Doubt - Essay on Ap

Topics: Family, John Patrick Shanley, Parent Pages: 3 (839 words) Published: April 14, 2013
In the short parable Doubt, written by John Patrick Shanley, the author uses a character who is physically not shown in the story, but still plays an extremely important role in the plot. Donald Muller's father can be interpreted as a source of the conflict between many of the characters without truly being present which shows his significant part. The conflict is between Sister Aloysius the principal of the Catholic school that Donald attends, Donald himself, and Father Flynn a priest. The issue is best described by the question, "Did Father Flynn molest Donald Muller the young altar boy?". Throughout the writing, Sister Aloysius constantly battles many of the characters to prove that Father Flynn is guilty of this sin and some of the facts she learns about Donald and his life can be correlated to the source of the conflict, especially his relationship with his father.

Donald is a young black child in a Catholic boarding school. He is constantly confronted with being bullied, criticized, and taunted by the other boys at school and has not a single friend to comfort him. This makes him vulnerable in a way which adds to Sister Aloysius's suspicion. The beginning of the uncertainty about the relationship between Donald and Father Flynn starts when Sister James, one of the nuns at the school, tells Aloysius that Donald has a "protector." Right away after hearing this she becomes uneasy and expects the worst. Another instance where the evidence adds to the problem is when Donald, after coming back from a meeting with Father Flynn, returns with alcohol on his breath. There were enough facts for Sister Aloysius to believe the worst and begin to ask around.

Aloysius becomes concerned enough to call a meeting with Mrs. Muller. While talking to Mrs. Muller, she explained her concern about the possible physical relationship that could be manifesting between the priest and her son. Mrs. Muller replies with "it's just till June" and after more talk of rape from the...
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