The Things They Carried

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kardoug1
Words 664
Pages 3
Douglas Owens
Julie Ostrowski
ENG 112
16 April 2015
First Confession
I was once a Catholic, then I was for it, but now I am against it. Frank O’Connor’s short story, “The First Confession’, was an interesting read. The story is brief, told by a seven year old boy named Jackie, about to make his first confession, in order to make the sacrament of Holy Communion. The story is set in Ireland, around the first quarter of the 20th Century. Priests, at this time, “became their communities moral policemen, and they played a major role throughout society.”
For most people, family is a sense of great joy. Jackie is a dynamic character, and is the protagonist of the story. We learn that he hates his grandmother and sister, and is afraid of his first confession. Jackie is out of sorts because his grandmother has moved from the country to live with his family. He is quite disgusted with her love of porter beer, bare footed, and eating potatoes with her hands at dinner. Jackie considers his grandmother a lousy cook, who does not wash her hand before she prepares supper.
Nora is Jackie’s older sister, and cajoles her grandmother into giving her a penny every Friday from her pension; something Jackie could not do. Nora- the antagonist.
The family relationships in this story are interesting. The relationships in Jackie’s family, at first seem unusual, as every family has its special dynamics. Jackie sees his grandmother as a woman that has invaded his home, and strained the family’s lifestyle. Jackie is embarrassed by his grandmother’s lack of manners and “country-like” demeanor. Jackie resents his grandmother and has thoughts of wanting to kill her. Nora is favored by the children’s grandmother, and Nora is given money, praise, and attention. Nora is manipulative and cruel; she provokes Jackie all day long. While Nora is helping prepare dinner, Jackie hides…...

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