An Analysis of “First Confession”

             An Analysis of “First Confession”
             Frank O’ Connor’s “First Confession” is a humorous story about fastidiousness and fear of eternal punishment for childhood sins. This is a story of a misunderstood young boy who feels disdain and disgust towards his grandmother’s looks and old ways. He also feels anger toward his relatives because they sided with his grandmother. He blames his grandmother for his childhood sins. From trying to lash his sister with bread a knife, not eating the food prepared by her grandmother, kicking his grandmother on the shin, to the extent of planning to kill his grandmother. These childhood sins have to be confessed to a priest because of Jackie’s fear of damnation and eternal punishment. His sister accompanies him to the church on his first confession. After the confession, the priest gave Jackie a very light and absurd punishment of three “Hail Marys” and to suck a bullseye, which his sister finds ironic. An analysis of First Confession” reveals that what makes this story humorous and interesting is on the elements of point of view, character and tone.
             “First Confession” is written in first person point of view. "I decided that, between one thing and another, I must have broken the whole ten commandments, all on account of that old woman, and so far as I could see, so long as she remained in the house I had no hope of ever doing anything else," (Roberts, Jacobs 311). This quote intensely shows that the story is written in first person point of view. Frank O’Connor uses this point of view to be able to convey the story through the character. It gives a sense of intimacy between the narrator and the reader. In this manner, the reader can goes in the mind of Jackie; sympathize with his unpleasant experience yet be amused by happier memory of his first confession . His thoughts about where he should sit and how he should act during the confession is shown with wi...

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An Analysis of “First Confession”. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:19, January 21, 2017, from