"If the barber had killed the captain, would he be a coward or a hero in "Just Lather, That's All"?
I need three good arguments for one side (hero or coward) to write a paragraph about. Which side is stronger and easier to argue?
This is the question that the barber ponders as he shaves the throat of the captain in Hernando Tellez's short story, "Just Lather, That's All" (aka "Just Lather and Nothing Else").
And what of all this? Murderer or hero? My destiny depends on the edge of this blade... But I don't want to be a murderer... And I perform my work honorably...
The barber could consider himself a hero by killing the captain, who had murdered and tortured many of the rebels he sought. The captain's reign of terror would be over, and his death might lead to a victory for the rebels. The rebels who lived in the town and held jobs, like the barber, could breathe easier. The barber would be remembered as the man who ended the captain's brutal war against his comrades.
But killing the captain while performing his duties as a barber would be dishonorable. He would be breaking the barber's code of never spilling the blood of a customer. He would be forced to leave the town and live a life on the run. Perhaps even his own rebel friends would think less of him for the manner in which the captain died. He would be branded a murderous coward by the anti-rebel faction, and his name would become synonymous with treachery.