And just at that moment, for no reason at all, I remembered the old lady at Chambers Street saying "Death is coming." (10)
Mr. Pignati's sadness that Bobo is getting old is an ominous sign of Mr. Pignati's own age and impending death.
[John:] By the time we left, I was so glad to see the outside world I thought I had been in prison for seventy-three years. The smell of hospitals always makes me think of death. In fact I think hospitals are exactly what graveyards are supposed to be like. They ought to bury people in hospitals and let sick people get well in the cemeteries. (11)
Again, John demonstrates the originality of his thought. His reflection that hospitals are deathly and cemeteries are peaceful and full of greenery actually makes sense.
[Lorraine:] Once I had a nightmare about that room. I was walking down a long hall and saw the curtains on a doorway at the end. Even though I was dreaming, I knew exactly where I was, and I felt an icy chill run through me. I wanted to run away, but something was pushing me toward the curtains, and I started to scream for John.
The room was very dark though I could make out the shapes of pigs all around me. But instead of being on a table the pigs were arranged on a long black container, and as I started to realize what it was the fingers propelling my legs tightened and moved me closer. I felt the same horrible force taking control of my arms, and I couldn't stop my hands from moving down to the lid of the box. When I touched it my hands went cold, and I knew I was about to open a coffin. I started to cry and plead and call to God to stop me as the lid began to rise.
Then was when I woke up screaming. Right there and then I should have known the dream was an omen of death. (12)
Wow. This is quite some dream! Lorraine's interpretation that this is an omen of death seems right on the money. But why is she having this dream about the pigs and the pig room, instead of, say, the hospital? Perhaps because she fears that Mr. Pignati will die, and the pigs represent him?