What was John's news about Mrs. Pignati in Chapters 6-8 of The Pigman?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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John’s news is that Mrs. Pignati was dead. 

When John tells Lorraine that Pigman’s (Mr. Pignati’s) wife was dead, she is suspicious.  To her, he is just a funny, harmless old man.

“His wife’s dead!” John whispered.

“What?”

“I just found her funeral bill.

A terrible chill ran through me when he said that because I had been afraid Conchetta was not away on vacation.  (Ch. 8)

She is not surprised that Mrs. Pigman is not alive because she was suspicious that he murdered his wife and hid the body in the basement.  Pigman does act strangely when he talks about his wife, such as his reaction to the picture of the girl in the confirmation dress.  Lorraine interprets a normal reaction to grief as guilt.  Her wild imagination, and the fact that her experience with positive role models of relationships, as in her own parents, has led to think that love is strange and dysfunctional.

John and Lorraine seem to have no problem rooting around in an old man’s house, and certainly take no issue with jumping to wild conclusions with what they find.  The normal, everyday reaction to the sadness in Mr. Pignati is interpreted in them as guilt and deception.  They clearly do not understand how the world works, as their reaction to the charge card shows, and Lorraine wonders about love.  Later that night she thinks about “how many thing the Pigman and his wife must have shared,” literally and figuratively (Ch. 8). 

She realizes there are deeper things to love, including sharing what you enjoy.  Pigman has lost this now that he lives alone.  She ponders the fact that she and her mother only eat seem to eat canned soup, and do not enjoy conversation.  She has found an affinity with the Pigman.  Like him, she is lonely.  She empathizes with him, now that he has lost what company he had.

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