Lorraine is a significant character in the novel The Pigman by Paul Zindel and had an effect on the theme of loneliness.
The theme was that everyone needs a friend or a companion in life and loneliness can greatly affect one’s social skills and outlook on life. Lorraine is a prime example of this with her paranoid behaviors, surrendering to peer pressure, and uniqueness that her mother did not approve of. Even though she had her mother and John, the reader could easily tell that she was still lonely and it was affecting her.Before meeting Mr.
Pignati, she was nervous and paranoid, easily manipulated in order to fit in and avoid rejection, and acted in ways that caused her to be rejected by her mother. Lorraine had recently moved to New York City and didn’t make friends quickly. Meeting John was weird and lucky but he was her only friend. This loneliness caused her to be nervous around new people like Mr.
Pignati. She worried about meeting him for the first time, thinking that he could be a nut job and it could be dangerous. Lorraine was also paranoid all the time, which was a result from lacking in a social life.Though she didn’t seem like the type, she did worry about what people thought of her.
She also thought there was an omen that day at the zoo. “I should have just left there and then because I knew things were going to get involved. I realize now there were plenty of bad omens within the next few minutes..
. The third omen that this was going to be a bad day was when we went into the nocturnal room of the Mammal Building…
It was this child that I thought was an omen… Only he wasn’t looking at the bats.
He was looking at you when you came to look at the bats… He made me feel as though I was a bat in a cage.
..It all made me very nervous. ” (Pgs.
47 and 48. ) Lacking in friends and acceptance caused Lorraine to make some bad choices in the book. She would prank call people with John, Norton, and Dennis, and wouldn’t take extreme action to get them to stop drinking and smoking. She went along with everything they did even if she didn’t fully participate.
Not to mention she went along with John’s party at Mr. Pignati’s house. Even comments that her mother said manipulated her thinking. Some of the things Lorraine did and the way she dressed made it hard for her superficial mother to accept her.
She even insulted her to her face as if it were no big deal. “‘You’re not a pretty girl, Lorraine,’ she had been nice enough to inform me on a few occasions (as if I didn’t remember the first time she ever said it), ‘but you don’t have to walk about stoop-shouldered and hunched. ‘ At least once a day she fills me in on one more aspect of my public image..
. ‘” (Pg. 9. ) The reason Lorraine acted in such ways was because she didn’t have a real social life.
She had negative influences only from boys and her mother didn’t approve of her dress style and told her she was not pretty.The negative comments from her mother lowered Lorraine’s self-esteem and made things worse. These traits showed the effects that loneliness had on Lorraine. Her worrisome habits, manipulative personality, and low self-esteem caused by her mother’s criticism made her life difficult and greatly affected the way she acted and appeared to others.
With her difficulties with kids at school and Mr. Pignati’s loss of his wife, loneliness was a main motif and part of the theme that Paul Zindel wanted to show his readers, and Lorraine was a major symbol in the book that represented the theme well.