What is Lorraine's mother's appearance and opinion of men in "The Pigman"?

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Presumably, Lorraine's mother is a fairly attractive woman, or, at the very least, she was at one point. The narrator does not give readers a lengthy physical description of Mrs. Jensen, but we are told that she has long, beautiful brown hair. Lorraine also tells readers that her mom is a very pretty woman "when she smiles." Unfortunately, Mrs. Jensen hardly ever smiles, so her beauty hardly ever shows. This parallels her thoughts about men. At one point, Mrs. Lorraine was married and in love, but like her beauty, her faith in men and her love toward the opposite sex has faded and become hard.

Mrs. Jensen caught her husband cheating on her, and she divorced him. Soon after the divorce, he was killed. These two tragic events in such close proximity to each other profoundly affected Mrs. Jensen. Her faith in men and her outlook on life were both completely crushed. She now believes that men only have one thing on their mind, and she repeatedly warns Lorraine about this. She even goes so far as to threaten Lorraine about the consequences of being in a car with a boy.

She's always warning me about getting into cars and things like that. When she goes to work on a night shift, she constantly reminds me to lock the doors and windows, and sometimes she calls on the phone if she gets a chance and tells me again. Beware of men is what she's really saying. They have dirty minds, and they're only after one thing. Rapists are roaming the earth.

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Mrs. Jensen, Lorraine's mother, has beautiful long brown hair, and Lorraine says she "is a very pretty woman when she smiles, which is hardly ever".  Mrs. Jensen, who works as a caregiver for terminal patients, always seems to be tired and complaining, and is especially critical of her daughter.  Lorraine's mother is very hostile towards men - in Lorraine's words, she's "got a real hang-up about men and boys", and she warns Lorraine to stay away from them because "they've only got one thing on their minds".  Lorraine's father cheated on her mother when she was pregnant with Lorraine, and he has since died, leaving Mrs. Jensen with the burden of raising Lorraine, with few resources, on her own.  Mrs. Jensen is obsessed with the memory of how terribly her husband treated her, and she extends her hatred to include all men in general; her bitterness has spoiled her beauty and soured every aspect of her life (Chapter 6).

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In Zindel's The Pigman, what is Lorraine's mother like? 

Lorraine's mother is a single mom who works fulltime as a hospice nurse. When Lorraine was little, her mother had just gotten a divorce from her cheating husband when he was involved in a car crash and died. Lorraine's mother was never the same after two personally traumatic events happened within a short time period. Since then, she projects her fears and pain onto Lorraine by warning her of the terrible things men do to women. Not only that, but Lorraine's mother makes her daughter feel worthless and ugly. John doesn't like the way Lorraine's mother makes her feel and describes the situation as follows:

"The way her old lady talks you'd think Lorraine needed plastic surgery and seventeen body braces, but if you ask me, all she needs is a little confidence" (19).

John's perspective suggests that Lorraine's mother makes her feel physically unattractive. She also makes Lorraine feel untrustworthy because her mother has trust issues. For example, when Lorraine buys her mother some nylons (with Mr. Pignati's money) she asks her a couple of times where she got the money to buy nylons. Lorraine lies and tells her mother that she saved her lunch money for them. She describes the scene about the nylons and her mother as follows:

"She mulled that over a few seconds, but she had to get to work on time and couldn't devote her full energies to interrogating. She always makes me tell the same story over a week or so later to see if I slip up on any details" (108).

Lorraine's mother has had a hard life and it shows in her relationship with her daughter. She has learned not to trust anyone, she works hard, and she does the best she can with what she has in life, but this makes it very difficult for Lorraine to live with her.

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