Analysis Paper on "Doubt"

1120 Words Aug 28th, 2012 5 Pages
“A Bond as Powerful as Certainty”
A person’s doubts can cloud their judgment on certain tasks at hand. On the other hand, a person’s certainty can blind someone from the truth. The argument ofDoubt versus Certainty is relevant today in the sense that it is the main argument for and against religion. The theory of doubt can also be used in literary works for a number of reasons. In John Patrick Shanley’s movie/play Doubt, the theme of “certainty versus doubt” is shown throughout the story to signify the importance of characterization and to symbolize the importance that a person must be cautious of the people around them.
In the movie Doubt, the idea of certainty versus doubt is a central theme to the story. Doubt and certainty are
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Sister Aloysius does not have any evidence yet she is certain that Father Flynn is guilty. Shanley is illustrating that one does not need evidence to be confident about a given claim. In this way, Shanley illustrates through the concept of doubt that a person can be right about a given suspicion without any proof.
The significance behind certainty versus doubt in Doubt has to do with the characterization of both Sister James and Sister Aloysius. The characters’ stance on certainty versus doubt divides the characters’ personalities. Sister Aloysius has a confident and strong willed character throughout the story while Sister James is shown to have a very insecure personality and is usually shown to be unclear about situations. This characterization is shown when Sister James and Sister Aloysius talk about William London’s bloody nose. Sister Aloysius is convinced that William London’s bloody nose was self-induced while Sister James believes that William is innocent. Sister Aloysius’ suspicion about William is proven to be right when William is heading home, “He has a bloody handkerchief to his nose. He’s in a good mood. He takes the handkerchief away. The nose has stopped bleeding. He smiles. He lights a cigarette.” (Shanley Script, pg 18) This foreshadows the reactions taken by both Sister James and Sister Aloysius when it comes to determining Father Flynn’s credibility. Shanley does this to give the reader an idea of how Sisters James…

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