In what way does Lorianne wish that her mother were more like Mr. Pignati, from Zindel's The Pigman?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lorraine and her mother have a very strained relationship, but as far as parents go, she is all she's ever had. Lorraine doesn't know parent-child relationahips to be any different than the example set forth by her single mom--until she meets Mr. Pignati. At first Lorraine is taken aback by how happy the Pigman is. She doesn't quite accept his joy as reality because she says the following on the first day they meet him at the zoo:

"I felt sorry for the old man because people just don't go around smiling like that all the time unless they're mentally unbalanced or harboring extreme anxiety" (57).

Good thing she gives the guy a chance to teach her what it means to be able to actually trust and have fun with adults. Naturally, as she and John hang out with Mr. Pignati more, Lorraine compares him with her mother. She pities her mother because being a nurse is a stressful and demanding job. But as she realizes that she is actually having fun with an adult, she says the following:

"Sometimes just after I put the light out, I'd see his face smiling or his eyes gleaming as he offered me the snails--some little happy detail I thought I had forgotten--and I'd wish she knew how to have a little fun for a change" (86).

Hence, the way that Lorraine wishes her mother were more like Mr. Pignati is by having a little fun. Her mother's interactions with her are too strenuous, bitter and difficult. Life would be more manageable for both of them if they could have some fun together.