Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

An anti-Vietnam War protest Published by Gale Cengage

The Pigman was written in the late 1960s, a time when American society was in an uproar. Protests against the Vietnam War the growth...

(The entire section is 595 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Pigman takes place in New York City, on Staten Island. John's father works for the Stock Exchange, and his family seems...

(The entire section is 108 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Point of View
Zindel's The Pigman is told from the point of view of its two main protagonists, who claim they...

(The entire section is 825 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Characterized by fast-paced, melodramatic action and realistic dialogue that tends toward hyperbolic wit, The Pigman cleverly...

(The entire section is 350 words.)

Social Sensitivity

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Pigman exhibits Zindel's typical negative portrayals of adults. John's parents and Lorraine's mother are uncaring and critical of...

(The entire section is 122 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)

Clarke, Loretta, "The Pigman: A Novel of Adolescence," in English Journal, Vol. 61, No. 8,...

(The entire section is 211 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

DiGaetani, John L. “Paul Zindel.” In A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights, edited by DiGaetani. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.

Forman, Jack Jacob. Presenting Paul Zindel. Boston: Twayne, 1988.

Megyeri, Kathy A. “Paul Zindel.” English Journal 93 (November, 2003): 12-13.

Rees, David. The Marble in the Water: Essays on Contemporary Writers of Fiction for Children and Young Adults. Boston: Horn Book Press. 1980.

Smith, Grant T. “The Pigman’s Story: Teaching Paul Zindel in the 21st Century.” In Censored Books, II: Critical Viewpoints, 1985-2000, edited by Nicholas J. Karolides. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 2002.

Strickland, Ruth L. “Paul Zindel.” In Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, First Series, edited by John MacNicholas. Vol. 7 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1981.

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

1960s: Teen smoking, drinking, and drug use become prevalent in the 1960s, when knowledge of the ill effects of drugs is...

(The entire section is 458 words.)

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What is unsatisfying about John's relationship with his parents and Lorraine's with her mother?

2. Lorraine seems more deeply...

(The entire section is 133 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Report on Zindel's use of symbols in The Pigman. Be sure to consider Mr. Pignati's pig collection and the animals at the zoo,...

(The entire section is 127 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

In the book, Mr. Pignati has a major effect on John and Lorraine. Write about an older person who affected your life in a way you'll never...

(The entire section is 220 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Zindel wrote a screenplay adapting The Pigman to film. Although Brighton Productions never released the movie, Zindel regarded his...

(The entire section is 93 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Clarke, Loretta. "The Pigman: A Novel of Adolescence." English Journal 61 (November 1972): 1163-1169, 1175. A well-balanced...

(The entire section is 174 words.)