Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez

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What are the themes of "Just Lather, That's All"?

What are the themes of "Just Lather, That's All"?

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Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One theme of this brief story is that just because an action may feel justified does not mean it is easy to complete . The barber admits that when he heard the story of his rebel compatriots killed by Captain Torres, he "was upset." He describes the "mutilated bodies" of several others who were hanged and then used for "target practice." He knows that he is shaving the face of a killer, and he wonders, "How many of us had he ordered shot? How many of us had he ordered mutilated?" He also knows that he would be counted a hero among the rebels, with whom he is allied and who he supports, if he...

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sullymonster eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Actually, sullymonster i think you have overlooked something. There are lots of evidence that the barber is actually rationalizing, reassuring himself.  -"Out of his neck a gush of blood would spout onto the sheet, on the chair, on my hands, on the floor.  I would have to close the door.  And the blood would keep inching along the floor, warm, ineradicable, uncontainable, until it reached the street, like a little scarlet stream."-  Big deal! Just get a mop and clean it up!  He has killed so many of you! Killing them for his "amusement".  Even more, -"But what would I do with the body? Where would I hide it?"- Oh well.  You'll find somewhere.  It's a bloody war for God's sake! You can find more evidence if you look carefully through the story.  -"His hands started to tremble", "I would have perferred that he hadn't come."- Well, obviously he doesn't want him to come because he is the rebel's enemy, but still! His fear is evident enough.  He realizes that everybody has their own role in life, and it is hard to go pass those limits.

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