How does the barber in "Just Lather, That's All" show courage?I am doing an essay and need four strong points, (3 body, one counterargument). Thank you.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the barber shows great restraint when he fails to cut the throat of his enemy in Hernando Tellez's short story, "Just Lather, That's All," his personal courage can be debated. It it true that he shows fortitude by secretly siding with the rebels and risking his life by passing on information gleaned from his duties as the town barber. He also showed courage by standing firm and shaving Captain Torrez when he came into his shop. And it could be argued that he further displayed his temerity by not killing Torrez while he had the chance, since further information supplied to the rebels might ultimately by more important than the death of the captain.

However, the barber's trembling hands and constant sweating betrayed the fear he had in the presence of his enemy. When the time came for heroic action, the barber balked.

But what would I do with the body? Where would I hide it? I would have to flee, leaving all I have behind, and take refuge far away, far, far away. But they would follow until they found me. "Captain Torres' murderer. He slit his throat while he was shaving him. A coward."

In the end, he worried more about his own safety and the hardships he would encounter than the cause for which he supported. He let Torrez go, insuring that more of his friends would die by his hand.

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Just Lather, That's All

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