The Barber's Clean Shave

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

My TPECPEC on the short story "Lather and Nothing Else" by Hernando Tellez.

The barber in LANE made the right decision because if he decided to end Captain Torres’s life, he would have sacrificed his own morals and been just as bad as Torres himself. The barber’s ideas were that what Captain Torres did was horrible and that he was a cold-blooded murderer. While shaving his beard, the barber thinks about what Captain Torres had done: “ How many of us had he ordered killed? How many of us had he ordered mutilated? No. It was better not to think about it. Torres didn't know that I was his enemy. “ (Tellez 2) As shown by the strong language “mutilated” and “enemy”, the barber dislikes Torres very much. The author reveals that the barber values human life and that he would stand against anyone who thought otherwise. The barber also seems to keep his being a revolutionary secret, possibly to limit the number of lives lost while trying to reach him. In the end, it’s important for the barber to stay true to himself - otherwise, who even is he? Near the end of his deep thinking and the shave, the barber has one final thought: “And I'm doing the job honorably… I don’t want to stain myself with blood. Just lather, and nothing else. You are an executioner; I'm just a barber. And to each his own. That's the way it is. “ (Tellez 2) In the end, the barber discovers himself to be just that - a barber. He doesn’t want anything to do with the act of taking a life and wants to continue his precise profession to the best of his abilities. He wants to do the best job he can at his one job - nothing more, nothing less.


Submitted: October 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Atiksh Paul. All rights reserved.

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