Paper #3 (Outline)
Doubt can be an embodying and overbaring emotion when it adulterates and infects one’s confidence. In John Patrick Shanley’s play “Doubt: A Parable”, a small misunderstanding between staff members spreads a plague of doubt at such a malicious pace that everyone ends up questioning the truth of the matter: Did Father Flynn really made advances towards student Donald Miller? An initial suspicion originating from principal Sister Aloysius travels to teacher Sister James, who ultimately ends up becoming the biggest victim of doubt. Sister James’ initial persona is diligent and innocent, but as doubt filters through the air of St. Nick School, her confidence and her abilities to clearly perceive reality are manipulated into anxiety and confusion. Whether doubt is selfinduced or aroused by an outside force, it spreads very quickly and has the power to alter perceptions of one’s self and perceptions of others.
BODY PARAGRAPH 1:
Topic Sentence: Being criticized by an outside source can cause a powerful doubt that results in the shifting of one’s way of thinking and behaving.
Quote/Evidence: “Well of course I’ll pay attention to my class. And I’ll try not to perform. And I’ll try to be less innocent. I’m sorry you’re disappointed in me. Please know that I will try my best. Honestly.” (Shanley 15)
BODY PARAGRAPH 2:
Topic Sentence: Once doubt has fully infected and taken over an individual’s perspective, that individual will start to question others’ confidences. Quote/Evidence: “I don’t want to misspeak, but no. She’s taken away my joy of teaching. And I loved teaching more than anything (She cries a little. He pats her uneasily, looking around).” (Shanley 41)
BODY PARAGRAPH 3:
Topic Sentence: For some, doubt’s altering effects cause a dramatic break in confidence that is too overwhelming to manage.
Doubt. Dir. John Patrick Shanley. Perf. Amy Adams, Llyod Clay Brown, Viola Davis, Phillip Seymour
Hoffman, Meryl Streep. Scott Rudin, Miramax Films. 2008. Film
Shanley, John Patrick. Doubt: A Parable. New York: Theater Communications Group, 2004.
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