Analysis Paper on "Doubt"

Topics: Pulitzer Prize for Drama, John Patrick Shanley, Skepticism Pages: 3 (1134 words) Published: June 20, 2012
“A Bond as Powerful as Certainty”
A person’s doubts can cloud their judgment on certain tasks at hand. On the other hand, a person’s certainty can blind someone from the truth. The argument ofDoubt versus Certainty is relevant today in the sense that it is the main argument for and against religion. The theory of doubt can also be used in literary works for a number of reasons. In John Patrick Shanley’s movie/play Doubt, the theme of “certainty versus doubt” is shown throughout the story to signify the importance of characterization and to symbolize the importance that a person must be cautious of the people around them. In the movie Doubt, the idea of certainty versus doubt is a central theme to the story. Doubt and certainty are prominent themes due to the fact that the character of Sister Aloysius does not have enough evidence to prove that Father Flynn is guilty. However, Sister Aloysius is confident that Father Flynn is guilty even though she has no evidence. The concept of doubt is first shown at the beginning of the story at Father Flynn’s sermon. Father Flynn says at his sermon, “What do you do when you’re not sure?” and “No one knows I’ve done something wrong.” (Shanley pg 5) Shanley uses irony to show how Sister Aloysius becomes doubtful over Father Flynn because of his sermon on doubt. The sermon is important because it is the event in which Sister Aloysius starts to become skeptical of Father Flynn. This is relevant when Sister Aloysius asks Sister James, “Well, sermons come from somewhere, don’t they? Is Father Flynn in Doubt? Is he concerned that someone else is in Doubt?” (Shanley pg 14) This indicates that Sister Aloysius doubts Father Flynn’s credibility as a pastor. Sister Aloysius becomes certain that Father Flynn is abusing his right as a pastor when Sister James sees Father Flynn put Donald’s shirt back in his locker and when she smelled alcohol on Donald’s breath. Sister James sees first hand that Father Flynn might be abusing his...

Cited: Shanley, John Patrick. Doubt. New York, NY: TCG. 2005. Print
Doubt. Dir. John Patrick Shanley. Miramax, 2008. Film.
Shanley, John Patrick. Doubt. New York, NY:Miramax, 2007. Print.
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