Essay about Erosion of Wills in Doubt by john Patrick Shanley

Essay about Erosion of Wills in Doubt by john Patrick Shanley

Length: 704 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Doubt is an incredibly powerful and intriguing movie from director/writer John Patrick Shanley who originally wrote the story for theatre. The incredibly Irish-Catholic director laced the script with intentional hints and misdirection to keep the audience guessing as to whether Father Flynn is actually abusing children. In the cinematic version it was Shanley and the cinematographer, Roger Deakins job to constantly keep the audience from knowing every fact about the central plot. What the fantastic duo does with the framing of the shots, the content and dialogue between the characters weaves a near perfect narrative of the pain of doubt.
The film is punctuated by three sermons given during a Sunday mass. The first mass which serves as the big opening scene is picturesquely grandiose in typical catholic fashion. Long, drawn out cuts of the church full of worshippers who all look very small against the vast open and silent space that fills the church like cotton establish the importance of Father Flynn as the camera cuts to a close up of him. This quick switch of focus implies not just his importance in the story but his importance as a figure of power in the eyes of the people populating mise-en-scéne. His opening sermon is based poignantly on doubt. The quote “There are those of you in church today who know exactly the crisis of faith I describe. And I want to say to you: doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.” (Doubt 2008) not only foreshadows just how close the three main characters will come to each other over the course of the plot. It also is reflected in Sister Aloysius’ weaponized certainty that she will root out any impurities in her church. But it’s the panning shots of the crowd with the ...

... middle of paper ...

...erself that God has a plan, because how can he create and love such a monster? It fulfills the typical Hollywood payoff by sending Father Flynn away from Donald Miller, but at the cost of Aloysius’ faith. The one quality that has been keeping her going since her husband died.
Doubt has painted a picture of the heartache that revolves around suspicion and gossip and how they can erode even the strongest of wills. The characters and settings grow ever more vicious as the movie progresses and the heated climactic argument between Streep and Hoffman is one of my personal favorites now. As the doubt festers like a wound in the characters mind it creates a rich cinematic experience for the viewer as they are left bonded to the humanity of the people on screen. There is only one in this movie that is as unshakable as Aloysius certainty, and that the film is worth it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Father Flynn in John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt Essay

- It is difficult to make the decision if Father Flynn is innocent or guilty. In John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt; a parable, he eclipses the truth very well. The scenes about the toy, the camping trip and the undershirt cause much confusion; causing the audience to go back and forth in their minds and doubt Father Flynn. Law says that people are innocent until proven guilty although; realistically, everyone knows that people are guilty until proven innocent. It is very possible that Father Fynn is only helping Donald, because he is less fortunate than the other students at his school; and it is also very possible that he is hurting the child by molesting him....   [tags: John Patrick Shanley, Doubt]

Better Essays
856 words (2.4 pages)

Abuse of Power in Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley Essay

- Power is earned, not given. There are many different types of power that people can earn. Power becomes a problem when it is not questioned or tested. Therefore, the one with the power would have total control over anything or anyone they wanted, or they would feel that way. People with power feel invincible when it is not questioned. Throughout history it has been proven that this creates a problem. For example, Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal is similar to the scandal with Father Flynn in Doubt....   [tags: John Patrick Shanley]

Better Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

John Patrick Shanley's Doubt Essays

- Douglas Light said that our imagination is better than any answer to a question. Light distinguished between two genres: fantasy from fiction. He described how fantasy stimulates one’s imagination, which is more appealing, but fiction can just be a relatable story. In the same way, Books and movies are very different entities. In the short parable Doubt, the readers are lured in to the possibility of a scandalous relationship between a pastor and an alter boy. The readers’ curiosity is ignited because they are not given all the details....   [tags: play analysis]

Better Essays
2373 words (6.8 pages)

