Who is Mrs. Jensen in The Pigman by Paul Zindel?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mrs. Jensen is Lorraine's miserable mother in Paul Zindel's The Pigman. Mrs. Jensen is depicted as a cynical, pessimistic woman, who is extremely insecure, hypocritical, and suspicious of her daughter. Mrs. Jensen has a difficult life working as a home-care nurse for the terminally ill as well as being a single mother. While she was pregnant with Lorraine, Mrs. Jensen discovered that her husband contracted a venereal disease, which led to their separation. As a result of her terrible marriage, Mrs. Jensen harbors negative feelings towards all men and continually warns her daughter that men are only interested in one thing.

Mrs. Jensen is also critical of her daughter and constantly criticizes Lorraine about her hair, weight, and clothing, which negatively affects her daughter's self-esteem. Mrs. Jensen is also portrayed as hypocritical. She tells her daughter not to steal things but continually takes food that belongs to her employers. She also receives compensation from funeral homes by referring patients' families to certain homes after their loved ones pass away. Despite her negative attitude towards life and terrible parenting skills, Mrs. Jensen has a sensitive side, which she does not show very often.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mrs. Jensen is the mother of Lorraine Jensen, who is one of the main characters in the book.  Mrs. Jensen is a single parent who works as a private-duty nurse and struggles to make ends meet.  Her husband cheated on her and then left when she was pregnant with Lorraine, and the experience has left Mrs. Jensen bitter and vindictive.  Mrs. Jensen is fixated on how cruelly Mr. Jensen treated her, and has a cynical attitude about the patients she cares for and life in general.  She has a poor relationship with Lorraine, is always criticizing, and is unsupportive of her daughter's interests. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial