The Pigman Chapter 15 Summary

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby
In the last chapter of 'The Pigman', John narrates how he copes with having to sit with the dead Mr. Pignati, and the reader gets a glimpse of how much he has grown across the book.

The Rest of the Story

As chapter 15 is the last chapter of The Pigman, it may be helpful to start with a quick review of the story up until this point. John and Lorraine are typical teenagers making prank calls, until they dial the number of Mr. Pignati. It turns out that Mr. Pignati lives by himself and the three start to form a friendship, with Mr. Pignati taking an almost-parental role in the teens' lives. Mr. Pignati has a heart attack and while he is in the hospital recovering, John and Lorraine have a party at his house that ends with a number of his most prized possessions being destroyed. The pair then offer to take Mr. Pignati to the zoo so that he can see his old friend, a baboon named Bobo, but the fact that Bobo died the previous week is too much for Mr. Pignati to handle. Mr. Pignati dies from a second heart attack.

Depths of John

Throughout much of the story so far, the reader gets the idea that John may only put John's interests first. However, that changes quickly in chapter 15. He tells Lorraine to leave so that she doesn't face any repercussions from her mother, and stays with Mr. Pignati until the ambulance arrives. He thinks of whispering to him, hoping that he could have one last word with Mr. Pignati before he is really dead. A part of him thinks of fleeing himself, but then we see a new side of John - he's ashamed of himself for thinking of doing so. In short, we see a selfless side of John starting to peek through. He says that he really started to feel for Mr. Pignati in a real way, saying that it made him sick to his stomach to ''know it's possible to end your life with only a baboon to talk to.''

Confronting Mortality

Ultimately, John realizes that he is facing his own mortality as he sits with the dead Mr. Pignati. He reflects back on all the times that Lorraine has told him to stop smoking or to quit drinking, even as he has a cigarette. However, he realizes that this could be him some day, not just dead, but having to beg for people to spend time with him. He says that he has to acknowledge ''the nice solid fact that someday I was going to end up in a coffin myself.'' This causes him to feel the loss of Mr. Pignati even more.

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