FLYNN. (a) That Father Flynn molested Donald. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. The changes of Vatican II, embodied in Father Flynn’s cheerful face, are simply whitewash. Unlike Sister Aloysius, Flynn is moderate in his beliefs about discipline and tradition. Why does Father Flynn tell Sister James he avoids Donald Muller? She doesn't state exactly what she thinks happens next, but the implication is that Father Flynn is a pedophile who must be dealt with immediately. What do you do? "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." (b) Sister Aloysius told him to. When Father Flynn upholds that he “can’t say everything,” it’s not immediately clear what he means. Once more, Father Flynn references the Catholic Church’s chain of command, trying to devalue Sister Aloysius’s ability to hold him accountable for his actions. The play concludes with a one-on-one confrontation between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn as she attempts to get the truth out of the priest. FLYNN. The play is called “Doubt” for a reason, and we’re supposed to be questioning the whole time whether he’s guilty or not. The naive young teacher Sister James (a timid, anxious Rebecca Soltau) embodies this uncertainty, resenting the suspicion that Sister Aloysius has awakened in her and wanting to believe the best of Father Flynn. Now, Sister Aloysius suspects that Father Flynn has made a sexual advance on a 12-year-old boy. She doesn't state exactly what she thinks happens next, but the implication is that Father Flynn is a pedophile who must be dealt with immediately. In this moment, she admits that she has made mistakes herself, but she stresses the fact that she has always “confessed” her sins. Unfortunately, because she is a woman, she does not have the same level of authority as the priests; so instead of reporting the situation to her superiors (who will probably not listen to her), she reports her suspicions to the boy's mother. She doesn't want Father Flynn to get in real trouble. The play is set in the Bronx, New York in 1964, and takes place mostly in the offices of a Catholic school. answer choices . Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. This time, however, he seems more desperate than intimidating, since what she claims to have done is out of his hands. (c) He's embarrassed. He gives them instruction about developing a routine on the court and lectures them about their dirty fingernails. Because she’s so devoted to protecting children like Donald Muller, though, she isn’t susceptible to his manipulative tactics. She explains that she is worried first and foremost about his future, which is why she doesn’t want to question why, exactly, Father Flynn treats Donald with kindness. One thing seems certain by the end of the play: Father Flynn is concealing something. This is because she sees Father Flynn as a positive figure in Donald’s life—an idea that is no doubt fueled by the fact that Donald’s very own father is violent toward him. Going through the proper channels seems useless, because you know the people officially in charge of checking his authority will just accept anything he says and won’t take any action against him. Still, things don’t look good for the priest from the beginning in the Broadway West production. It seems pretty obvious to you that someone in a high position of authority is abusing his position in a monstrous way. Based on the next scene, it seems that instead of resigning, he has simply requested to be transferred to another school (as, it seems, he has done in the past). Again, the audience sees Sister Aloysius’s unyielding determination to find out the truth. It is about a strict nun who believes that a priest has done something terribly inappropriate to one of the students. 15. Accordingly, she would rather have him finish the eighth grade under seemingly any circumstances, just so he can go on to a good high school and secure a better future for himself. As soon as Sister Aloysius is gone, Father Flynn calls the bishop. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t like Flynn. They build up that Father Flynn is gone, moved to St. Jerome’s. Once again, then, Shanley suggests that the power structure of the Catholic Church enables people like Father Flynn to avoid being held accountable for their misdeeds. By John Patrick Shanley, presented by Broadway West Theatre Company, Where: Broadway West Theatre Company, 4000-B Bay St., Fremont, Running time: 95 minutes, no intermission, Tickets: $10-$27; 510-683-9218,, Get Morning Report and other email newsletters. Once again, then, she expresses an opinion that goes against Sister Aloysius’s sense that she has an ethical duty to protect her students regardless of the circumstances. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! However, Mrs. Muller refuses to acknowledge that Father Flynn’s inappropriate behavior toward her son will impact him in the long run, instead focusing only on the boy’s immediate future. Some of these phrases, such as "There are things I can't say," seem to imply a level of shame and possibly guilt. She also addresses her concerns to Donald's mother, who, surprisingly, is not horrified or even shocked by the allegations. Being saddled with a clueless, near-senile old pastor, Monsignor Benedict, Sister Aloysius decides to bring Father Flynn down: "There's no man I can go to, and men run everything. