In Paul Zindel's The Pigman, how does Mrs. Conlan, John's mother, feel about John's drinking and smoking?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Chapter 9 of Paul Zindel's The Pigman, the protagonist John Conlan reflects on how it was really due to his father's influence that John himself became a heavy drinker and how his mother doesn't really seem to care what John does, just so long as he doesn't disturb his father.

John has dubbed his father and mother Bore and the Old Lady respectively. In his reflection, John remembers how when he was ten years old, Bore "got a big kick out of it when ... I'd go around emptying all the beer glasses lying around the house"; Bore would even boast to company, "That kid's going to be a real drinker." John also reflects that when his father quit drinking due to liver illness, John did not quit drinking. More importantly, no one seemed to care. John also relates that if John smoked, all the Old Lady was concerned about was whether or not he would "burn a hole in the rug." If John drank, she was only concerned about whether or not he would "rinse out the glass." Otherwise, her only concern was that he not disturb anyone, especially not his father.

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