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The Pigman Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Guilt and Blame
Who is responsible for Mr. Pignati's death? Lorraine blames John, and, though John feels guilty, he says that Mr. Pignati would have died anyway. This novel asks us to think about who is ultimately...
Lies and Deceit
Every single character in The Pigman lies or deceives others at some point. John is a chronic liar, especially to his teachers and parents; Lorraine regularly lies to her mother; Mr. Pignati lies a...
Death is everywhere in The Pigman. Mr. Pignati dies; his wife is dead; Bobo dies; Lorraine's mother tends dying patients; John fears that his father will die soon; John and Lorraine drink above a t...
In The Pigman we see two badly dysfunctional families and the temporary happy "family" of Lorraine, John, and Mr. Pignati. What is a family? How do family relationships break down? Why are parents...
In The Pigman, the theme of "Home" is closely related to "Family." What is a home? John and Lorraine clearly don't feel "at home" in their actual homes, or – before they meet Mr. Pignati R...
Poor Mr. Pignati. He loves to enjoy life, drink wine, tell jokes, and eat gourmet food. And yet he is very lonely. How can this happen? John reflects on how wrong it is that older people (Mr. Pigna...
The Pigman's two main characters are fifteen years old. At times, they seem older and at times they seem like typical teenagers trying out roles and identities. We get a tantalizing glimpse into Lo...
Drugs and Alcohol
Alcohol and cigarettes feature prominently in The Pigman. Drinking alcohol is an escape for John – an escape from school, from responsibility – but it is not a way of defying his parent...
Versions of Reality
The two narrators in The Pigman provide different perspectives on the events they relate. Each one says the other distorts reality, and doesn't tell the story right. Is one version more "true"? Or...
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