The Pigman Chapter 8 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 8 of ''The Pigman'' by Paul Zindel, John and Lorraine take a ferry to Beekman's department store for a day of unexpected fun with Mr. Pignati.


What is the strangest way you have ever met a friend? In The Pigman by Paul Zindel, Lorraine and John meet Mr. Pignati through a prank phone call, but they never expect to make a friend. Lorraine and John start off pitying him because he seems lonely. His best friend is the orangutan at the zoo, Bobo, whom he visits daily. His most prized possession is a pig figurine collection, hence the nickname, the Pigman. According to Mr. Pignati, his wife, Conchetta, has been away in California for a month. However, John discovers her funeral bill while looking through the house. John and Lorraine both come from dysfunctional families and appreciate that Mr. Pignati is fun and welcoming, unlike their parents.


After finding Conchetta's room while exploring the upstairs of Mr. Pignati's house, John rushes downstairs to tell Lorraine, ''His wife's dead!...I just found her funeral bill.'' Lorraine had already become suspicious of Mr. Pignati's nervous laughter whenever he spoke of his wife, Conchetta. Now that she knows Conchetta is gone, she feels sad for Mr. Pignati. He loved his wife so much that he can't face reality. The other thing that John found upstairs is a charge card from Beekman's department store. John is fascinated when he learns how easily it can be used to borrow money. Mr. Pignati said his wife used it to shop for fancy food at the delicatessen at Beekman's.

Later at home, Lorraine imagines what it would be like to cook and try new things with someone you love. Lorraine's mother just barks orders at her and complains about work. When Lorraine feels sad about the way her mother treats her, she cries herself to sleep and wishes her mother were more fun like the Pigman.

Beekman's Deli

The next day, John and Lorraine arrange to meet Mr. Pignati at the Staten Island Ferry. John enjoys interacting with the ''bums and drunks''. He likes to hear their stories and is fascinated when their stories change. Once Mr. Pignati arrives, they take the next boat to Beekman's. Lorraine is there to restrain John from overspending with the credit card.

When they arrive, Mr. Pignati anxiously shows them the delicatessen on the eighth floor. He adds things to the cart such as frogs' legs with ricotta, bamboo shoots, and fish killies with their heads still on. John wants to try tiger's milk and chocolate-covered ants. Lorraine adds a nut mixture and some jellies.

Enjoying Life's Absurdities

Then, they go to the toy department. On the way, they walk through the lingerie department where Mr. Pignati offers to buy something for Lorraine. Instead of selecting something for herself, Lorraine chooses a package of nylons for her mother. After the saleslady mistakes Lorraine for Mr. Pignati's daughter, he seems pleased when Lorraine tells the lady she is his niece.

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