Describe the narrator in "First Confession."

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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As a narrator, Jackie is open and frank, sharing some of his amusement about his childhood feelings, although he is an older person when he is actually telling the story. He seems to be speaking rather than writing, and it is not clear that he has any specific listener in mind beyond his anonymous audience. He is a perceptive narrator, successfully transmitting his feelings of anger and indignation against his sister, his being bemused by Mrs. Ryan, his apprehensiveness about the state of his soul as he has learned to judge it in the punishment-driven household, and his fondness for the understanding and friendly priest. Words like fastidious, mortified, and indignant suggest his familiarity with a high level of diction. Jackie is also inventive as a speaker, using combinations like heart-scalded and a religious woman like that, you wouldn’t think she’d bother about a thing like a half-crown. There are a number of Irish idioms and phrases, particularly in the dialogue, such as Was it the priest gave them to you?, Begore, and Jay.

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