Why did John's mother suggest that he go to do his homework at a friend's house in "The Pigman"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John's mother suggests that he go do his homework at a friend's house because John and his father always seem to get into angry confrontations when they are together.  John's mother says,

"Your father is a little tired tonight.  Maybe you'd better go over to a friend's house to do your homework?  I mean he's worked hard, and I don't think we should aggravate him, do you?"

John's father holds a very stressful job at the Stock Exchange, and he wants John to take over his position and help his brother Kenny.  Kenny, unlike John, has followed willingly in his father's footsteps, and is already making "a fine living" at the Exchange.  John's father tells John, "the business can be half yours...I can't take the strain much longer".  John, however, wants no part of "all the screaming and barking (at the Exchange)...just to earn a few bucks".  He wants to be an actor, an aspiration which his father thinks is ludicrous.  John and his father had been discussing these things over dinner, and had ended up in a heated argument.  After dinner, John's mother suggests to John that he go to a friend's house to do his homework to spare his father further aggravation.  John later reflects sardonically that he can't remember his parents "ever looking happy to see (him)", but he is actually glad to have been asked to leave this evening, because he has plans to go with Lorraine to visit the Pigman (Chapter 7).