Analysis on ‘First Confession’ short story by Frank O’connor

Written by Siti Lailatul Hajar (Bintang Sahara) on Minggu, 15 April 2012 at 08.47

First, the writers express grateful feeling to Allah, the Almighty and the most merciful, for his blessing that we are enable to finish analysis on ‘First Confession’ short story.
Second, the writers say thank you very much to the lecturer, Mr. Edy Thoyib, who has guided us in the English Prose course.
This is the analysis of ‘First Confession’ short story by Frank O’connor. The analysis deals on the character, point of view, and plot. Furthermore, we also give the summary to make readers easier to understand the story. It is a very nice a short story.

Below is the name of the analyser:
1.      Siti Lailatul Hajar               (10320018)
2.      Dedi Dawud                      (10320026)
3.      Fais Wahidatul Arifatin       (10320058)
4.      Hanik Fitria Ningrum          (10320061)
5.      Jamilatuz Zahro                  (10320083)
6.      Haikal Kaddafi                   (10320091)

Summary on ‘First Confession’ short story by Frank O’connor
There was a little boy, named Jackie. His life just went fine, untill his Grandfa died and her Grandma moed to live with him. It began when Jackie looked her behavior that was very bothered his life. The Grandma was a fastidious woman. She paid a great attention to detail because she liked everything to be very neat, accurate, and in good order. Also, she acted as a countrywoman that brought some stuffs, jack of porter and a pot of potatoes when she ate. Furthermore, she always gives his sister, Nora, a penny for every Friday and she didn’t it to Jackie. 

One day, when his mother worked, the Grandma cooked for dinner. Jackie did not want to eat and hid under the table. Nora tried to ask him, but Jackie tried to threat her by bread-knife. Then she left him alone. Suddenly, the mother came and Jackie came out from the table then he made his dinner. When his father came, Nora directly complained what Jackie had done in the dinner time. So, his father was angry, but his mother tried to protect Jackie.

Jackie felt very hurt. He had to make the first confession. Unfortunately, the person who was responsible of the confession was an old woman, called Mrs. Ryan. She was very interested in hell, the tortures, and its inhabitants. She also explained to the Jackie that a child should be respect to the mother, father, and also the grandmother. So that, Jackie was scare of what he has did. He wanted to make his first confession as soon as possible. In the following day, Mrs. Ryan introduced a priest to Jackie. She said that he was same situation with Jackie.

It was in the afternoon, Mrs. Ryan asked Jackie to go to the confession on Saturday by himself. When the day came, his mother could not accompany him and sent Nora with him.

Nora confessed her sin in the confession box. For a minute later, she walked out looked like a saint. Then, it was Jackie’s turn to confess his sin. He got a problem with his size because he thought that the confession box just for grow up people. So, he got difficult to communicate with the priest. Thereafter, the priest tried to talk with him and Jackie began his story. He told him everything happened in his life. In addition, he taught that he tried to kill his grandma and his sister because they made his life so awful. The priest felt very poor of him.

His sister looked for Jackie and she found him who still admitted in the confession box. She offended Jackie. The priest knew that happen. He asked Nora to be polite with her brother.

In the next time, the priest invited Jackie to talk. Jackie enjoyed to talk with the priest because he had a kind character which he never found in other person. He realized that what his plan to kill is not good and not benefit.
Character and Point of View
Jackie is the protagonist of the story. He is a dynamic character because he learned in the end that even though he has had morbid thoughts of killing his grandmother and sister, it is not necessary to dwell on those.

Jackie is a young boy who hates his grandmother and sister. He was afraid for his first confession. So, it showes that Jackie has two personalities, whether it is good or not. He tried to kill the grandmother, but he was also afraid.

Nora was Jackie’s old sister; she got a penny every week from her grandmother
Grandmother who walked around in bare feet and carries porter; she was a lousy cook and favors Nora over Jackie. Nora only has one character (static). She is an antagonist because she against Jackie as protagonist character.

Ryan was an old woman who prepared children for their first communion. She is also static character. Ryan just try to keep a rule without caring the psychology of Jackie.

