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Overcoming Stress in Frank O’Connor's "First Confession" Word Count includes detailed outline David W. Madden believes several of Frank O’Connor's stories reflect his private lifestyle and intentions. Jackie, the youthful protagonist, at the "First Confession," loves his mommy as equally as O’Connor loved his mommy. Madden also considers O’Connor should have chosen a spiritual calling because the priests said in his stories incorporate the instrumental impact on this "laity's lifestyles" (3227). Understanding women, led by his own mother's influence, frequently are exhibited in O’Connor's writings. Madden feels that a few of O’Connor's stories focus on "naïve, sensitive characters who battle with what seems to them the insoluble puzzles of existence," like children's journey through life (3227-28). The narrative reinforces the theme that a child overcoming a fear of the unknown could enhance his sense of confidence. The storyline of "First Confession" is about a young boy, Jackie, trying to conquer the terror of telling his initial confession. Jackie's problems start when his grandmother comes to live in the house. He detests her to be an alcoholic, slovenly ill-mannered woman. Most of all, Jackie is upset that he's excluded from the cent allowance that his sister, Nora, gets. Since his sister and grandmother side against him, Jackie's life becomes more intolerable. Jackie is planning to receive his First Penance and First Holy Communion. Mrs. Ryan, the religion education teacher, projects a negative picture to Jackie about confessing his sins. She is a girl who only talked of Hell and said Heaven only by accident. Jackie believes she's a woman where "Hell needed the first place in her heart" (176). Mrs. Ryan entices the children with cash to stick their hands in the fire of a candle. She associates this with burning in Hell. An instance is a dreadful story about a man who makes a lousy confession. The guy wakes a priest in the middle of the night insisting that he make a confession. Following the priest has been dressed, the guy is gone only to depart his handprints burned into the sheets. Jackie is made to go to confession along with his wicked sister, Nora. When it is Jackie's turn to go in the confessional, he is so nervous that he kneels on the armrest. Consequently, he slides and plunges out the doorway. Nora is embarrassed and begins to smack him. After the priest sees...