Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The Pigman by Paul Zindel The Pigman is about two teenagers (John and Lorraine) who make friends with an elderly man (Mr. Pignati). They then abuse his trust in them and the elderly man dies.

I found "The Pigman" to be a very interesting play. The start of it was a little bit confusing but the audience soon learns that they are watching the story of the Pigman as it is being written. "The Pigman" would be a fun play to watch with a very serious and important theme. In John's opening line the audience gets a clear idea that Lorraine and he, have learned something from their experience with the Pigman, something important enough to write a book about while it's still fresh in their minds. John and Lorraine take turns writing each chapter of the book that is being acted out, but the audience eventually forgets that and becomes preoccupied with the story of the Pigman.

The underlying idea dealt within "The Pigman" is that one's life is what they make of it, and only they are responsible for the end result. Both John and Lorraine had unloving parents. John drinks and smokes excessively, most likely avoid becoming his father, he also had very little respect for authority. Most of the problems in his life he blamed his father for, whom he referred to as the "bore." Yet when Mr. Pignati died John realized that he was the one to blame for abusing his trust, and that he could no longer hide from his problems. Lorraine's mother constantly put her down and left her with very little self-confidence. As a result Lorraine was very shy, too shy to stop John from throwing a big party in the Pigman (Mr. Pignati)'s house. Yet when the Pigman died, she knew something had also died in her, and took responsibility for Mr. Pignati's death.

At the end of the play, John refers to all mankind as "Big blabbing baboons - smiling away, and not really caring what is going on as long as there are enough peanuts bouncing around . . . baboons concentrating on all the wrong things." John regretted not realizing this sooner, and the thought that Mr. Pignati died having only one real friend - a baboon at the zoo, made him sick to his stomach. Lorraine's last line summarizes the two teenagers' problem, "They build their own cages . . . ," what they were facing was their own doing and it was up to them to break free and move on, having learned something. An important lesson for everyone.