Had JAckie "matured"? If so, how did this "mayurity" surface in this portion of the story that deals with what he was no longer afraid of.
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Jackie is only seven years old, thus, his maturity can be found in his realization that confession was not a place to be afraid of.... it was a place to share one's thoughts. After he falls from the confessional, the priest intervenes when Nora begins to beat him, something that immediately changes the atmosphere and Jackie's feelings about the man behind the confessional. He's even given candy when the confession is over..... fear conquered.