by Paul Zindel
The Pigman Old Age Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter)
[John:] But I did care. She [Lorraine] thinks she knows everything that goes on inside me, and she doesn't know a thing. What did she want from me—to tell the truth all the time? To run around saying it did matter to me that I live in a world where you can grow old and be alone and have to get down on your hands and knees and beg for friends? A place where people just sort of forget about you because you get a little old and your mind's a bit senile or silly? Did she think that didn't bother me underneath? That I didn't know if we hadn't come along the Pigman would've just lived like a vegetable until he died alone in that dump of a house? (15)
John admits that he puts on a façade to hide his real feelings of disgust at society's treatment of old people. It seems that he has matured. On the other hand, what about the last sentence in this passage? Is this prediction true? Or is it one of John's rationalizations?
[John:] Maybe I would rather be dead than to turn into the kind of grown-up people I knew. What was so hot about living anyway if people think you're a disturbing influence just because you still think about God and Death and the Universe and Love. My poor mother and father—I wanted to tell them that they no longer wonder what they're doing in the world while I stand here going out of my mind. (15)
John's anger at the kind of grown-up people he knows, and his desire not to turn into them, seems justified.
[John:] We had trespassed too—been where we didn't belong, and we were being punished for it. Mr. Pignati had paid with his life. But when he died something in us had died as well. (15)
What, exactly, is John saying here? Does he really think that it was "trespassing" for Mr. Pignati to come into his and Lorraine's world, and vice-versa? Or is he using the word "trespassing" ironically? And what, specifically, had died in him and Lorraine when Mr. Pignati died?