Just Lather, That's All Questions and Answers
by Hernando Téllez

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What is the central conflict of "Just Lather, That's All"? Is it external or internal? Is it a dilemma?

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The internal struggle of the barber in "Just Lather, That's All" by Téllez is the story's central conflict. The barber narrates his struggle making an important decision: should he kill his present customer, Captain Torres, for the captain's crimes against the barber's rebel faction (and become a hero), or should he let Torres live so that he can maintain his professional dignity and avoid the lifetime of difficulty that comes with being a known murderer? He is faced with a true dilemma, since both of these outcomes will bring both desirable and undesirable outcomes.

The barber understands that leaving Captain Torres alive will create danger for the barber's friends and fellow rebels. Torres has already killed many of the rebels in horrifying public displays in the barber's village. As he shaves the Captain's face, the barber wonders, "How many of us had he ordered shot? How many of us had he ordered mutilated?" The knowledge of all the atrocities that will come if he leaves Captain...

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