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Analysis of Characters in a Short Clip in Doubt Film

Essay by   •  September 9, 2016  •  Essay  •  487 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,102 Views

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The selected scene introduces two characters from the film “Doubt”. It centres on the interaction between an older nun (whose name was never identified in the scene) and a younger nun who is called Sister James. Both nuns are dressed in unconventional habits with bonnets instead of the traditional formal wear of a full wimple and veil. The choice of clothing, in an environment where uniformity and outward appearance, is of importance, it implies that there could be a more personal relationship between them than the relationship between an individual and house of God. Although, all habits are traditionally black, the dark colours of the habit in this scene accentuate the melancholy emanating from both characters and sombre topic of discussion. The dark colours of the clothing and the pale faces of the characters create a contrast hence highlighting their expressions and emotions clearly to the audience.

The older nun discusses about her certainty about assumedly a priest, is exemplified in “the pursuit of wrongdoing, one steps away from God” and also about confesses to the younger woman about harbouring doubts. The doubts that she had were doubts in her rooted faith. This is inferred from when the camera pans to her hand holding the cross as she cries, “I have doubts!” As the song “Old Noel” begins to play in the background during the confession of her doubts, it affirms us that her uncertainty is related to her strong faith and religion.

When she breaks down, it could be seen that being able to confess her uncertainty means that she accepts her quivering faith and that being in the state of doubt can be a cold and lonely journey when we have a revelation or realization of our doubts.

We could also deduce that sister James/the younger nun had a lot of trust in the older nun from the way she said, “I can’t believe you lied”. There was a pronounced sense of betrayal in her voice and facial expression. Her identity found in the older nun, as a mentee, is shaken due to the betrayal of trust. However, we could also tell that she doesn’t completely lose trust because she portrays an expression of understanding when the older nun says “in the pursuit of wrongdoing, one steps away from God” and also at the end, she hugs the older nun in comfort and consolation.

I guess being a nun, where the importance of the 10 commandments is high and one of which that is most related to this situation kind of shakes her. In order to do the right thing, she had to go against that commandment and lie. So maybe for a person with such strong religious faith, committing a sinful act is more intense in the emotional repercussions in the sense of guilt because it’s difficult to break it and when its broken it causes her to lose faith or question her belief.

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