Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez

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What is the central conflict in "Just Lather, That's All"?

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The central conflict in "Just Lather, That's All" is whether or not the barber will slit the throat of the notorious Captain Torres as he sits defenseless getting a shave. Ultimately, the barber shows that, despite his support for the rebels who are engaging in armed conflict with Captain Torres, he doesn't want blood on his hands.

As he struggles with this decision, he makes note of the fact that murdering a client would ruin his reputation as a barber. This is a very odd comment. If it was discovered that he had murdered the captain, which would be likely, than he would likely be executed for it, if he did not go into hiding. There is no realistic version of the future in which it would be unknown that he had killed Captain Torres and in which he would continue working as a barber.

What this suggests is that it is not so much a realistic version of the future than causes him to hold back from murder but an attachment to his identity as a barber . Although he supports the rebels and is,...

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