Priest was heared Jackie’s first confession and takes pity on him. The priest also a flat character. He is a kind priest. He never changed to be a bad or scare people. Besides, the priest is protagonist because he is in the same way with Jackie.

The main characters Jackie transforms form a naïve young boy who was scared of confession to someone who was more understanding of sins and the process of confessions.

The major theme of the story; confession wasn’t as bad as it seems the minor theme; every human has sinful thoughts but we must learn to deal with them sensible.

The point of view used First person point of view as observant. The author didn’t include himself in the story. He just observes the story and knows not all of the characters.
“First Confession” Frank O’Connor used his home land of Ireland as the setting for this story.
To make your understood clear, you can see in the chart below:








Mrs. Ryan

The priest

Plot Analysis
The story is about a seven-year-old child whose grandfather died. So, he had to live with his grandmother -father’s mother- in one house. That condition made him uncomfortable and depressed because he thought her grandmother badly. Her grandmother has a habit at dinner that she always drank a jug of porter and a pot of potatoes mixed with salt-fish.
Besides, Jacky was also suffered when his sister Nora always got penny from her grandmother while Jacky has never had it even little. Jacky hated her and it was shown by his attitude when Nora made him food, Jacky even put a knife and hid under the dining table. Finally, Nora complained to his father about what Jacky did. So, his father gave him a flaking; he didn’t speak to him for days.

Rising Action:
The conflict continued when Mrs.Ryan explained about hell, the tortures, and its inhabitants. He gave a simple allegory of hell by lighting a candle and asked Jacky to put a finger into the flames to feel the heat for five minutes. It made Jackie feel scared and not dare to put his finger into the flame. 

Later, the grandmother told again that the inhabitants of hell are the people who do badness or evil. If he died, and yet do penance then one day he would be tortured in hell. Finally, Jacky remembered what he had done to Nora. He was scared to death of confession. 

He hopes not to admit. But unfortunately his grandmother firmly and roughly asked Jacky to confession on Saturday at a church. He set out with Nora because her mother could not go with him. That made Jackie felt very miserable. Jacky tried to escape but Nora said that the priest will find him at home. So, Jacky relented and kept going to the church.

At church, Jacky felt very sorry about him. He admitted all of his faults, (his plan to kill and mutilate the body of her grandmother and Nora's threat). He really wanted to atone for all sin. He knelt in the sanctuary of the dark and silent room. He begged forgiveness of God. Until the coming of a priest and asked him about what he was doing there. Then, Jacky told him everything. However, his claim must be stopped for a moment when Nora came in and bent down to give Jacky a clip across the ear roughly. Seeing the incident, the priest was furious and called Nora as "little vixen". Nora then cried, her cocking an outraged eye up at the priest. However, when the priest turned to the other patients, Nora took the occasion to denounce Jacky from behind with his words. 
Falling Action:
The priest invited Jacky to the box of confession and questioned him about the name and also the terrible problems he had. Jacky said that he planned to kill his grandmother because he thought grandmother evil. She liked to take a porter which according to Jacky it was a great sin. In addition, Jacky also told about her sister who always gets the money from the grandmother while he did not. Also, his sister always got the defense of the father, but Jacky should be in a flank. That's what led Jacky to feel hurt scald. 

Listening to that, the priest understood the psychological condition of Jacky that he really felt so pressured by his family. So, the priest was trying to make Jacky motivated by telling him kill in a way that is unsatisfactory. The best thing is to be hanging. Knowing this, Jacky felt curious to listen to the speech from the priest for approximately ten minutes. 

After talking with the priest, Jacky became relieved and realized that the intention to kill means nothing. In addition, he also knew that he will not die in the night due to a confession.

The opening of the story focuses on how much Jackie hates his grandmother because she embarrasses him and favors Nora. The end of the story focuses on how Nora was suddenly jealous of Jackie’s small penance and candy he received from the priest. These two characters that Jackie loathes begin and end the story to win over the audience to Jackie’s cause.

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