Lather and Nothing Else

Topics: Kill, Barber, Morality Pages: 2 (810 words) Published: October 7, 2011
Critical Essay on “Lather and Nothing Else”

It is difficult to decide which is the right decision to make when a situation presents itself. Normally, people carefully think over the consequences both positive and negative and we may believe that we have made the right choice although, others may not think so. The barber's choice in the short story, "Lather and Nothing Else" written by Hernando Tellez, is negotiable. He is secretly a member of the resistance that is fighting against the government. The conflict is introduced when Captain Torres, an executioner, walks into the barber’s shop to get shaved. That gives the barber an opportunity to kill him and become a hero. As the barber shaves him he contemplates every possible outcome of any action he could make towards the captain of the enemy and finally decides against killing him. His reputation as a barber and his very chance at being alive would be at stake, and also he does not want to lose his morals and live with a guilty conscience. These reasons are why his choice is a heroic act on his part.

The barbers morals are set into play as soon as the Captain walks through the door. There are good and bad morals within both situations. Killing a man is bad but the reason for doing it might not be. Also, letting him go is good but against his own beliefs. He is aware that he would be no better person than the Captain or any other assassin if he commits this crime, and the barber understood this when he thought, "You are an executioner; I am only a barber. each one to his job," (Tellez). In this quote, we see how

hard the individual is trying to persuade himself that he does not want to kill Captain Torres and it could be interpreted that it is a way of expressing a lack of courage, although he does know the difference between right and wrong. This was the highest test of morality for the barber and in the end he is filled with mainly good morals. There are many factors to consider before making an...
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