Lather and Nothing Else Characterization

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Imagine if everyone around you considered you a hero, but in order to become a hero, you had to murder somebody. Not just anybody either, but Captain Torres. A murderer, who has killed many of your people. Given the option, would you kill them? This is the same scenario a Barber faces. In the story “Later and Nothing Else” by Hernando Téllez, the protagonist faces a moral dilemma in which he must decide to either kill, or not kill, Captain Torres. He must weigh the pros and cons of his reputation as a barber, or whether he is willing to commit murder to become a hero. Téllez develops the barber’s character and reveals that his sense of moral integrity, his ability to logically rationalize his dilemma, and his realistic outlook on what can be considered justifiable, are traits that enable him to determine that the use of violence to bring about change is futile. The first character trait Téllez reveals about the character is his moral integrity. The barber understands that it is morally incorrect to kill another human being, no matter what the circumstances are. He knows that “no one deserves the sacrifice others make in becoming assassins” (pg 345.) This shows that the barber’s moral integrity is telling him murder is murder, and even if it appears that more good is being done then hard, that is never the actual case. Also, Torres is the one creating this moral dilemma, and the morally correct thing for the barber to do is nothing. He is fighting against his moral conscience on what is the morally correct thing for him to do. The barber was not aware that Torres was provoking him, and at the time, was under the preconceived notion that all Torres wanted was a shave. If he had known the same information about the situation as Torres did, it could have swayed the barber’s moral integrity, and he could have chosen differently. However, even if the barber had chosen to kill Torres, he and Torres are not on equal terms, and it would be unfair to kill Torres while...
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