In "Just Lather, That's All," it doesn't make sense that it isn't easy for Torres to kill because why would he so easily kill? Can you clarify please?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Through the eyes of the barber, it seems simple enough for Torres to continue killing with ease in Hernando Tellez's short story "Just Lather, That's All." Like the barber, Torres is a human being and a citizen of the same town. He may well have grown up with some of the same people he has recently executed. He may have a wife and children to come home to. He obviously takes his business seriously, having just come from four days of hunting the rebels in the wild, probably getting little sleep or rest during that time. After all, this is war, and Captain Torres is probably following orders handed down from above. Unlike the barber, who is a spy and secretly assists the rebels from afar without engaging in the action, Torres is known to all--the rebels and the townspeople--and he is a target to anyone who may wish to exact revenge. He goes about his duty openly with the knowledge that he, too, may suffer the same fate as those he hunts and kills. The barber's conscience--and secret--prevents him from killing Torres outright, but the captain has a conscience, too. He knows that the barber is a spy, but because his neck has been spared, Torres also finds it difficult to kill, at least this particular man.

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Just Lather, That's All

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