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t like Flynn. Struggling with distance learning? For example, Aloysius scorns the idea of secular Christmas songs such as "Frosty the Snowman" appearing in the church's pageant; she argues they are about magic and therefore evil. Ultimately, it is up to the audience to determine guilt or innocence, or whether or not such rulings are even possible, given the sketchy bits of evidence delivered by Shanley's drama. The audience and readers never know. But nobody's willing to say that." First, he is speaking to his congregation about dealing with a "crisis of faith." Sister Aloysius recruits a young, naive nun (Sister James) to assist her in monitoring the suspicious yet charismatic Father Flynn. (She does not indicate that the priest was arrested.). But who isn't? You are attempting to destroy my reputation! However, the playwright argues in his preface, "deep down, under the chatter we have come to a place where we know that we don't know...anything. Flynn promised not to punish the boy if no one else found out about the incident and if he promised not to do it again. Sister Aloysius tells her young colleague, "There are parameters which protect him and hinder me." When it comes right down to it, that’s about the proportion of their respective credibility as well. The audience learns much about Father Brendan Flynn, yet most of the "information" is hearsay and conjecture. All Access Digital offer for just 99 cents! This, of course, doesn’t quite accord with what he says at the beginning of the play, when he urges his congregants to blindly follow their beliefs. -Graham S. Sister Aloysius’s statement that she’ll kick Donald out of school in order to protect him from Father Flynn illustrates just how intensely she believes it’s up to her to keep the children in her school safe. During the play's finale, Aloysius and Flynn confront one another. During the play's finale, when Sister Aloysius falsely tells him that nuns from other parishes have made incriminating statements, Flynn becomes very emotional. "Twelve Angry Men", a Play by Reginald Rose, Act 1 Plot Summary of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons", "The Member of the Wedding" By Carson McCullers, Summary and Review of Proof by David Auburn, A Monologue for Women From the Play 'Tomorrow's Wish', Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible': Plot Summary, 'Black Swan' Focuses on the Duality of Women's Lives, "A Raisin in the Sun" Plot Summary and Study Guide, M.A., Literature, California State University - Northridge, B.A., Creative Writing, California State University - Northridge. Sue Trigg is brisk and no-nonsense as Sister Aloysius, vocally disapproving of any perceived softness in her subordinates, but there’s never any question of the caring and kindness underneath. In this moment, Mrs. Muller clarifies why she doesn’t want to pursue the possibility that Father Flynn is abusing her son. After she went directly to the monsignor, the abusive priest was removed. Craig Cutting’s set is divided between an inviting garden on one side and the utilitarian principal’s office on the other, with a pulpit in between. However, he goes on to say that Sister Aloysius can’t possibly feel any sense of “certainty” regarding this situation, thereby trying to destabilize her convictions. She contends that good teachers are cold and cunning, creating a bit of fear within the hearts of the students. Wade Bradford, M.A., is an award-winning playwright and theater director. In response to her lie/threat, Flynn resigns from the school but obtains a promotion becoming the pastor of a different institution. She thinks he'll believe anything Father Flynn says. Needless to say, though, this outlook doesn’t align with Sister Aloysius’s sense that it is her moral responsibility to protect Donald from all forms of harm, immediate or otherwise. South Bay theater companies offer online cheer with virtual holiday shows, 7 incredible Bay Area things to do this weekend, Bay Area arts: Smuin Ballet, Disney Museum, a ‘Trying’ drama, Celebrity cast revisits ‘Old Times’ to benefit Los Altos Stage. As a result, Mrs. Muller thinks Donald should simply endure whatever is happening to him until he can leave St. Nicholas School in June. The Character Sister Aloysius: What Does She Believe? (She doesn't think much of history either.) Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in. It’s 1964, and the school is keeping a close eye on things to make sure that its first African-American student isn’t being hassled too much. This, she believes, is irrelevant. The early scenes which feature Flynn show him in performance mode. "Doubt" is a drama written by John Patrick Shanley. Now, he wants Sister Aloysius to see her convictions as fickle and inaccurate, though it’s obvious that this tactic won’t work on her, since she’s so committed to her moral responsibility to protect children like Donald Muller. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Instant downloads of all 1372 LitChart PDFs Sister James says that Donald Muller is crushed, yet Sister Aloysius obtains his mom’s expression, saying it’s “simply till June” (57). Director John Tranchitella gives the play an effective, low-key staging at the small Fremont theater. Calling Father Flynn to her office, she tells him that she will not stop until he resigns. LitCharts Teacher Editions. ... Why does Sister Aloysius not want to go to the Monsignor about her suspicions about Father Flynn? While charming and good-humored, Louis Schilling’s Father Flynn is so shifty and defensive that it seems like it would be more of a surprise if he turned out to be innocent than if he was guilty. When he is confronted about Donald Muller and the alcohol that was on the boy's breath, Father Flynn reluctantly explains that the boy was caught drinking the altar wine. Mrs. Muller is unwilling to entertain the possibility that her son is suffering abuse at the hands of Father Flynn. The only trouble is that her doctrinaire rigidity is sometimes at odds with what other people believe is best for those they care about, as is driven home in a difficult scene with the student in question’s mother (mild-mannered Jeffrie Givens). By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. In this way, their confrontation begins with a display of just how much their ideals clash with one another, as Father Flynn tries to lord his power over Sister Aloysius while she tries and fails to use the power of the Catholic Church to keep him at bay. She believes that while having a private conversation, Father Flynn gave the boy wine. Contact Sam Hurwitt at, and follow him at Why is Sister Aloysius certain that someone will hit Donald Muller?