Essay on John Patrick Shanley's Doubt: Film versus Book

- ... In no part of the play does it outright say that Father Flynn had any encounter with the alter boys other than during basketball practice and his close friendship with Donald Muller, but through the readers imagination, they assume these scandalous scenarios that Father Flynn is accused of. The viewer was in constant “doubt,” of both characters’ intentions and motives. The parable is filled with indirect notions, assumptions, and gossiping. So why is this specific parable so entertaining. Its simple- the reader used their imagination to piece together a relationship that at multiple times in the play cause them to doubt their own beliefs and consider the opposing possibilities....   [tags: taking advantage of reader's imagination]

Better Essays
1804 words (5.2 pages)

False Accusations in Doubt by John Patrick Shanley Essay

- The play “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley began with a sermon by Father Brendan Flynn, a well liked and enlightened neighborhood priest, who says, "Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty". (Shanley 6) Sister Aloysius Beauvier is a strict traditional nun, who was declared to protect and secure St. Nicholas Church School. Father Flynn seems to be the protagonist in the play and Sister Aloysius is the antagonist. The whole play, sister Aloysius Beauvier suspected Father Flynn of molesting a 12-year-old boy named Donald Muller, who is the first African-American student in the St....   [tags: molestation, priest, innocent]

Better Essays
687 words (2 pages)

Essay on Doubt: Comparing the Play and Movie

- The differences between the movie doubt and the play have significant differences that would influence ones opinion about certain characters and situations in the story. Though the differences are few one would agree that at least one of these differences are game changers or at the very least they get you thinking and having doubts of your own. John Patrick Shanley creates a movie as a whole I feel was more informative than the play. In the play you have 4 characters Sister Aloysius, Father Flynn, Sister James, and Mrs....   [tags: film, john patrick shanley]

Free Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Doubt by John Shanley Essay

- In order to climb up the ladder of society, people oppress those characteristics that lead them to failure. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, homosexuality was seeing as a mental disease of the human race. Homosexuals did not fit in the schema of the American family. Tennessee Williams, in his play “The Cat on the Hot Tin Roof”, shows the effects of society´s views on homosexuals through the main character Brick. In addition to Williams´ play, the theatrical work, “Doubt” by John Shanley, also depicts the struggles that an African American kid undergoes in order to suppress his sexuality....   [tags: opposite views, play comparison]

Better Essays
1732 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of ' Doubt By John Patrick Shanley At The Gordon State College Theatre

- The play I attended and am doing my performance analysis on is “Doubt, a Parable” by John Patrick Shanley at the Gordon State College Theatre. I would like to start off by saying the play was quite moving and had a lot of meaning behind it. Shanley did a wonderful job at touching on subjects that were problematic for that time period. In 1964 homosexuality and race were not the only issues present but they were tremendous issues then, some may argue that they still are today. In this analysis I will focus on my opinion of the acting, design, and directing of the production....   [tags: Actor, Acting, Character, Theatre]

Better Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Soil Erosion and The Erosion of Civilizations

- Soil erosion began with the dawn of agriculture, when people abandoned their hunter-gatherer lifestyles and began using the land for intensive agriculture, thus removing the protective vegetation cover and growing food crops on disturbed soil surfaces. For many civilizations, it is believed that surface wash erosion, that can occur unnoticed until it is too late, was a main contributing factor for their demise. Soil erosion and other degradative processes have destroyed, over the millennia, as much arable land as is now cultivated....   [tags: Soil Erosion]

Free Essays
310 words (0.9 pages)

Essay No Doubt

- In the begaining - In Anaheim California Eric Stefani Gwens older brother would write songs like (Stick it in a hole) about a pencil sharpener, and forcing Gwen to song with John their singer. In December of 1986 their singer John Spence quits and forces Gwen to sing at their first gig. In the summer of 1987 Gwen and Tony (their basses) start going out.December 21-1987 John Spence shots him self in a park in Anaheim Cal. In the spring of 1988 the heavy metal guitarist Tom, a college student,refuses his sisters offer to play in her band to play in No Doubt.In 1987-1988 part of the then underground-ska-scence, No Doubt built a huge following of " rude boys" and after...   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
539 words (1.5 pages)