Fear of Discomfort

In the play, By the Water, written by Sharyn Rothstein, Marty Murphy presents his love and compassion of the house he owns in Staten Island, New York by ignoring the comments and opinions of his closest loved one’s. Marty Murphy is defensive about leaving this house behind because of the many memories and history that have been developed over the past few decades. Even though this is a very obvious response of Marty Murphy’s feelings towards being asked to leave, is there a chance Marty does not want to part ways with this house because of his fear of discomfort?

I believe many humans live a life following a fixed program. Everyone wakes up in the morning, brushes their teeth, eats breakfast, goes to work or school, etc. Society has made humans become used to the idea of repetition, which gives people a sense of calmness. I believe Marty Murphy has reached an age where people become too comfortable with this repetition. Ultimately, when the house is inflicted by the storm, Marty becomes agitated and afraid of altering this comfortable lifestyle he has become accustomed to living. This agitation and fear are viewed when he says, “this is where we belong, Sal. This is where everyone knows us: We’re Marty and Mary Murphy. We have history here. Besides, we’ve survived storms like this before” (Rothstein, 12). Marty finds a deep affection for living his life in this house because he has spent his entire life accepting that this is the position he will be in for the rest of his life. Marty expresses his fear of leaving and accepting a different future while saying “This is where everyone knows us.” He fears the idea of leaving his past and becoming no one. He finds a purpose because of the decades of his life he has spent living his comfortable life. As a result, Marty’s discomfort of visualizing a life without his house, conveys his fear of losing a particular lifestyle filled with his particular daily routines. I believe Marty is not worried about losing an old house passed down from generation to generation, but is scared of losing a life of comfort.

4 thoughts on “Fear of Discomfort

  1. Aram, I agree with your point that people live a life following a fixed program eventually they become comfortable. I liked the examples you used from the play to support your argument. In your post, you made it clear that Matt Murphy was attached to his house because he was accustomed to living in one place always. While I agree with your overall argument I believe that you could analyze your evidence in further depth. For example, I believe that you could use the point that memories create a sense of comfortability. This is important because without these memories you would not feel as comfortable and be more inclined to change your routine. Therefore, I feel that it is not exactly the fear of feeling uncomfortable that Matt Murphy is afraid of, but rather feeling unsafe. In the article “9 Reasons Why Happy People Don’t Seek Comfort” Brianna West makes the statement, “there is no such thing as real comfort there is only the idea of what’s safe.” This quote lets the reader have a different perspective on comfortability. The reason this is important is that one could see Matt Murphy’s actions as a form to stay safe in his house. I would also like for you to look in a different perspective a piece of evidence that you provide in your post where Matt states “ we have survived storms like this before” (Rothstein, 12). When you analyze the idea that Matt is not afraid of feeling uncomfortable but instead feels unsafe this provides a different meaning to his persistence to not want to leave his house. In further explanation, Matt feels unsafe because he is afraid that the people who he will meet will not accept him or not treat him as a person. From my perspective, I believe Matt Murphy is insecure about himself. In your post, you mention that he fears the idea of leaving his past and becoming no one. This can make the reader believe that Matt does not have the confidence to be able to start over in a different place. Not having confidence is important in Matt Murphy’s case because he is afraid of change where he will not feel safe. Overall, I agree with your argument but I would like to introduce you to the different concepts between comfortability and safeness. I want to show you these concepts because they provide a different sense of analyzing the actions of Matt Murphy.

  2. I agree with you that Marty Murphy appears to be reluctant to leave Staten Island due to his idea of feeling comfortable in the situation he has endured his entire life. He is very reluctant to change his way of living, which is understandable. Imagine living by the ocean for your entire life, and suddenly be coerced to move away from it. This idea surely evokes discomfort in Marty and Mary because they are, as you said, comfortable in their living situation and accustomed to spending each day by the water.
    However, I also believe that another reason Marty did not want to leave Staten Island is due to the alluring ocean that he has lived by his entire life. Although the ocean appears to be a threat to humanity throughout the play, there is also a prevalent aspect of attraction depicted in Marty. Despite the damage the ocean has caused to their home and life, Marty and Mary eventually find themselves unable to move from the ocean. At the end of the play, they discuss their future plans together, coming back to the enticing idea of the water: “Get ourselves a little place by the water…” (53). They then decide to take a walk on the beach. Thus, these actions illustrate that no matter how threatening the water may be to humanity, they are unable to change their view of the water, as it remains a powerful and beautiful entity. Essentially, Marty and Mary display their reluctance to change in this manner, as well as moving to a location away from the water. Thus, their comfort and attraction to the water are clearly shown in their actions. If they did not fear discomfort or change, we would have noticed completely different actions following the hurricane.

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  4. يُمكن صنع بخاخ من الزيوت الأساسية التي تمتلك خصائص مضادة للحشرات مثل: زيت النعناع، وزيت الخزامى، زيت الأوكالبتوس، حيث يُمكن لهذه الزيوت التخلص من بق الفراش، وحشرات العث، ويُصنع هذا البخاخ من خلال مزج بضع قطرات من الماء مع الزيوت ثم رشه على السجاد، والبساط، والفراش.
    يُستخدم نشا الذرة للتخلص من النمل المنتشر في المنازل؛ وذلك من خلال ترك أكوام صغيرة منه قرب منازل النمل للسماح للنمل بأخذه وأكله مباشرةً أو نقله إلى منازلهم، وعندما يتناولونه سيؤدي إلى قتلهم نظرًا لعدم امتلاك النمل القدرة على هضمه.
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