In Zindel's The Pigman, why does Lorraine say, ''Maybe there are some lies you should never admit to"? Do you agree or disagree with her? Why?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lorraine and John first meet Mr. Pignati while prank calling him. They lie and say they are collecting money for charity when he offers to give them $10.00. Then they actually follow through with the con even against Lorraine's protests. After they get to know him and what a wonderful man he is, Lorraine wants to confess. John tells her just to let it go, but she feels that she must clear her conscience. After she does fess up, Mr. Pignati is sad, but also feels the need to confess that his wife is really dead and not in California on vacation. Lorraine's full quote is as follows:

"Maybe there are some lies you should never admit to. I had told him we had to be truthful, and now I was sorry because I think I knew before the Pigman opened his mouth what he would have to tell us in return" (112).

So there are two consequences one must consider in order to complete this assignment. First, confessing her own lie only encouraged Mr. Pignati to confess his. If she didn't want to hear about his lie, she should have kept hers to herself. The second consequence is the pain that both lies cause the poor man. The moral question about confessing lies is whether or not it is better for the liar to clear his conscience even if it means someone will be hurt in the process. Should a liar simply promise himself never to lie again in order to save the other person's heart from aching? Some might argue that if the lie isn't hurting anyone, and it can be forgotten, then save the other person from the heartache. Others may say that a friendship can not thrive with any deception in it. The choice is ultimately up to those involved. In this case, Lorraine thinks it best to clear her conscience and doesn't think of the consequences. Luckily, it was all fine because Mr. Pignati forgives the kids.