Summary of Doubt, A Parable
The play opens with a Father Flynn giving a sermon about having doubts, or being unsure. Following the sermon, Sister Aloysius questions one of the teachers on her staff about the father. She then moves on to talk about a student. From the exchange between the nuns, it is clear that Sister Aloysius does not like Father Flynn. Though the teacher, Sister James, is kind-hearted, Sister Aloysius leads her to believe this is weakness. She also asks Sister James to watch Donald Miller, and Father Flynn. It is also made clear that Sister Aloysius suspects the father of inappropriate behavior with children. Throughout the play, Father Flynn never admits to any of the allegations, but Sister Aloysius makes it apparent that no amount of reasoning can convince her of his innocence. In one scene, the father, Sister James, and Sister Aloysius have all met in Sister Aloysius' office to talk about the Christmas pageant that the school puts on every year. Father Flynn then starts making notes about a sermon about intolerance after speaking with Sister Aloysius. Though the play is somewhat humorous in parts, the plot line is also very dark, being that the preface of every scene is trying to prove Father Flynn has been inappropriate with children. I really enjoyed the play, but I did not like the ending. In the final scene, Father Flynn has left the school because Sister Aloysius essentially threatened him, and she's out in the garden crying. Sister James asks her what is wrong, and she says only “I have doubts”, leading the audience to believe that maybe she has finally accepted Father Flynn's innocence though it is now too late. I wish the ending would have been more descriptive, but on the same coin, I liked how it led the audience to draw it's own conclusions.
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