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“First Confession”. Story Map Review. Setting Characters Conflicts Outcome Themes. Metaphor. Definition - comparison of two unlike things that actually have something in common, without using “like” or “ as” Examples : “He was a lion in the fight” “Love is a rose.”

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story map review
Story Map Review
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Conflicts
  • Outcome
  • Themes
  • Definition- comparison of two unlike things that actually have something in common, without using “like” or “as”
  • Examples:
    • “He was a lion in the fight”
    • “Love is a rose.”
    • "The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner.“
    • "Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows.“
    • You come up with one!
  • Definition—comparison of two things, using “like” or “as”
    • “It’s been a hard day, and I’ve been working like a dog.”
    • “His skin was as cold as ice.”
    • “He eats like a pig.”
    • You come up with one!
  • Significance—similes add emphasis to words and can make descriptions more vivid
dictio n
  • Diction: Element of style an author’s word choice; affects tone; determined based on purpose and audience
    • Example:

"Dearest reader, I humbly entreat you to eschew the latest celebrity tittle-tattle and instead devote your attention to diction and tone." Sophisticated/elevated word choice—very formal


"Listen up! Drop the gossip magazine and get with the diction/tone program!" Informal/colloquial word choice—used with peers/friends/people of equal or lower “status”

  • Definition: implied attitude of the author/speaker toward the subject/audience; determined by diction
  • What are some adjectives you can think of to describe tone?
  • How does tone influence the meaning of a text?
connotation and denotation
Connotation and Denotation
  • Denotation: the literal, “dictionary definition” meaning of a word
  • Connotation: the commonly understood, subjective cultural association of meaning with a word, in addition to the dictionary definition
    • For example, we use many different terms for young people. While “little one” and “brat” both literally refer to a young person, “little one” usually has a positive connotation (association), whereas “brat” typically has a negative connotation. You wouldn’t want to compliment a young mother by calling her child a “cute little brat.”
    • Other examples:
      • “Stink” versus “aroma” versus “smell”
      • “Reckless” plan versus “daring” plan
      • “Easygoing” friend versus “lazy” friend
      • Answer with “arrogance” versus answer with “confidence”
positive negative and neutral connotations
Positive, Negative, and Neutral Connotations



positive negative and neutral connotations1
Positive, Negative, and Neutral Connotations



first confession1
“First Confession”

Analytical Questions

point of view
Point of View
  • Describe the narrator of the story. Support your description with specific details.
  • Imagine if the story were told through a different point of view—maybe the priest, the sister, or an objective narrator. What would be lost?
  • What kind of relationship does Jackie have with his family?
  • How does Jackie’s point of view as a child (when telling the story) seem to differ from the author’s perspective as an adult? Discuss the following plot details.
      • Jackie’s attitude about his grandmother/ her terrible vices
      • Mrs. Ryan’s tale of the burned handprints
      • Jackie’s explanation for the long silence after confessing his plan to kill his grandmother
      • Jackie’s plan for disposing of the body
character characterization
Character/ Characterization
  • In what ways is Jackie not entirely naïve, but sometimes shrewd and perceptive?
  • What character traits does the priest display? How does he differ from Mrs. Ryan?
  • Do you believe a possible message of the story is that, as Nora claims at the end, there is no point in trying to live a virtuous life? Why or why not?
  • How does O’Connor create suspense in the story?
allusion simile
  • As Nora and Jackie walk to the chapel, Jackie describes the “sunlit hillsides beyond the valley of the river, which I saw in the gaps between the houses like Adam’s last glimpse of Paradise.” What is the allusion, and why is it appropriate?
  • What parts did you find to be particularly humorous?