A Comparison between Sister James and Sister Aloysius in John Patrick Shanleys Film Doubt

Categories: John Patrick Shanley

Doubt and trust are two words that can express a lot of things in different situations of life. These are words that people use every day, not only by saying them, but expressing them. Everyone keep in contact with people they trust, with people they feel comfortable with, and in the same way they try to avoid people who make them feel uncomfortable. This is what the film, directed by John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt," shows. In this movie, doubt and trust are represented by two main characters.

It is shown that depending in people's point of view, and depending in the kind of problem they are dealing with, they can trust, as Sister James, or they can doubt, as Sister Aloysius.

The two nuns, Sister James and Sister Aloysius, start to doubt about Father Flynn because of his behavior with the little boy. Despite the same problem Sister James and Sister Aloysius are facing, they take different positions to it due to their personalities, belief in people and intentions during the movie.

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Their personalities is the main point. On one hand, there is the harsh, intolerable, distrustful and strong Sister Aloysius. Showed by the way she treats people, Sister Aloysius demonstrates she has a lot of experience in life. She is the one that has to be controlling that every rule at school is being followed, being very strict with the students and with herself too. She shows very strict with London, a student, when he touched Sister James. Every time that she had a reunion with Father Flynn in her office, the windows had to be open because she did not want other people to think wrong things about her.

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On the other hand, there is the sweet, patient, trusty and naive Sister James. She is always trying to look for the good side of every situation and every person. She never goes against the rules and tries to be the best she can be, and never contradicts what someone tells her. Even though she was influenced by Sister Aloysius at the time they were doubting from Father Flynn, she wanted to keep her mind out of every bad thought, and it she had one, she regretted immediately. The different way they give trust to people is another of the clearest differences they both show. Sister Aloysius finds it very hard to think that all the people have a good side. She has a lot of experience in reading people based on judgments by her own impressions, as she says, and not by the actions that can lead her to think wrong things about someone. She is temperamental and so sure of herself that she does everything to prove the other one is wrong. This is why she goes to talk with the bishop, for she wanted to prove Father Flynn's guilt. She talked with some nuns, and they helped her to find certain things that made her doubt even more, and with this, she wanted to prove that she was right.

In contrast, Sister James is someone who believes in people's good side and in the fact that all people let it come out every day. She never jumps to the worst possibility that could be before solving a problem, she tries to keep the positive vibes on her mind every time, and this is why she never doubts from one word the Father says to her. Finally, another thing that is crucial between this two characters are their intentions during the whole problem during the film. Sister Aloysius shows very strange intentions, she says that her only wish is to discover the truth so this child could be in peace; yet, she never has any action that complement this words, even if she talked with Donald's mother, her intention was not to help him. She wants to destroy Father Flynn because she does not like the way he is and the way he acts. She is going to get as far as she can to prove that she is right. This is easily to interpret at the moment she says: "If I could, Sister James, I would certainly choose to live in innocence.

But innocence can only be wisdom in a world without evil. Situations arise and we are confronted with wrongdoing and the need to act," to Sister James. On the other side, Sister James, whose only interest is to help Donald, just wanted to solve the problem in the simplest way she could, without making a bigger problem of it. She shows compassion for the kid and respect for the priest even though she is thinking bad things about him. In conclusion, it is shown two very different kind of people. One, with a very sweet, naive and innocent side, and the other one being very harmful, harsh and distrustful. It can be said that this movie shows two totally opposite characters that represent two extreme ways of seeing life. Doubt and trust are two words that we use every day, not only by saying them, but expressing them, which is true, because people can trust other people who is around them, but they can have doubts about them at the same time.

Updated: May 13, 2023
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A Comparison between Sister James and Sister Aloysius in John Patrick Shanleys Film Doubt. (2023, May 13). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-comparison-between-sister-james-and-sister-aloysius-in-john-patrick-shanleys-film-doubt-essay

A Comparison between Sister James and Sister Aloysius in John Patrick Shanleys Film Doubt essay
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