Victims and Villains

Victims and Villains - P age |1 Sarah Hall Introduction to...

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P a g e | 1 Sarah Hall Introduction to Drama 11.23.2007 Victims and Villains In every classic drama, there is a victim and a villain. The victims are usually the weaker characters and are easily manipulated. The villains, however, are stronger and hold a telling power over their victims. The difference is though, that a victim is more than likely going to be a character from the story, whereas the villain may be an absent person, or group of persons. The villain could also be a feeling, or even one’s conscience. One must also keep in mind that there can be more than one victim and villain present. In Doubt , Bug , and The Pillowman , there are easily recognizable victims and villains. In each of these, there is at least one character as the villain, followed by an underlying emotion or an absent party. In Doubt , by John Patrick Shanley, the victims are most obvious. A shy, kind-hearted woman named Sister James and a peaceful man named Father Flynn. Sister James came to Saint Nicholas to teach eighth grade. Her teaching tactics, however, are very much looked down upon by her principle and mentor, Sister Aloysius. Sister Aloysius is an old fashioned woman, who is trying so desperately to keep the new age out of her church. She believes that loving her children is keeping them away from the terrors of the modern age. One of the terrors she fears has leaked into her holy place is an action she accused Father Flynn of taking. Through rumors and assumptions, Sister Aloysius comes to the conclusion that Father Flynn molested a little boy from their church. Throughout the play, Sister James is victimized for her tenderness and warmth towards her children, while Father Flynn is attacked for his supposed wrong-doing.
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P a g e | 2 Sister Aloysius is not the only villain, however. The title of the play is not to be taken lightly. The play opens with a sermon from Father Flynn. It deals with doubt. He says, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone” (Shanley 6). This theme follows each character throughout the play. Father Flynn beings to doubt the loyalty of Sister Aloysius, just as she doubts the decisions that she is making and the truth in Flynn’s words. While all along Sister James doubts whether she can trust Sister Aloysius. The three characters doubt each other’s actions and both sisters doubt their own actions. All three are
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Victims and Villains - P age |1 Sarah Hall Introduction to...

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