What are the consequences of Lorraine telling the store worker she is Mr. Pignati's niece in The Pigman?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The immediate consequence of Lorraine's action in telling the store worker she is Mr. Pignati's niece is "returning the smile to Mr. Pignati's face." The store worker had just asked Mr. Pignati if he would like to buy something else for his daughter, and Lorraine had automatically "blurted out" that she was not his daughter. At this quick comment, Mr. Pignati seemed depressed, and Lorraine thinks, "I didn't mean to say it as though I would be ashamed to be his daughter, but I guess it just came out that way." Wanting to rectify herself, and to assure Mr. Pignati that she did not mean that she would not want to be his daughter, she rejoins, "I'm his niece." Upon hearing this, Mr. Pignati is happy once again.

A negative consequence also occurs as a result of Lorraine's impetuous assertion that she is Mr. Pignati's niece. Encouraged by her action, Mr. Pignati asks Lorraine if there isn't something she would like in the women's underwear section, and Lorraine can tell he really means it. The saleslady tells them the there are "some lovely nylon stockings" there, and under her and Mr. Pignati's urging, Lorraine feels obligated to get some. She is careful to ask for the stockings in her mother's size, however, because she knows her mother will be suspicious if she brings home the stockings, and it will be all the worse if they are actually for Lorraine. Lorraine is actually "terrified" of bringing home the stockings that her mother knows she cannot afford, and begins to fabricate a story as to how she happened to receive them to thwart her mother's wrath (Chapter 8).