Chapter 3

John once again takes over the narrator role. He diverges from the point they are trying to make with this record of facts about the Pigman, perhaps an echo of his character. John often seems to have trouble staying focused, perhaps because he can claim little that he has ever cared for in his life. For example, he mentions at the beginning of the chapter that his handsomeness doesn’t get him much except with the old-maid English teacher, Miss King. She’s nearly 50 years old, but she flirts outrageously with John, calling him a “card.” This makes him compare her to the Pigman who never showed any phoniness and always said he and Lorraine were “delightful.” John, also, responds to Lorraine’s commentary about the article about paranoia she had read, saying that she always remembers the big words while he remembers the action. He has a deeper understanding of her just as she has of him. He knows that all she needs is a little self-confidence. He compliments her “interesting green eyes that scan like nervous radar,” but which now have become absolutely still since the Pigman died.

John tells us about a new game that he, Lorraine, and two “amoebas,” Dennis Kobin, and Norton Kelly, began to play: phone pranks which involve dialing any number out of the telephone book and keeping the person on the other end of line as long as possible. He comments that they can’t play the game at his house, because his father had put a lock on the dial mechanism of their home telephone. John had monopolized it too much (John retaliated against his father, whom he calls Bore, by putting airplane glue in the lock). Dennis is the one who has the record for keeping someone on the phone the longest - two hours and 26 minutes! The game seems harmless enough in and of itself; however, John’s final comment of the chapter is disturbing: he Notes that Lorraine was the one who picked out the Pigman’s number from the book, so he can’t be blamed for his death, and that the old man would probably have died soon anyway; therefore, “you can’t say we murdered him. Not murdered him.”

John has become unable to focus because he lives in a dysfunctional family where his father works too much and his mother lives in deep denial about any problems that may crop up in her family. John’s older brother, we will discover, had never given his parents anything to worry about, so John is a complete enigma to them. He feels as if he doesn’t belong anywhere and so the Pigman’s impact on his life will be considerable. Also, concerning John, it is important to note the guilt he feels about the Pigman’s death. Even though the reader has yet to be introduced to the old man, we are forced to recognize that these two young teens feel somehow responsible for his death. However, John doesn’t want to accept the responsibility and so he irrationally blames Lorraine, just because she had picked Mr. Pignati’s name from the phone book.

John’s comment about Lorraine’s eyes is interesting in that the stillness that comes over them after the Pigman’s death foreshadows how important this man has been to them. Of course, the very fact that they are composing a record about their time with him indicates his importance as well. John’s sarcasm is just as evident as his compassion for Lorraine and the stillness of her eyes. He call his father Bore, probably as a defense mechanism to his father’s refusal to bond with his son, and he refers to Dennis and Norton, his so-called friends, as amoebas in derision for what he considers their stupidity. This is an indication that John is far and away more intelligent than most of the people with whom he associates, including his parents. His father is Bore, because John is bored and dissatisfied with what life has offered him so far. That will make the bond he forms with the Pigman more understandable to the reader.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Pigman". . 09 May 2017