Caring From a Distance

In the play By the water by Sharyn Rothstein, Marty and Mary Murphy find themselves in a jam when they need money to pay off the mortgage against their own house. In addition to this financial crisis, Marty and Mary’s house was just destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. However Marty made his son, Sal,  the owner of the house so the debt is really in Sal’s name. Sal decides to pay off his family’s debt which has its consequences. He states, “It’s gonna push back Jen’s plans but, if we dig into our savings”(Rothstein, 48). It is peculiar how Jen is willing to make this sacrifice for Sal’s family, yet she is not there to help them with the destruction of their house or during this financial crisis. This lead to me to the question, does Jen help Marty and Mary out in an attempt to control her distance from them?

I believe Jen allowed Sal to buy out his parents debt for the purpose of distancing herself from them. If Marty and Mary decided to leave, they could potentially move closer to her and Sal which I do not think she wants. In a conversation discussing Jen’s opinion on Sal paying off his parents’ debt, Sal states, “At first, Jen was supportive. ‘Your parents are in need, we’ve got to help them’ ‘She really meant it, too.'”(Rothstein, 46). The diction that Rothstein uses in the word “meant” indicates that Jen does not feel as passionately about helping his parents as before. Also, this quote is another example of Jen showing her empathy towards Sal’s parents, but she is still not there. In conclusion, I believe Jen allowed Sal to buy out his parents’ debt to keep them away from her and Sal.

The Destructive Power of Love

In AS Byatt’s, Sea Story the main character Harold finds himself in love with a woman named Laura that he met by the ocean. When Laura and Harold met for the first time Harold’s overwhelming feelings for Laura gave Laura a bad first impression. At the end of their first interaction (which is also their last), Laura informs Harold “I’ve just been offered my dream job. I’m going to be part of a team studying the life-cycle of eels. This letter is my acceptance. I’m off to the Caribbean next week.”(Byatt). Harold, who was so hurt to see his new crush leave asks for her address so he can write her.  Creeped out by this notion and gives him a fake address and leaves. After sending many love notes to Laura and receiving no response, Harold decides to write her a love poem and he puts it in a bottle and drop in the ocean similar to a time where he found a love letter in ocean pollution. Should Harold be reprimanded for sending the poem to Laura through this mode of transportation?

Harold should be reprimanded for sending Laura the poem in this manor because it is harmful to the environment and unrealistic.  The narrator highlights the damage that Harold’s bottle does to the ocean. In the text it states, “The mollymawk tore at it, and carried away a smeared strip to feed to its chicks, who would die with bellies distended by this stuff. The cap detached itself, and was swallowed by a green turtle which mistook it for a glass eel”(Byatt). It is clear that Harold’s bottle which seemed harmless at first, was very harmful. In addition to being harmful, the idea of the bottle reaching Laura is quite unrealistic. The narrator states, “Then he closed the bottle tightly, and rowed out in his boat to where he knew, from his grandfather’s work, that the currents could possibly take the message as far as the Sargasso Sea”(Byatt). The sargasso’s sea’s proximity between Laura and Harold is simply not enough of a reason to expect its currents to take one bottle to Laura’s precise location from Harold. In conclusion, Harold should be reprimanded because of his irrational plans and harmful littering of the ocean.

Religious Persecution in Public Places

In the short story, My Grandmother Washer Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears, a daughter tells us about her mother washing her feet at Sears. Her grandmother does this because, “she has to pray in the store or miss the mandatory prayer time for Muslims”(Kahe, 1). As one may guess, people do not typically consider cleaning one’s feet in a public bathroom. The daughter states, “Respectable Sears matrons shake their heads and frown as they notice what my grandmother is doing”(Kate, 1).  Should people be allowed to clean their feet in a public place?

Despite some people thinking that this is unsanitary, I believe that people should be able to clean their feet in public places for religious purposes. Religious rituals are part of a person’s culture and a person should not be asked to break the their religious traditions because they want to shop like the rest of society. When the grandmother is receiving rude looks from strangers the look on her face says, “I have washed my feet over Iznik tile in Istanbul with water from the world’s ancient irrigation systems”(Kahe, 1). When reading this quote the reader observes how the grandmother has no problem washing her feet in the problem, even though she has performed this ritual in much more respected places. In conclusion, people should be allowed to clean their feet in public bathrooms to preserve their cultural identities.


The Wealth in Aquatic Life

Is Human Intervention of Aquatic Habitats Driven by a Desire of Wealth Having a Negative Impact on Aquatic Life?

Aquatic Life has been negatively affected by human intervention driven by a desire of wealth. It has become a trend to abuse the beauty of these creatures to generate income.  Pet stores and other specific fish stores sell fish to the public and are placed in tanks not suited to their natural habitat. In addition, Aquariums and Oceanariums place their aquatic animals in tanks denying them the right to live in the ocean or other habitats suited for marine life. Aquatic Animals populations have been abused by humans in an attempt for humans to gain wealth.

Human abuse of animals is portrayed in The Horror at Martin’s Beach. The captain of a fishing boat killed an infant sea creature and preserved its dead body to obtain income. In the text it states, “With judicious carpentry he prepared what amounted to an excellent marine museum, and, sailing south to the wealthy resort district of Martin’s Beach, anchored at the hotel wharf and reaped a harvest of admission fees.” (H.P Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene)The captain’s desire for wealth lead to the unkind and immoral treatment of this whale.

Later in the story, the captain and some others try to pull in another sea creature with a lifeguard buoy which lead to their mental and physical struggles. They becomes so obsessed with pulling the rope in that the sea creature pulls him in the water. The narrator states, “Their complete demoralization is reflected in the conflicting accounts they give, and the sheepish excuses they offer for their seemingly callous inertia.”(H.P Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene). The author refers to the excuses as “sheepish”because there was no  excuse for why they were fighting this whale. It was no coincidence that the characters fighting the sea creature were pulled into the water.

Human desire for money leads to unfair treatment of aquatic life and the abuse of their beauty which humans are lucky to witness.