Frank O'Connor's story, First Confession, tells us a story of a boy who has a very colorful life at home. In the beginning of the story, the boy, Jackie, is troubled by his Sister, Father, and most of all, by his Grandmother. His Mother is rarely at home to be with him. She is the most logical one and is the only one that actually cares for Jackie. Jackie experiences certain events that aid in his transformation. In the end, Jackie is given a whole new outlook on life. This change in Jackie's life is brought to him in the end from a new father figure.
In First Confession, Jackie's journey begins with his fears. Jackie dreaded his grandmother. Jackie feared the grandmother because she would act in ways that upset Jackie. Nora, the sister, would reinforce these dislikes and annoy Jackie. "Nora tried to make me [eat grannies dinner], but I hid under the table from her and took the bread-knife with me for protection." Nora would also see Jackie's anger at the grandmother and team up with her to make Jackie's upset even worse. " she sided with Gran) and came after me. I lashed out at her with the bread-knife, and after that she left me alone."
Jackie is afraid because he feels as a result of his anger and his hatred of his sister and grandmother he will go to hell. He gets this idea of going to hell from a lady named Ryan who meets with Jackie and his classmates after school. " an old woman called Ryan wore a black cloak and bonnet came every day to school at three o'clock when we should have been going home, and talked to us of hell." When Jackie learns about hell, and the reasons people are sent there, he fears he will be damned to hell too. Jackie feels bad about his behavior and thinks he is wrong, however in reality (and this is shown later on in the story) he is right; it is Nora and his grandmother who are wrong.
Jackie also learned from Ryan about a man who told a bad confession....