Comparing Jamaica Kincaid's Story 'Girl' and Frank O'Connor's Story 'First Confession'
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O'Connor and Kincaid
In both the works of Frank O'Connor and Jamaica Kincaid, the author writes a story about a young person confronting the potential truths of their current identities and how their childhoods will eventually influence and then shape their adulthoods. In the O'Connor story "First Confession," a young boy has to deal with his first communion in the Catholic Church and with the confession that will have to come with it. The boy fears that the sins that he has committed will have an effect on the person that he becomes and his potential for going to Heaven or to Hell. In the Kincaid work "Girl," a child from the opposite gender also examines her current existence and questions how what is coming now will determine the adult that she becomes. For her, it is not a question of religion which will change the character of her life, but her culture and the sociological implications of her gender. In both stories, a child has to overcome the obstacles of his or her childhood in order to find the kind of adult that will come from the youth. The narrator of "First Confession" is a young person who has a grandmother who has recently come to live with her son and daughter-in-law. Rather than honor or appreciate his grandmother, the narrator is quite ashamed of her, unwilling to allow his playmates to witness her behavior because she is too much of the old country. Her actions reflect a woman who was raised during the hardest times in Ireland and whose current