What are some good thesis statements for First Confession?

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This is a wonderfully humorous book about the horrors of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation from the viewpoint of a seven year old boy, Jackie.  There are countless essays that could be written about this wonderful novel, but I will give you a couple of thesis statements to choose...

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This is a wonderfully humorous book about the horrors of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation from the viewpoint of a seven year old boy, Jackie.  There are countless essays that could be written about this wonderful novel, but I will give you a couple of thesis statements to choose from in order to provide ample support.

One thesis statement could be as follows:  The elderly Ryan proves, through her actions and stories, that “hell had the first place in her heart.”  This thesis statement uses a direct quotation from the book and highlights the character of Ryan as put forth by the character of Jackie.  Ryan is the old woman who is supposed to get Jackie ready for his first confession. If you use this quotation, you can prove your point through Ryan’s actions.  One support could be Ryan’s story about the man who made the “bad confession” by demanding a confession from a priest and then leaving before it was finished.  Ryan also asks the children to hold their fingers in a candle flame (to simulate hell-fire) for a full five minutes.  Another support (and a wonderful piece of irony) is that Ryan bribes the children with money in order to exert this “temptation.” (This can be seen as a sin in itself.)

Another thesis statement could be the following:  Frank O’Connor uses humor throughout the book in order to entice his reader.  This is a fairly easy thesis to prove in that O’Connor’s book is absolutely full of humor.  Even Jackie’s description of his grandmother is humorous.  She continually drinks beer and eats with her hands.  These things disgust Jackie.  Further, Jackie has thought about killing both his grandmother and his sister, Nora.  This is also humorous in that almost every child fantasizes in this why when he or she is mad at a parent or sibling for some trivial thing.  Even the details of Jackie’s confession lend themselves to humor.  Jackie is paralyzed with fear, tumbles out of the confessional, and is then beaten by his sister.  The ultimate irony is that, as a result of Jackie being forgiven by Christ through the priest, Nora admits that there is no reason to try and be good at all.  Goodness, of course, is the entire purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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