Just Lather, That's All

by Hernando Téllez

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How to write an internal monologue from Captain Torres' perspective in "Just Lather, That's All"?

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If I were to write a monologue from Captain Torres' perspective in Hernando Teliz's short story, "Just Lather, That's All," I believe I would familiarize myself with what a monologue is, and then begin by studying the barber's monologue.

Dr. L. Kip Wheeler writes:

MONOLOGUE: An interior monologue does not necessarily represent spoken words, but rather the internal or emotional thoughts or feelings of an individual

With this in mind, it is understood that your monologue will be similar to the barber's in that it will be an internal "discussion" that Torres has with himself. However, the barber's monologue deals with his dilemma of killing an enemy or stopping the chain of violence—refusing to be like the vicious and violent Captain Torres. Torres' monologue will be totally different.

If I were completing this assignment, I would reread the story, making notes or highlighting characteristics and attitude of Torres. I would try to find a logical place to insert his monologue which is very important based on the story's conclusion. Torres expected the barber to kill him, and still he sat in the man's chair, eyes closed and throat exposed.

This information is well worth noting. Torres is a murderer; he is violent beyond belief. He is also very brave or extremely overconfident. These things bear consideration if your monologue is to be believable.

I would probably begin by thinking of the success he has just experienced with the band of rebels he has captured. Perhaps he wonders what he will do with them, or wonders if he will receive a promotion...or if he should worry about an uprising. Perhaps he is also tired. He might wish for something cold to drink and a shady, quiet spot. At some point, he might notice the barber's shaking hands and wonder what kind of man the barber is, beyond his profession. Perhaps he would wonder about the kinds of things he hears or is told while shaving customers. The knowledge that he knows about the threat the barber poses and still sits in his chair would have to come at the very end in order for the story to still surprise the reader.

If you study the characteristics of Torres and stay focused on a realistic depiction of the man, you should do fine. Let the story guide you in this respect.

Good luck!!

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How can I write a internal monologue the perspective of Captain Torres in "Just Lather, That's All"?

I can't obviously do this assignment for you, but what I can do is give you a few pointers in the right direction. This is a great assignment, but to do it successfully you need to realise how the different view point would radically change the tale and our understanding of the characters involved. Key to note is that Captain Torres knows that the barber is involved with the rebels. Thus you would have to explore his reasons for entrusting himself to a rebel sympathiser in such a dangerous situation. Why did Captain Torres do it? What does that say about his character? Also, you would need to think about to what extent the internal conflict of the barber is perceived and understood by Captain Torres as he has his shave. In the original story we are told that the barber tries to hide his nerves, but is he successful? Also, we are told of the flashback that the barber has when he last saw Captain Torres. Do you think Captain Torres remembers the barber and will have a similar flashback? These are some of the questions that you will need to think about and answer before beginning your internal monologue. Good luck!

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