First Confession Essays

Effective Use of the First Person in First Confession Essay

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Effective Use of the First Person in First Confession        

 

"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," (page 189).

This quote from the text of "First Confession" by Frank O'Connor exquisitely shows which point of view O'Connor selected for his story. Frank O'Connor chose the first-person point of view to tell his tale. One can determine this by three factors: the use of the word "I", the use of grammatical voice and the use of conveying the story through the characters. These three…show more content…

An excellent example of this is found in O'Connor's story when Jackie walks through the confessional door: "It was pitch dark and I couldn't see the priest or anything else. Then I really began to get frightened. In the darkness it was a matter between God and me, and He had all the oddsÖAll I had ever been told about confession got mixed up in my mind, and I knelt to one wallÖI waited a few minutes, but nothing happened, so I tried it on the other wall. Nothing happened there either. He had me spotted all right," (page 190). This quote shows many characteristics of Jackie without the author writing them down. The first being that he is young in mind because he is sure that God was going to damn him to hell; mature individuals realize that most likely God is not going to damn a child to hell, especially if, like Jackie, the child hasn't done anything horribly wrong. Another characteristic that is shown in this small bit of text is Jackie's innocence. Jackie believes that God knows all of his intentions and had him "spotted all right," but Jackie doesn't understand that God hasn't done this to him; the priest just doesn't realize that he is there. The method of grammatical voice is used primarily in first-person point of view

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This is a wonderfully humorous book about the horrors of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation from the viewpoint of a seven year old boy, Jackie.  There are countless essays that could be written about this wonderful novel, but I will give you a couple of thesis statements to choose from in order to provide ample support.

One thesis statement could be as follows:  The elderly Ryan proves, through her actions and stories, that “hell...

This is a wonderfully humorous book about the horrors of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation from the viewpoint of a seven year old boy, Jackie.  There are countless essays that could be written about this wonderful novel, but I will give you a couple of thesis statements to choose from in order to provide ample support.

One thesis statement could be as follows:  The elderly Ryan proves, through her actions and stories, that “hell had the first place in her heart.”  This thesis statement uses a direct quotation from the book and highlights the character of Ryan as put forth by the character of Jackie.  Ryan is the old woman who is supposed to get Jackie ready for his first confession. If you use this quotation, you can prove your point through Ryan’s actions.  One support could be Ryan’s story about the man who made the “bad confession” by demanding a confession from a priest and then leaving before it was finished.  Ryan also asks the children to hold their fingers in a candle flame (to simulate hell-fire) for a full five minutes.  Another support (and a wonderful piece of irony) is that Ryan bribes the children with money in order to exert this “temptation.” (This can be seen as a sin in itself.)

Another thesis statement could be the following:  Frank O’Connor uses humor throughout the book in order to entice his reader.  This is a fairly easy thesis to prove in that O’Connor’s book is absolutely full of humor.  Even Jackie’s description of his grandmother is humorous.  She continually drinks beer and eats with her hands.  These things disgust Jackie.  Further, Jackie has thought about killing both his grandmother and his sister, Nora.  This is also humorous in that almost every child fantasizes in this why when he or she is mad at a parent or sibling for some trivial thing.  Even the details of Jackie’s confession lend themselves to humor.  Jackie is paralyzed with fear, tumbles out of the confessional, and is then beaten by his sister.  The ultimate irony is that, as a result of Jackie being forgiven by Christ through the priest, Nora admits that there is no reason to try and be good at all.  Goodness, of course, is the entire purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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