Doubt, a Play by John Patrick Shanley: Inappropriate Relationships

Topics: Priest, Morality, Critical thinking Pages: 4 (1003 words) Published: May 13, 2014
Morgan Syrilla Conner
Mary Ann Lutz
English 150:006
November 9, 2013

It is well known that many catholic schools have the bad reputation of inappropriate relationships between priest and children of the school. While it is a typical stereotype of catholic schools, “accusations against catholic priest are extremely rare. Almost all accusations against priest date back to many centuries ago. Of a body of 77 million accused, only about 8 allegations were proven credible by a review board each year.” In the play “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley, we witness the struggle of a priest who may or may not be wrongly accused of inappropriate relations with a young African American student. After reading the dialog between all the characters in the play and learning about Father Flynn’s actions, many would deem him guilty. While many may see him as guilty, I on the other hand see a man’s kind hearted and affectionate actions towards a struggling child being misconstrued. I believe Father Flynn to be wrongly accused by Sister Aloysius, a woman of the church, and principle of the school, someone who has full confidence in the guiltiness of Father Flynn with little to no proof.

Throughout the play Sister Aloysius constantly accuses Father Flynn of wrong doing by Donald Muller, a young African American student, a student who is an outcast and would be perceived as an easy target. While Father Flynn denies the accusations of giving Donald church wine and having inappropriate relations, Sister Aloysius shows no sign of relief from her suspicions and accusations. We learn in the play that Sister Aloysius has had past experiences with such a situation at a previous school, St. Boniface. Although Sister Aloysius has had past experiences and it would seem she would know what to look for, we later learn her credibility is extremely doubtful, and that her accusations are based only on what she believes, not on solid evidence. Throughout the play we learn through conversations...
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