23 April 2007
"First Confession," by O'Connor, Nora, Ryan, and the priest approach Jackie differently and have a different affect on him. Jackie's life is influenced by all these people because Jackie is not open minded and believes most things that his elders tell him. Jackie has not had very many life experiences that is way he is so gullible. Nora's approach on Jackie has a big affect on him. Nora convinces Jackie to think confession is a terrible thing, she says "Oh, god help us! Isn't it a terrible pity you weren't a good boy? Oh Jackie, my heart bleeds for you! How well you think of all your sins?'" (10). This causes Jackie to tell Nora "I don't want to go to confession at all'" (11). Jackie's problem is he is too young and gullible and Nora takes advantage of him to get him scared about going to confession. In the story it seems like Nora has one goal, which is to make Jackie's life miserable. She succeeds for a while until Jackie confesses and finds out what it is really like. Mrs. Ryan's approach on Jackie has a different affect on him. Mrs. Ryan makes Jackie feel like a sinner in her approach. She teaches him how to examine his heart by asking him self a few questions, "Do we take the name of the Lord, our God in Vain? Do we honor our father and mother? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? Do we covet our neighbor's goods?"(7). This makes Jackie feel like he is a sinner because he is not honoring his grandmother, and he craves the penny Nora gets every week from their grandmother. Mrs. Ryan affects Jackie by making him feel that confession is scary. After telling her story about the man who made a bad confession, Jackie becomes scared of going to confession. Mrs. Ryan is trying to scare Jackie so that he won't make a bad confession but instead she causes him to become scared of going to confession. Jackie becomes so scared that he starts to think, "[he will] make a bad confession...
Cited: O 'Connor, Frank. "First Confession." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana, Gioia. 9th ed. New York: Longman, 2005. 680- 87.
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