The Pigman Chapter 5 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In chapter 5 of The Pigman by Paul Zindel, John is able to persuade Lorraine to go with him to Mr. Pignati's house to collect his donation to the L & J Fund, their imaginary charity.

Mr. Pignati Offers a Donation

In chapter 5 of The Pigman by Paul Zindel, John narrates the memoir that Lorraine and John are making about the Pigman. At this point, we have learned that John, Lorraine, Dennis, and Norton meet twice a week to play a telephone marathon game in which they randomly select a person's name from the phone book and try to keep that person on the phone for as long as possible. Lorraine's last call was to Angelo Pignati. While Lorraine pretends to raise money for a local charity she calls the L & J Fund, Mr. Pignati offers to give them $10. When Lorraine refuses to have him send it to her address, John takes the phone away. Let's find out what happens next.

Lorraine Tries to Do the Right Thing

Have you ever done something that you knew was wrong, but justified it because you knew someone else might do something even worse? After their phone call with Mr. Pignati ends, John lies to Norton and Dennis claiming that Mr. Pignati hung up on Lorraine. John says it is because Norton would swindle Mr. Pignati if he knew that Lorraine and John were invited to his house to get $10. 'I didn't want anyone really to take advantage of the old man. Some people might think that's what I was doing, but not the way Norton would have,' John narrates. The next day, Lorraine becomes the voice of reason. She refuses to take money from an old man. John tries to persuade her, but drops it when he realizes he isn't getting anywhere.

John's Trouble at Home

The whole idea of collecting money from Mr. Pignati might have stopped there if John had not had trouble waiting for him at home. When John asks his mom for the money he needs to buy a six-pack, she refuses saying, 'Your father says you're not to have another penny until he speaks to you!'

John's mother compares him to his older brother, Kenneth, who was once the perfect child and now works on Wall Street. John has to ask several times what he has done wrong before she finally replies that John is in trouble for putting glue in the lock on the phone. In John's mind, if he can't use the phone, no one can, but John vehemently denies having done such a thing. As usual, John blames the ghost of his Aunt Ahra, who died in their house when she was 82 years old.

John decides he needs to get out of the house before his dad, whom he calls 'Bore', comes home. After getting the operator to connect them, John sends Lorraine the phone signal to meet him on the corner.

John Convinces Lorraine that Visiting Mr. Pignati is the Right Thing to Do

After some prodding and pushing, John is able to persuade Lorraine that visiting the lonely old man is a humanitarian act. After all, he may be suicidal. Is it a good idea for two teenagers to show up alone at a stranger's house? When they reach the house, Lorraine worries out loud that he might be poor or a 'sex maniac.' When Mr. Pignati opens the door, John describes him as a big guy in his late 50s with a beer belly and a huge smile. Mr. Pignati leads them to the living room and offers them homemade wine. While he is in the kitchen, it occurs to John that Mr. Pignati could be a serial killer.

Mr. Pignati is anxious to make small talk. John and Lorraine learn that he is a retired electrician, and that he has just returned from his daily walk to the zoo. When Mr. Pignati apologizes that the house is so messy, blaming it on his wife's absence for about a month, he looks as if he will cry.

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