Essay on "Just Lather Thats All" Ad "Absence"

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Everyone deals with conflict in different ways, whether it be dealing with it head on, or avoiding it. In the short stories "Just Lather, That's All" by Hernando Tellez and "Absence" by Carol Shields, the main characters are both faced with conflict. Although their conflict is completely different circumstances, they have many similarities. Everyone handles conflict differently in certain situations, however the way we handle conflict is how we determine our morals and essentially who we are. The barber in “Just Lather, that’s all” is faced with person versus person conflict at the start of the story. When his enemy enters his barbershop, he is immediately uncomfortable to be so close to a man he despises. The barber struggles to determine who he is and how he should handle the delicate situation. The barber is conflicted as he finds the enemy leader in a vulnerable position, and the perfect opportunity to murder him. The barber has a private thought “I could cut his throat just so, ZIP, ZIP!” At this stage in the story the conflict changes to person versus self, as he decides whether or not to take the moral high road. He is immediately at battle with himself inside his own head, “Yes I was secretly a rebel, but I was also a conscientious barber, and proud of the preciseness of my profession.” In the end the barber decides he is not a murderer, thus solving his conflict with his own self. The protagonist in “Absence” is an un named woman attempting to write a story. At first glance her conflict seems to be person versus technology, when it becomes apparent that the letter “I” in her typewriter is broken. Further on in the story it becomes evident that there is a significance to the broken letter “I.” The broken letter signifies the writers struggle with her own identity. “Both sense and grace eluded her, but hardest to bear was the fact that the broken key seemed to demand of her a parallel surrender, a correspondence of economy subtracted from the alphabet...
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