In "Just Lather, That's All," what does Captain Torres want in the barber's shop?

In "Just Lather, That's All," what does Captain Torres want in the barber's shop? 

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Initially, in "Just Lather, That's All," it appears that the Captain simply wants a shave: it is very hot outside and he has not had a shave for about four days, according to the barber's observations.

When we reach the final paragraph of the story, though, we realize Captain Torres's real motivation for going to the barber shop. This is made clear in his final line of dialogue:

"They told me that you'd kill me. I came to find out."

In other words, the Captain had been informed that the barber wished him dead and he came to see if the barber would carry out these intentions. (The two men belong to opposing political factions and are enemies.) The Captain's visit to the shop is, therefore, a test to determine the truth of this rumor.

vnessawong21 | Student

This is quite an interesting question which can prove to be tricky. Throughout most of the story the reader simply assumes Captain Torres wants a shave.. However, at the end of the story it is revealed the Captain knew that the barber was a dangerous rebel all along. Captain Torres goes on to say, "They said you would kill me, I came to find out". This line reveals that the Captain's true purpose of going into the barber shop was to find out whether or not the barber would kill him. 

Read the study guide:
Just Lather, That's All

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question