ENG 100 07/12/09 Movie: Doubt Sister James and Sister Aloysius play a very important role in John Patrick Shanley’s movie Doubt, which is about the mistrust that takes place in a school directed by the church on priest Flynn command. There, sister Aloysius is the principal, so she is in charge of the student’s rights and responsibilities. On the other hand Sister James is a history teacher. Both characters are important for their way of handling the doubt.
First of all, Sister Aloysius is a very mistrusting person, she trusts no one, and has no problem on thinking bad things about people, with what could be little to no evidence at all. She can be persuaded by a rumor. She doesn’t even trust Priest Flynn. On the other hand, Sister James acted different. Even though she was the one who started the rumor, she had a lot of doubts about its veracity. There were a lot of elements that kept her in between on the priest case. She couldn’t believe that father Flynn was capable of giving wine to a kid.
You could say she thought that the priest was “innocent until proven guilty”. “Innocent until proven guilty”, there is no such thing for Sister Aloysius. On the entire case, she never even bothered to look for any important evidence. She was blind and even assumed some things about father Flynn abusing the kid. She put all her effort on throwing out the Priest. But Sister James thought that there could be a misleading line, that they could be missing an important fact. She couldn`t believe someone was capable of committing what sister Aloysius told her.
However she could be easy to convince because both, father Flynn and Sister Aloysius convinced her about their stories. All these characters personalities, I think were given by their life style. Sister Aloysius looked really strict and very into religion, cut she showed to be double faced. Even with her very strict policy, she enjoyed changes, even technology. Once she was caught listening to radio with an ear piece, which she confiscated from a student. But most importantly I think she learned to be like that because of her experience as a regular person, she was even married.
While Sister James was more into herself. She was a very easy going person, probably because of her youth. She also was close to her family; you can see these because she felt better once she visited her family. However, she was very dedicated to religion. All in all, Sister James and Sister Aloysius handled doubt in their own ways, ways given by their life experiences. You can’t say which one is right or wrong, but you can remark sister James honesty and pureness, as well as sister Aloysius perseverance and the fact she never gave up until she got what she wanted.