Please identify some literary terms in "Just Lather, That's All."

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let's begin by looking at the first thing that Captain Torres says. His excalmation that it is "as hot as hell," is both a simile and an example of hyperbole. Clearly it is not literally as hot as hell, but his simile helps express the intense heat he feels. Later on, as the Baber internally debates whether he should kill Captain Torres or not, note what he says:

No one deserves to have someone else make the sacrifice of becoming a murderer. What do you gain by it? Nothing. Others come along and still others, and the first ones kill the second ones, and they the next ones--and it goes on like this until everything is a sea of blood.

This last phrase, "everything is a sea of blood," is actually a metaphor, as it compares this situation of unrestrained vengeance to a sea of blood to emphasises the slaughter and bloodletting that would occur in such a scenario. It is a metaphor because this comparison is directly asserted, without the words "like" or "as."

A simile is used to describe the blood that would emerge from Captain Torres if he did kill him. The Barber says that so much blood would come from his body that it would leave the shop and reach the street "like a scarlet stream," obviously emphasising the quantity of blood that would emerge from Torres.

So, there are a few examples. Now you can go back and re-read the book and hopefully identify a few more. Good luck!

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Just Lather, That's All," the author uses a number of literary devices. Firstly, he uses a simile to describe the glide of the razor:

The skin would give way like silk, like rubber, like the strop.

A simile is also used when the Captain is talking about the heat of the day. He says, for example, that it is "hot as hell."

The author also uses onomatopoeia in the phrase, "Zip! Zip!" to describe how easy it would be for the razor to slit the Captain's throat. This creates an auditory image in the reader's mind, giving the reader a sense of what this action might sound like.

The author also uses the razor as a metaphor for the barber's dilemma. Just as the razor can be used for good or evil, the barber can either kill the Captain and become a murderer, or he can simply do his job by giving the Captain a shave.