A Day No Pigs Would Die Study Guide

A Day No Pigs Would Die

A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

A Day No Pigs Would Die is the autobiographical story of Robert Newton Peck, a Vermonter born in the early 1900s, and his childhood during the Depression. The story follows Robert and explores his bond with his pet pig, Pinky. Eventually, economic necessity drives the Peck family to slaughter Pinky for meat, and Robert must come of age to cope with the trauma. The novel is a graphic look at the relationship between fathers and sons and men and animals.

  • Robert Peck: The sheltered twelve-year-old narrator who learns to be a man from his pig-farmer father and his best friend, his pet pig Pinky.
  • Haven Peck: Rob’s faux-Shaker father; a poor, illiterate farmer who wants to provide for his family and teach his son how to grow up right.
  • Pinky: A sow gifted to Rob in thanks for his helping Mr. Tanner’s cow through a difficult birth.
  • Lucy Peck: Rob’s caring, resilient mother who fears that her son is growing up too quickly.
  • Aunt Carrie: Lucy’s older sister who lives with the Pecks and serves as a second mother to Rob.
  • Benjamin Tanner: A Baptist farmer who is a neighbor and friend to the Peck family.

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