Describe the barber's main points for an essay about "Just Lather, That's All."

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The barber is one of the two characters that make up Hernando Tellez's short story, "Just Lather, That's All." The story takes place in the barber's shop as a surprise customer enters: It is Captain Torres, who has just returned from four days of hunting down rebels, of whom the barber is secretly a member. We learn the following about the barber as he decides whether to shave Torres' beard--or kill him.

  • Captain Torres unnerves the barber, because "when I recognized him, I started to tremble." He also admits to being "upset."
  • This was apparently the first time he had shaved Torres, because "I had never had him so close to me."
  • Despite the barber's hatred of Torres, his "was not an unpleasant face."
  • The barber makes small talk with Torres, with "a feigned lack of interest."
  • As he shaved Torres, his hands "started trembling again."
  • He is "a conscientious barber," but he is torn between doing a professional job or killing Torres.
  • The barber repeatedly strops his razor to keep it sharp.
  • The barber realizes it will be difficult to explain Torres' death if he kills him.
  • The barber is sweating and "can't even think clearly." 
  • The barber worries that he would be considered "a coward" for murdering Torres.
  • He questions whether he is a "murderer or hero."
  • The barber completes the job and allows Torres to go free.
  • He accepts "several coins" as payment for his services.
  • The barber's "secret" is safe--for the time being.
Read the study guide:
Just Lather, That's All

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