In Paul Zindel's The Pigman, what was the only thing John did that made his dad proud?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The kids portrayed in Zindel's The Pigman have unique family issues. Lorraine lives with her single mother, who projects her own fears about men and life onto her daughter. As a result, Lorraine declares that she is an official paranoid person. John, on the other hand, lives with his parents, but they are older, and his older sibling is all grown up and has moved away. John does not get along with his father very well. It's as if they are from two different planets because they just do not understand each other. At one point in the book, John becomes introspective and wonders how he became a teenager who makes trouble, smokes, and drinks. The memory that he connects with on this subject is of when his dad used to give him sips of beer when he was ten years old. John also remembers the following:

"He got a kick out of it when . . . I'd go around emptying all the beer glasses lying around the house.

'That kid's going to be a real drinker,' he'd say in front of company, and then I'd go through my beer-drinking performance for everybody, and they'd laugh their heads off. It was about the only thing I ever did that got any attention.

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