Alexandro Ramirez English 1302 Professor Robin Russell 4/12/13 Critical Essay #1 “First Confession” At the beginning of the story, O’Connor, in the short story, “First Confession”, may use the all-knowing or omniscient point of view. He describes to choose any act of the character and any thought of the character, and he tells the goodness and the bad side of the character. Instead the story is written in first person point of view. The narrator in this story is also the main character, or protagonist.
This way the reader is allow to the see the world in the eyes of Jackie, and his point of view about his grandmother, Nora, and Mrs. Ryan, and women itself. Jackie does not stand her grandmother at all, he relates her as the source of his entire problems, “and all because of that old woman! ” Even thou his grandmother lives with him, because of the dead of his grandfather, he was actually afraid of her, he had to make excuses to his friend so he won’t go inside his house to play because, “because I could never be sure what she would be up to. He also is disgusted by the woman’s love of porter beer, her inclination to eat potatoes with her hands, “she had a jug of porter and a pot of potatoes with-some-times-a bit of salt fish, and she poured out the potatoes on the table and ate them slowly, with great relish, using her fingers by way of a fork,” and of course favoring Nora, “she knew Mother saw through her, so she sided with Gran. ” Nora his old sister was a pain to Jackie, she often was picking on him, and got him into trouble, “Oh, Dadda, do you know what Jackie did at dinnertime? Then, of course, it all came out; Father gave me a flaking; Mother interfered, and for days after that he didn’t speak to me and Mother barely spoke to Nora. ” Even thou Jackie is really nervous and afraid for his first confession, because he doesn’t want to tell the priest he wanted to kill his grandmother, Nora instead of supporting him, she was playing with this mind, “She held my hand as we went down the hill, smiling sadly and saying how sorry she was for me, as if she were bringing me to the ospital for an operation. ” Also before arriving to the chapel, Jackie confesses horrible things that Nora does to him that we will never know of or his mother, “that girl had ways of tormenting me that Mother never knew of. ” An old woman called Mrs. Ryan is teaching Jackie and his class mates about the Ten Commandments and hell. She tells the class the story of a man who made a bad confession which was not telling the truth to the priest and whose hands burnt the bed of a priest. Jackie thinks Mrs.
Ryan is trying to frighten the children into being good or they will burn in hell for eternity, “Then she asked were we afraid of holding one finger-only one finger! ” Also she is trying to make sure that they don’t tell the priest a bad confession, “hell had the first place in her heart. ” To tell a bad confession in Jackie’s eyes means dying and burning in hell. Jackie doesn’t want to make a bad confession but knows that he will because he doesn’t think he’ll be able to tell the priest that he wants to kill his grandmother.
The day the class is to make their confession Jackie pretends that he has a toothache so that he can avoid confession, because Mrs. Ryan gets wind of his absence and makes arrangements so that Jackie can go to confession he was literary scared to death, “I was scared to death of confession,” the following Saturday and still be able to attend his first communion. Jackie does not see women with good eyes, in fact he thinks they are bad people because of the way they treat him, “girls are supposed to be fastidious. Also in this short story we are able to see three great examples for this. First his grandmother, which he thinks it’s all her fault and an ugly woman who doesn’t know how to act in town, “unsuited to the life in town. ” Nora another great example who is a bad big sister, who only plays with his mind and doesn’t see the suffering of his young brother. Lastly Mrs. Ryan a woman who tries to scare him, “new half-crown, and offered it to the first boy who would hold one finger, only one finger! in the flame for five minutes. ” With this Firs Point of View we could actually feel Jackie’s feelings and intention to why he portraits women, or in this case this three women like that. A third person point of view, would help much at understanding Jackie, but the author choose wisely and now the reader can conclude all of the ideas portrait on this short story, and also we can be on Jackie’s shoes and know the true story behind it.
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