Hypocrites can be the hardest people to deal with. They claim to be good people, but their actions portray them to be something else. They are obnoxious because they go around proclaiming their piety, while those
around them know otherwise. The perfect example of such a person is Nora in "First Confession" by Frank O'Connor. Nora's hypocrisy is shown in her actions, her speech, and in the way her brother Jackie thinks of her.
A prime example of Nora's actions proclaiming her hypocrisy is a series of events surrounding her and Jackie's trip to the church for confession. Jackie tells of Nora "hurling me through the church door." Then, when she enters the church, Nora acts very good at first:
"Nora's turn came, and I heard the sound of something slamming, and then her voice as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, and then another slam, and out she came...Her eyes were lowered, her head was bowed, and her hands were joined very low down on her stomach, and she walked up the aisle to the side altar looking like a saint. You never saw such and exhibition of devotion."
Only a few minutes after this exhibition, when Jackie falls out of the confessional, Nora loses all semblance of piety. Jackie explains it this way: "Then Nora came scampering down the aisle...Before I could even get to my feet to defend myself she bent down and gave me a clip across the ear." She also began yelling at him and making the already bad scene even worse. Shortly after this, she sticks her tongue out at Jackie, in an attempt to cause Jackie to become upset again. This time, though, she fails. Nora goes from being the good, pious person she claims to be to the mean, overbearing sister she really is. She is, in fact, betrayed by her actions.
When Jackie was preparing for his first confession he realized that he had broken all Ten Commandments because of his grandmother; “I must have broken the whole Ten Commandments all on account on that old women…so long as she remained in the house I had no hope of ever doing anything else.”(235) Realizing all the sins he committed, Jackie was afraid to confess them and tried to avoid going, but his teacher made sure he attended. Once he started talking to the priest, he began to confess about wanting to kill his grandmother and already attempting to kill his sister. After his confession, he came to realization that he was finding his identity through the actions of his family. The author’s point in this short story was to understand that maybe Jackie was acting out because he might be manic depressed. The more he paid attention to his family members, the more he would build himself up and eventually want to kill them. Majority of the persons had a negative impact on Jackie. First Confession is a story about a boy named Jackie who is having a lot of trouble adjusting to a new family situation. His grandfather has passed away and her grandmother has come to stay with her. The grandmother’s main role is to watch both Jackie and his younger sister Nora while her parents are at work. The grandmother’s character seems to be very old fashioned almost barbaric, as she walks around bare foot and eats with only her hands. However, Jackie has a horrible relationship with the grandmother and even plots to kill her. Jackie’s sister Nora is quite the opposite, she sucks up to her grandmother to receive a penny each Friday for being good. Jackie looks down on her sister for doing so and says to herself “I was too honest, that was my trouble.” (First confession 234) Nora, even being the younger sister, tends to torment Jackie whenever she gets the chance. Because of this Jackie actually try’s to hit Nora with a knife for forcing her to eat her grandmothers cooking. The main conflict in the story comes about midway when Jackie is told he has to attend his first confession where he will make his first communion. He is very scared of this and fears that if he makes his confessions he will be dammed. Part of this fear...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document