Just Lather, That's All

by Hernando Téllez

Start Free Trial

Identify and explain the protagonist, antagonist, and setting in "Just Lather, That's All."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The protagonist in the short story is the barber. Despite viewing himself as a rebel, he is unable to kill Captain Torres, his enemy. His reasons for not killing the captain are the result of his good moral standing. The barber believes that there are better ways of resolving the...

This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

conflict. He believes that by killing the captain, he will have contributed to further bloodshed.

The antagonist in the story is Captain Torres. He has killed many rebels and invites the barber to witness another killing, where the victims will be humiliated and tortured in public. The captain shows no remorse for his actions. Instead, he seems to enjoy what he does. The story is set in a Barbershop in Bogota, Colombia, where the author was born and raised.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In this excellent short story, the protagonist is the anonymous barber who narrates the story, the antagonist is Captain Torres, who comes to the barber's shop for a shave, and the setting is the barber's shop in a small village in Spain somewhere. The protagonist and antagonist are identified through their conflict, and as the barber is the main character telling the reader the story, it is clear that he is the protagonist. His conflict with Torres is shown through the following quotation:

His name was Torres. Captain Torres. A man of imagination, because who else would have thought of hanging the naked rebels and then holding target practice on certain parts of their bodies?

The barber identifies himself as a "rebel," a member of the group that Torres is working so hard to root out and kill, and as a result, there is definite conflict between them. How this conflict is resolved, however, is something that is very surprising, as is shown through the ending of the story. Finally, the setting is where the action takes place. As Torres has come for a shave, it is clear that the setting of this short story is the barber's own barber shop, as Torres sits down and the barber has everything he needs there to give Torres his shave. Normally in a short story, because of its brevity, there is but one main setting, and this is the case in this short story, as there are no other locations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial