John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable

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“John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable” Annotated Bibliography
Although the primary scope of the play is not to explore the issue of sexual assault in the Catholic clergy, we find that issue an important problem of the play. In the same way, how the loss of faith manifests through the scenes, leaving the spectator wondering if the characters were meant to be part of the church. Nevertheless, in this essay we shall provide a broad scope of sources that would help us understanding the situations the play presents.
Primary Sources
“John Patrick Shanley On Dogma And ‘Doubt'” NPR. NPR, 12 Dec. 2008. Web. 14 July 2015. <>.
This article is an Interview conducted to John Patrick Shanley, the author of the play. In this interview, he speaks about the play, and about his upbringing in a working-class neighborhood in New York. The experiences in his neighborhood, surrounded by Roman Catholics shaped the way he saw Catholic religion and the clergy in general. He also speaks about the meaning of dogma and truth concerning the actions of the priests. This article is interesting because it gives a broad perspective on the author’s views on the play, which gives us a closer look at what the play is really about.
Jordan, J., and M. Foster. “Growing Up African American in Catholic Schools.” Teachers College Press (1996): 208. Harvard Educational Review. Web. 15 July 2015. <>.
This article is fundamental to our investigation since it gives a full scope of the realities of African-American students in Catholic schools. During the 60s, African-American students were a rare occurrence in Catholic schools. That is why many of them suffered from racism or even sexual violence like the case in the play. However, the article also states that Catholic schools were able to provide African-American students with the tools and the discipline they lacked in their houses, and helped them succeed.
“THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS IN THE UNITED STATES 195O-2OO2,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2004). John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Web. 14 July 2015. <>.
To have a clear picture of the situation that leads to the climatic moments of the play, it is important to understand the situations of abuse endured by many children during the last 50 years. The book is very extensive and detailed, and can be an excellent tool in our research as it gives us a broad perspective on the issue of abuse. For instance, the authors state that between 1984 and 1994 the Church spent $400 million in legal aid; medical bills, and psychological expenses to cover their misdemeanors. In the same way, the book’s many sections explore the hetero/homosexual relations among priests, and the situations that might lead to abuse.
Shugar, S., and L. Bellon. “Exploring John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, a Parable.” Centaur’s Theatre of Tomorrow, 2008. Web. 15 July 2015. < Patrick Shanley’s Doubt — Theatre of Tomorrow Workbook.pdf>.
We decided to include this text among our primary sources because it shows a thorough analysis of the play. Nevertheless, its only drawback is that is a sort of worksheet of activities. If we disregard that, we would have an in-depth analysis of the symbols, and images in the play. In the same way, its synopsis served us to find the common places in the play, and the key points that could aid in a further investigation. Strictly speaking, the text served as a beacon that pointed us to the key points in the play so we can explore those we preferred.
Secondary Sources
Davis, J. “Doubt: A Parable.” Chicago Critic. 8 May 2015. Web. 14 July 2015. <>.
We could not assess the importance of the play without resorting to a well-written critic of it. That is why we decided to use a critic in our bibliography. That way, through the analysis we will be able to pinpoint the moments on the play where something happens, and comment from there. In the same way, it would not be responsible to assess the actual potential of the play without a critic that gives us a specialized view on the subject.
Sister, J. “Doubt the Movie Discussion.” A Nun’s Life Ministry, 8 Jan. 2009. Web. 15 July 2015. <>.
Our picture of the play would not be complete without a depiction of a nun’s life. We consider this article important because it offers a critic an actual nun does to the play, and the way it shows nuns. The author is a Sister of the Charity, the same as Sister Aloysius, and she talk about her experience concerning meeting the cast. Besides, she shows what Sisters of Charity do, and how close the play’s rendition was.
Kandra, G. “Nun Were Better: Remembering the Sisters of the ’60s.” The Deacon’s Bench. 7 Mar. 2008. Web. 14 July 2015. <>.
This article, written by a deacon, shows how nuns have changed throughout the years. He displays the difference between the nuns 50 years ago, and now. This article shows an inside perspective of a deacon concerning how nuns in the past acted. That way, we can have an in-depth idea of how they worked and lived. Also, he explains how Catholic school education used to be and how “teaching nuns” were among the greatest educators in the country, contributing to the overall reputation of the Catholic schools.
Von Wormer, K., and L. Berns. “The Impact of Priest Sexual Abuse: Female Survivors’ Narratives.” University of Northern Iowa, 2004. Web. 2015. <>.
Although the play discusses sexual assault with a male student, this article can show a myriad of things concerning sexual assault. For instance, it recounts the methods priests use. We chose this article because it explores the effects of sexual assault in young victims. The results revealed that most of those victims reported a loss of religious faith, and the community pressure to remain silent. This last issue, the pressure to keep silence is of capital importance to us since it relates to one of the problems in the play, where Sister Aloysius is pressured to not to rat what the priest had done.

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