From Paul Zindel's The Pigman, why do Lorraine and John think Norton is disturbed?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John and Lorraine believe that Norton is a big reason for Mr. Pignati's death. In order to establish their case, they bring up Norton's childhood experiences with dolls as proof of his disturbed mental state. In chapter nine, John includes a picture of a "Dear Alice" article about a mother asking for help because her husband doesn't like their son playing with a male sailor doll. The article reminds John of Norton because Norton used to play with dolls too. When other kids from school found out about the doll when Norton was ten, they gave him a hard time. From that point on, Norton "turned tough guy all the way" (99). John says that Norton was not the same after that and he started beating up and harassing other people.

The next thing Norton started doing was stealing. John says the following:

"Norton was a specialist in the five-finger discount. He used to shoplift everywhere he went. It used to be small-time stuff like costume jewelry for his mother and candy bars and newspapers. Then he got even worse, until now his eyes even drift out of focus when you're talking to him. He's the type of guy who could grow up to be a killer" (100).

Needless to say, Norton's past and present are shady. So when he asks John about what types of electronics are in Mr. Pignati's home, John gets angry and suspicious. Later, at a party that John and Lorraine hold in Mr. Pignati's home, Norton tries to steal things and breaks many of the collectible pigs. Ultimately, they were right to think he is disturbed and should have taken more care to keep Norton out of Mr. Pignati's home.