From the play written by John Patrick Shanley and titled Doubt: a Parable, the readers get a central question, asking whether certainty can be equated to truth or not. From one side, some hints outlining the fact that certainty can be equated to truth are evident. On the other side, there are doubts as to whether certainty can be equated to truth. The doubt is thus left unresolved. The play begins with father Flynn’s sermon lecturing regarding certainty as he claims, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.”(871) The play was set in 1964, approximately one year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In a way, it was a response to the dark times being experienced by the United States. In order to highlight this doubt, the play doubt was written using a different approach. The play had no certainty equating to truth leaving the doubt, which existed to be unresolved. This is portrayed thought Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius’ differences in Roman Catholic Church traditions, the ambiguity of the charges of Father Flynn who is suspected of defiling a black alter boy, and the significant role of both Sister James and the alter boy’s mother in the play.
One of the central characters of the play doubt is the church priest, Father Flynn. He is a progressive priest who is very devoted and friendly. Sister Aloysius is the principal of a catholic school, St. Nicolas. The students see her as terrifying and unsympathetic as she will not allow anyone to break the rules she has established. Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius represent an oxymoron, which is progressivism vs. traditionalism. Sister Aloysius was a widow before entering the covenant, as she claims “ My husband died in the war against Adolph Hitler”(879), she therefore represents the church’s strict traditions and she follows the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. She objects any modernity’s trying to be added to the system. She overanalyzes everything and believes that in order for...
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