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The Line Between Life and Death: An Analysis of Lather and Nothing Else
Transcript of The Line Between Life and Death: An Analysis of Lather and Nothing Else
LATHER AND NOTHING ELSE
by HERNANDO TÉLLEZ
Isabela Gutiérrez, Daniela Villegas, Sofía López, María Jaramillo
• Bogotá, 1908-1966
• Writer, journalist and literary critic; politician
• Criticized the social and political life of the country
• One of the first writers to write on the Colombian Bipartisan Violence (1948-1958).
"Lather and Nothing Else" is part of the book "Ashes for the Wind and Other Stories"
Possibly influenced by Colombian Violence
y Vidas. (n.d.). Biografia de Hernando Tellez. Biografias y Vidas .com. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/t/tellez.htm
Figueroa Sanchez, C. R. (n.d.). Redalyc. Gramatica-Violencia. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from www.redalyc.org/pdf/396/39600207.pdf
Hernando Tellez - Biografia de Hernando Tellez. (n.d.). Biografias, famosos, musica, peliculas y noticias en Biografias.es. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://www.biografias.es/famosos/hernando-tellez.html
•Civil War: Rebels vs (current) Regime
•Barber shop near Cali, Colombia
•Characters: Barber and Captain Torres (well-known murderer), who enters barber shop
• Torres says they were able to catch all the leaders
• The barber remembers the last time he saw Torres
• Torres invites him to another firing party that evening.
• The barber imagines cutting through his Adam's Apple
• (Man vs Society) Moral struggle: two headlines, hero vs coward, responsibility because people saw Torres
The barber decides
not to kill
•Torres takes and adjusts his belt, straightens his gun, and puts on his cap.
•Barber feels his shirt soaked with sweat
•Torres takes out some coins to pay for the shave
Before leaving, Torres turns around and tells the barber: "They told me you would kill me. I came to find out if it was true. But it’s not easy to kill. I know what I’m talking about."
• Barber shop
• Day time, around 2:30 pm
• Town near Cali, Colombia
• Weather: hot, warm (sweat)
• Civil war: rebels vs regime, lots of rivarly
Sets mood: Increased tension/nervousness
•Barber is shaving his enemy, he can chose whether or not to kill him
•INTERNAL: Man vs Self: He struggles to make a decision: kill Torres or just do his job
- Man vs Man: Barber vs Captain Torres (enemies)
- Man vs Society: Barber might be judged if he kills Torres
"My fate hangs on the edge of this razor blade"
• Personality/Feelings: fearful, scared, nervous angry, pensative, highly moral, conscientious, hard worker, honorable, follows his duty.
• What he does: He shaves him professionally without causing a single drop of blood.
• Physical: four days growth of beard, burnt face, tanned.
• Personality/Feelings: Well-known murderer, tranquil, thinks the barber will kill him since that was what others said. Somehow brave yet arrogant, proud of himself, has no value for life, impulsive and inhumane.
• What he does: Assassin, leader of the rebellion.
• What others says about him: He projected disgust, caused fear and uncomfortableness, evil reputation.
FOILS TO EACH OTHER
POINT OF VIEW / NARRATION
1st person: shows how scared he was/ the dilemma on his head
• Think before acting.
• Have your morals and ethics guiding you/follow your conscience.
• Life is valuable.
• Adam´s apple: The line between life and death.
• Shaving his beard: Removes the truth, eliminates the “evil” side of him.
• Lather and Nothing Else: He only wants to dirty his hands with lather, not with blood.
SIMILE: “It´s hot as the devil”
• “The fellows in the troop must have just about as much as beard as I”
• “…until it reached the street like a small scarlet river.”
• “The skin will yield like silk, like rubber, like the strop.”
• METAPHOR: “Others and still others keep coming, and the first kill the second, and these kill the next, and so on until everything becomes a sea of blood”
• IMAGERY: “From his throat a stream of blood would flow on the sheet, over the chair, down on my hands, onto the floor.”
“I am a revolutionary but not a murderer”
"And it would be so easy to kill him. He deserves it. Or does he? No!"
• “Fake” Dramatic Irony: Reader thinks he knows that Torres doesn´t know they´re enemies.
• Situational Irony: Torres knew all along, he was just pretending.