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What is the theme of the short story "Just Lather, That's All"?I'm looking for the...

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lyndajd | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:33 AM via web

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What is the theme of the short story "Just Lather, That's All"?

I'm looking for the theme, not the moral of the story etc. The theme... the thing that you can apply to life in general and has no reference to the story at all but still makes total sense... these things are hard!

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 18, 2010 at 2:47 AM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, the theme here (in the way you are describing theme) is the meaning of bravery.  I think the story is about what it means to be brave as opposed to what it means to be sensible.  I think the story encourages you to think about which is better.  I think this qualifies as something that makes sense even outside this particular story.

In the story, the barber has to decide whether it is better to be brave (kill the guy he is shaving) or to be sensible.  It is not really clear whether he makes the right choice -- it's up to us to decide.

I hope that is the sort of thing you're thinking of...

 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:53 AM (Answer #2)

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I would go for Humanity vs. Inhumanity because, at that precise moment where both men are together at the barber shop and the Captain is telling the barber, who is an informant, all about what is going on in the guerillas, the two men are at level with each other in terms of deciding morally what is the fate of another human being under the circumstances.

So, that precise second where the barber contemplates slicing this inhuman monster, his own humanity was put to the test and so the two oppositional forces of the characters bring out the theme of the story, which is that the battle of humanity vs. inhumanity of war is the causative factor of the entire conflict.

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