The Pigman


  • John Conlan (Bathroom Bomber) - the male protagonist who narrates the odd-numbered chapters. John is something of an anti-hero, as he uses his intelligence, looks, and charm for personal gain. He aspires to be an actor, but fuels his creativity with pranks, though most of them are benign. While writing his sections of the story, he uses symbols such as @#$% instead of cursing. His parents are both physically there, but mentally do not care what he does. This is the reason for his constant use of cigarettes and alcohol. He is trying to get his parents' attention by acting out. This is usually to no avail, as they show interest for a little while and then things go back to normal. His biggest stunt of throwing a party at The Pigman's house did not even grasp the attention of his parents, as they nonchalantly said they are taking him to a therapist, knowing it will never happen.
  • Lorraine Jensen - the female protagonist, who narrates the even-numbered chapters. Lorraine aspires to be a writer or psychologist, and her sensitive, analytical nature provides a counterbalance to John's impulsiveness. She is socially awkward, different, and has low self-esteem. Described as obese, she is constantly ridiculed by her mother for her weight and abused when doing something wrong. Kids in her class do not make fun of her due to her friendship with John. The girls in their class are amazed that a girl like Lorraine could be best friends with a guy like John, being that they are opposites. This is why John tells Lorraine to stay outside when The Pigman dies, so her mother does not have a reason to abuse her. Since her father ran out on them, Lorraine's mother is very angry in regards to most men. Being a single mother has not only put a huge toll on her, but her daughter since she has to take over a great deal of the workload. This has made her more mature in comparison to the people she associates herself with, including John.
  • Angelo Pignati (The Pigman) - an elderly widower who lives in a messy house in John and Lorraine's neighborhood. His nickname comes from his last name, as well as his vast collection of ceramic pigs. Lonely since the death of his wife, his friendship with John and Lorraine fills a void in his life. The Pigman also finds Lorraine and John to be quite generous, and admires them. He treats them like children, as they fill his void of being alone. Throughout the story The Pigman plays games with the children and teaches them small lessons, such as how to remember a list of items. One of Mr. Pignati's only friends before John and Lorraine is a baboon at a local zoo named Bobo. He would visit the baboon constantly and feed him peanuts, saying that it was his favorite snack. The party which destroyed his house caused The Pigman to become increasingly ill. The loss of important objects such as his pig collection and wife's wedding dress were too much for him. After the death of his best friend, Bobo, he had a heart attack which ultimately killed him.
  • Bore - John's father. Bore is a commodities trader and although the stress of the job is detrimental to his health, he still pressures John to follow in his footsteps. He was a heavy drinker until he developed cirrhosis of the liver. One of John's lifelong goals is to become an actor, but his father refuses and forces him to be a businessman. Since Bore is constantly not paying his son any attention, he rebels in hopes that his father will correct him, but it never happens. Any interest is shown because of the negatives John does, and this attention is minimal.
  • The Old Lady - John's mother. It is suggested that she may have obsessive-compulsive disorder, as she is fixated on cleaning, which she uses as a coping mechanism for the tension between her husband and son.
  • Norton Kelly - a classmate of John and Lorraine, and the main antagonist. Described as a barbarian by the protagonists, Norton spends much of his time stealing, and is convinced there are valuables inside the Pignati household. His entering the house ultimately leads to the destruction of all the pig items that The Pigman knows and loves.
  • Dennis Kobin - Norton's follower. He is best friends with Norton, and plays a minor role in the novel.
  • Lorraine's mother - She is critical of her daughter, accuses her of being fat, and constantly tells her "you're not a pretty girl, Lorraine." After she discovered that her husband was cheating on her, she filed for a divorce; later he died. She never got over that, and now she thinks that all men are evil. She constantly warns Lorraine against men and boys, saying "they have only one thing on their mind." The loss of her husband was hard for both of them, and is a huge reason for her mother being so judgmental.
  • Bobo - the baboon that the Pigman goes to see constantly when visiting the zoo. The Pigman has a great deal of love for this monkey, as he is one of the few living creatures he can look forward to seeing. He always feeds Bobo and makes sure that he is completely comfortable in his environment. His death later on in the story is something The Pigman cannot handle, as this has been one of his greatest friends for a very long time. The death of Bobo resembles the loss of hope in the eyes of The Pigman, as he has truly lost everyone and everything close to him.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.