Doubt: Drama and Father Flynn

Topics: Drama, John Patrick Shanley, Weather Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Paper #3
Stepping Out
“Doubt” (2008), written by John Patrick Shanley, is a film based on a nun’s (Sister Aloysius Beauvier) determination to expose a priest’s(Father Flynn) inappropriate relationship with a young student (Donald Miller.) Shanley uses several elements relative to film to create dramatic scenes including weather, symbolism, sound, lighting, and wardrobe, but three elements that are crucial in creating a theatrical piece are weather, symbolism, and sound, which will further be defined.

Weather is a key element in providing viewers not only the time of year the story is taking place, such as seasons, but it can also be used as a factor for additional drama. There are three different days showcasing three different church services, this provides evidence that the movie takes place within a few weeks rather than a few days. There is also never a hint of sunshine, it is either overcast, raining or snowing, suggesting that it is winter. The cold and darkness can play a large role in evoking certain emotions. In one particular scene, Sister Aloysius is in her office asking Father Flynn of his suspicious acts with Donald. It is raining heavily outside and when Sister Aloysius exclaims, “So you admit it!” a loud roaring of thunder takes place, adding tension between the characters. Shanley uses the weather to add suspense and anxiety to a heated argument, leaving clues to the viewer of the intense gravity of the situation.

A second way Shanley uses elements to assist dramatic effect to the storyline is the use of symbolism. Symbolism can be used in various ways to add necessary detail that unveils certain aspects of the characters and the storyline. Father Flynn is depicted as someone that is concerned of his appearance due to his concern of the length and cleanliness of his nails. This can indicate femininity, or in particular homosexuality. In one scene, when Sister Aloysius and Sister James, a young and naïve teacher, initially...
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