What are the main themes of the story "Men Who Have Shaved Me" by Stephen Leacock?

The main themes of the story "Men Who have Shaved Me" by Stephen Leacock include male camaraderie, the strength of the working class, and the importance of community.

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One of the themes of "Men Who Have Shaved Me" is male camaraderie. The barbershop is central to this humorous short story, and it seems that men line up for the "tortures" that are involved in their time spent there. The barbershop provides a place for them to get caught up on sports so that they don't seem to be an "ignoramus" when they go downtown. The fact that they receive a shaving during this education of sorts is secondary.

Another theme is the importance of community. The barbershop provides a central place for men to meet and gather. It offers a shared sense of values and invites men to share in a common conversation. The narrator recognizes that men are willing to wait for extended periods of time to receive a shave which they could do themselves at home in three minutes. The goal, therefore, isn't simply to rid oneself at hair; instead, the men visit the barbershop particularly because they long for a sense of community.

Finally, the piece points to the strength of the working class. The barber's efforts help customers avoid "open disgrace." He has learned how to remove whiskers, assist in hair growth, and avoid injuring blood vessels beneath the skin. He can carry on conversations while meticulously ridding a face of unwanted hair. The narrator points out that barbers have to learn more than any Harvard scholar—and in a much shorter period of time. There is a sense of teamwork in this profession, particularly in cities, and customers not only leave with fresh faces but with polished shoes and brushed clothing as well. Each customer leaves the barbershop as a better version of himself, and this is made possible by the hard work of the barbers who serve society.

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