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Just Lather, That's All

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Rika P

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Just Lather, That's All

The barber decides to not kill Captain Torres.
Just Lather, That's All
Discussion Questions
1. How does the author's choice of narrating in first-person point of view impact the story? Would it be as effective if it were in third-person?
1. Hernando Tellez' use of first-person point of view provides the suspense and tension throughout the story. Although it would not pose the same kind of mood, narrating the story in third-person could provide more insights on Captain Torres' character.
Author Info
Hernando Tellez
Born in:
Bogota Columbia
March 22 1908
Tellez died in the year 1966.
Tellez entered very early in the world of journalism with which he is primarily identified having been on the staff of some Colombia's most popular newspaper and magazines.
Until 1950 with the publication of his short story collection
Cenizas al Vlento
that his name became widely known.
During his lifetime, Columbia suffered through several civil wars and military dictatorships.

Plot Diagram
Literary Devices
The Barber
Man vs Himself (Psychological)
Settings/Background Info
Just Lather, That's all
By: Hernando Tellez
Character Similarities/ Differences
Moral decision

In reality, saying is easy but doing is hard
“They told me that you’d kill me. I came to find out. But killing isn’t easy. You can take my word for it.”
Killing vs. Murdering

The barber is struggling on whether or not it is the right choice to kill Tories
- He gone through the mental process and he decides to follows his own morality
He realizes " no one deserves to have someone else make the scarifies of becoming a murderer"
-The act of the barber shows that during life time, people face conflicts and struggle between choices and they

Captain Torres walks into a barber shop.
"He said nothing when he entered" (441).
Rising Action
The barber weighs his options and decides whether to kill Captain Torres or not.
"Damn him from coming because I'm a revolutionary and not a murderer" (443).
". . . since he has his eyes closed he wouldn't see the glistening knife blade or my glistening eyes" (443).
"Out of his neck a gush of blood would spout onto the sheet, on the chair, on my hands, on the floor" (443).
- the barber's internal conflict with himself over killing/ not killing drives the plot of the story
The barber's razor lands on the Captain's neck.
-the use of suspense builds up the intensity and tenseness of the story, culminating to the final decision the barber makes (climax)
Does Captain Torres know that the barber is a rebel?
Will the barber actually kill Captain Torres?
Story of Theme
"My destiny depends on the edge of this blade. I can turn my hand a bit more, press a little harder on the razor, and sink it in" (444).
a dynamic, round character
-"a conscientious barber" who takes pride in his work
-secretly a rebel, uses position as a barber to gather information from his clients (soldiers)
"There is nothing more tender than human skin and the blood is always thee, ready to pour forth" (444).
consideration of consequences
During the 1800's Columbian Civil War where tension broke out between parties (Liberals& Conservatives& communism)

story takes place in a barber shop
presumably during the summer, "It's hot as hell" (441).
Falling Action
"But I don't want to be a murderer, no sir" (444).
"I don't want blood on my hands. Just lather, that's all" (444).
First person limited omniscient
-the story stays with the perspective of the barber (so thoughts and emotions of the barber are given) while Captain Torres perspective is not given
The Captain admits his true motive.
"They told me you'd kill me. I came to find out" (444).
Mood/ Atmosphere
tense, nervous, suspenseful, angry
2. Why did Captain Torres risk his life "to find out" whether the barber would actually kill him or not?
3. Does vengeance justify killing?
4. Did the barber make the right choice of not killing Captain Torres?
2. Captain Torres' remarks at the end of the story that "killing isn't easy" and that the barber "can take [his] word for it" (444) suggest that he is either confident that the barber would not have the courage to kill him or guilty of killing the rebels.
3. No. Seeking revenge (to some extent) and killing are acts of immorality that can never be justified. Vengeance does not make any situation better especially if it involves something as brutal as killing.
A fine line between hero and murderer
Torries is challenging the Barber's bravery. Toreis shows his courage by going into a rebel's barbershop and he allows the barber to put the razor so close to his neck and he is able to enjoy it.
- the author uses a flashback near the beginning to show background info on Captain Torres and what he did to the rebels who he killed on his rebel-hunts
Captain Torres
a static, round character
- an "imaginative man" who hanged rebels up and used their bodies as target practice
- ruthless in his execution and pursuit of rebels
- seemingly heartless/cold -blooded but admits that killing "isn't easy"
4. Yes. Although killing Captain Torres may seem reasonable, it does not resolve anything since he could be easily replaced. Aside from the fact that killing is not morally right, "what do you gain from it? Nothing" (443).
-both Captain Torres and the barber are very dedicated to their jobs
- Captain Torres spent four days searching for rebels in the woods
- the barber, "[takes] pains to see that no single pore [emits] a drop of blood" (443)

- they both risk their lives for their prospective ideology
- Torres hunts for rebels (the enemies to his country)
- the barber risks his life as a covert rebel who shaves clients who will kill him if his it is revealed that he is a rebel

- they are both in positions where it would be easy to kill the other,
yet they don't
- Torres was told earlier that the barber was a rebel yet decided to get a shave from him
- the barber had Torres in a vulnerable position where he could have slit his throat easily

they both agree that killing is not easy
- the razor symbolizes the thin line between life and death, epitomized when the barber had his razor to the neck of Captain Torres
Situation Irony
- the barber is confident in the fact that Torres didn't know he was a rebel when it is revealed at the end that the Captain knew all along
Dramatic Irony
- the title
Just Lather, That's All
foreshadows the barber's ultimate decision on not killing Captain Torres
Indirect Presentation
Full transcript