Discuss on point of view in Lardner's "Haircut."

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question is not very clear, but I will do my best.

All of this story is told from the point of view of the barber in the town.  In fact, he is the only character who speaks at all.  So everything we know about the town and about the personalities of the characters comes from the narrator.

The narrator is very insensitive and not very perceptive -- he doesn't have any idea how things make people feel.  He thinks that everyone loves Jim and thinks he's funny.  In actuality, Jim is a nasty bully and people hate him.


mkcapen1 | Student

Whitey, the town barber, shares his point of view about a man named Jim Kendell.  The way the barber talks the reader first gets the impression that the barber liked Jim.  Whitey tells the reader that his friend Jim:

“used to keep this town in an uproar” (101).

The more he tells about Jim the more the reader begins to realize that Jim was not a good man at all.  He has played mean jokes on people including the town person who has a mental disability.  Jim used to sit in a chair and watch out of the barber shop window.  Jim used to playcruel pranks on people.

Jim even raped a poor girl in revenge.  The irony is that Jim is killed when Paul's gun, the man with the mental disability, "accidentally" kills Jim.  Paul may actually have done it on purpose, but since he is not able to think clearly the town believes it was an accident.

Whitey fools only himself about Jim's true nature.