14 February 2023 at 7:04:59 am
The Education University of Hong Kong
Dr. Hawk Chang is Assistant Professor of the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong. He received his PhD from National Taiwan Normal University and did his post-doctoral study at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Some of his works have been published in English Studies, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Changing English, Children’s Literature in Education, ANQ, Neohelicon, The Explicator, Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, CLCWeb, Journal of English Studies, etc. He was awarded the First Book Prize 2019 by Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities and was awarded a Junior Fellowship in the Academy for a five-year term (2019-24).
‘God, the hypocrisy of (wo)men!’: Religion and Gender in Frank O’Conner’s “First Confession”
religion, gender, Frank O’Conner, “First Confession,” ethics of care
Frank O’Conner’s short stories feature a unique sense of humor and sympathetic understanding of human foils. His story “First Confession” is an illustration. This story tells of how a 7-year-old schoolboy Jackie is troubled by his relationship with his family, female members in particular, and his confrontations with religion. Intriguingly, unlike most stories in 20-century Irish literature, in “First Confession” it is women rather than men who are to blame for domination and violence. By reading “First Confession,” this paper investigates O’Connor’s deconstruction of the Catholic religion in relation to gender. In addition to my textual analysis, Carol Gilligan’s care ethics will be incorporated to elaborate on O’Connor’s peculiar notions of religion and gender. It is expected that the study will contribute to our advanced understanding of O’Conner and his notions of gender and religion in the Irish context.