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Truth And Lies In The Pigman By Paul Zindel

1239 words - 5 pages

Truth and lies are always in a constant battle; the battle of choosing the truth or giving in and telling a lie. This theme is prevalent in The Pigman by Paul Zindel. The book takes place in Staten Island, New York. It follows a set of events told by two narrators, John and Lorraine. The two narrators are typing the story on a borrowed typewriter in the library. John and Lorraine are writing about what happened to them when they met Mr. Pignati, and what followed. In their story John and Lorraine meet him by a telephone prank, and they go over to his house to pick up money for an illegitimate fund. When they go to his house the man gives them the money and he tries to keep them over for ...view middle of the document...

In The Pigman every main character lies at some point, most even more than once, the theme of lying is presented as an ordinary action. The reason for the deception is that the characters are trying to protect themselves. For instance, John lies to Dennis and Norton to protect himself and ten dollars he could get. When they were doing the telephone marathon John set up an appointment with Mr. Pignati so he could get money for himself. “You have to know how demented Dennis and Norton are to understand that when I told them Angelo Pignati caught on Lorraine was a phony and hung up, they believed it. I could tell them I went alligator hunting in St. Patrick's Cathedral last night, and they'd believe it. I just didn't want them to know Mr. Pignati had invited us over to his house the next day to give us the ten bucks for the L & J Fund. Especially Norton. If he knew about it, he'd try to hustle in on the deal, and he'd never stop at ten dollars.” (26) In this quote it illustrates that the characters lie to protect themselves. John wanted the ten dollars and he wanted to protect the deal for himself. John lies all the time, and it is a habit of his which is similar to what all the other characters do. While some characters lie to protect themselves others have different motives.
One of the different motives for lying was to protect someone else; most only lied to protect himself or herself. But in seldom cases do characters lie to safeguard someone else. But when John’s father is telling him to work at the exchange he is trying to help out John. He wants John to become successful, and not waste away as an actor. “Be yourself! Be individualistic!' he called out after me. 'But for God's sake get your hair cut. You look like an oddball.”(60) John’s father lies to John so that he will feel he can be different yet still fit in. He is trying to protect John from an unproductive life as an actor, which is not a selfish motive. John’s father still lied, and even though he was not doing it for his benefit the fact remains the same. This habit of John’s and his father is evident in their relationship, they both lie to each other and their relationship does not contain the bond that a father and son should have. Which is why lying seems to be the bottom factor for all the failing...

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