Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez

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

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S.L. Watson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the short story, "Just Lather, That's All," Captain Torres goes into the barbershop to see if the barber will attempt to kill him. The barber is a rebel, and the Captain has just returned from an expedition searching for the rebel troops.

The barber faces a moral and cultural dilemma; he has the Captain, literally, at his mercy as he could kill him in an instant with his razor. As he shaves the Captain, he ponders that he is "a revolutionary, and not a murderer." The barber does not kill the Captain; instead, he simply gives him a shave. The barber's morality wins as he thinks, "You are an...

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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. 

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