The Pigman Topics for Further Study
by Paul Zindel

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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 forget, and how they influenced you.

John does not believe that he and Lorraine are totally responsible for Mr. Pignati's death, but Lorraine does. In your opinion, who is right, and why? If John and Lorraine were put on trial for killing him, what would the verdict be? Why?

Mr. Pignati has lived a very lonely life since his wife died; he has no real friends until John and Lorraine come into his life by accident. Do some research to find out how most elderly people live. Is Mr. Pignati's isolation unusual, or typical? How does the American treatment of elderly people differ from the way they are treated in other cultures?

John and Lorraine's parents don't talk to their children, and they often act as though the children are a disturbing burden. Do you think this is typical, or are most parents effective? Write a short essay about what it takes to be a good parent.

John smokes and drinks, even though his father became ill from alcohol and he knows both habits are bad for his health. Why would he do these things if he knows they may eventually kill him?