Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez

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From the short story, "'Just Lather, That's All", give three character traits for the Barber with two examples of supporting evidence for each.

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Kelvin Brakus eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In  "Just Lather, That's All," the barber is very skilled at his profession and takes great pride in his work. This is shown by his preparation of the razor and shaving soap at the beginning of the story and also by his "careful" approach, ensuring that the Captain's "tufts of hair" do not cause the razor to go "astray" and make the Captain bleed.

Secondly, the barber knows the difference between right and wrong. Specifically, he knows that murdering a person creates as many problems as it solves. This is shown by the following line:

No one deserves to have someone else make the sacrifice of becoming a murderer.

In addition, the barber also realizes that if he kills the Captain, it will only lead to more murders because people will want to avenge the Captain's death.

Thirdly, the barber is not spontaneous. He likes to have a solid plan in place before doing anything. When he thinks about killing the Captain, for instance, he also thinks about where he would hide the body and where he would go to avoid capture. This characteristic is also shown by the very fact of his dilemma. If he were spontaneous, he would kill the Captain without a second thought. But the fact that he does not do this shows that he needs the reassurance of planning and preparation.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The barber is strictly a professional when it comes to his work and handling of his clients.

  • He constantly strops the blade with his leather strap to assure a close, clean shave.
  • He worries constantly that a spilled drop of blood will soil his own personal code of the perfect shave.

The barber is a loyal rebel.

  • Despite the danger, he keeps his identity hidden while performing a fairly public duty.
  • He depises the captain.

The barber is a coward.

  • He has the chance to kill the captain, and he does not.
  • He could take an active part in rebel activity, but he chooses to take a behind-the-scenes role.

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the short story "Just Lather That's All" the barber is man who is proud of his profession.  He takes his time preparing his balde. 

"I was passing the best of my razors back and forth on a strop."

The barber is a man who is invloved in revolutionary activities.  He is also loyal to those in his group.

 "Damn him for coming, because I'm a revolutionary and not a murderer."

The Barber is a just person and not a murderer.  He is aslo insecure about the idea of murdering the man and having to give up the life that he ahs made.  He knows that people would not think of him as a man who did a good thing, after all he is just a barber.

"He was the town barber. No one knew he was defending our cause."

He could have killed the man, but he doesn't.  The man makes a remark substantiating this as he prepares to leave the shop.

"They told me that you'd kill me. I came to find out. But killing isn't easy."

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