In Zindel's The Pigman, what is the real reason John is writing his part of the story?  

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On the page preceding chapter one, there is an interesting type of prologue entitled "The Oath." John and Lorraine announce here that the story they are writing is true and a "memorial epic" for Mr. Pignati. It seems that by this oath that they want to honor the sweet old man they grew to love and to explain a few details about what they witnessed as far as death is concerned. For John, he probably wants to honor Mr. Pignati as well as show how Norton Kelly indirectly caused the poor man to die. For example, in chapter 5, which is one from John's perspective, he says that Norton is to blame.

". . . if Lorraine felt like saying one of us murdered Mr. Pignati, she should have blamed Norton. He' the one who finally caused all the trouble" (31).

Chapter 13 is when John and Lorraine invite friends over for a party but things get out of hand. Norton shows up unexpectedly and John catches him stealing an oscilloscope. Norton punches John and runs away, but he's not finished. John explains the next horrifying events as follows:

". . . there was Norton holding a large white pig, which he brought down suddenly on a table edge, knocking its head off. He looked inside and then threw it against the wall where it blasted to pieces. Several other broken pigs were lying all over the floor" (155-156).

Mr. Pignati comes home to see his pig collection in pieces and his home vandalized. John believes this is the moment that killed Mr. Pignati, even though he dies the next day at the zoo. John would rather blame the old man's death on Norton who smashed most of the pig collection; and, by writing parts of the story, he would be able to get his truth about it out into the open.

In truth, though, the destruction of the pigs was only the first breaking point. Mr. Pignati is also very disappointed in John and Lorraine for having the party at his house while he was in the hospital. The final thing that destroys Mr. Pignati's heart, though, is that Bobo the baboon dies at the zoo.