The Theme Of Conflict In Just Lather, That's All

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Choosing between right and wrong reveals our true character. Frightened by the possible consequences of making the wrong choice, we all attempt to make decisions that will be most beneficial to our situation. However, making the right choice isn’t always easy, especially when the right choice may mean giving up something that is important to us. This is the conflict the barber faces in Hernando Téllez’ “Just Lather, That’s All.” When the man who has been executing rebels walks into his barbershop, the barber, a secret rebel himself, is faced with the responsibility of determining whether his enemy deserves to live or die. By establishing whether his own morals and beliefs match those of the man beneath his razor, the barber may not only jeopardize his pride but also change his life forever.
The barber is forced to hide his apprehension when Captain Torres walks into his barbershop. Immediately the barber “started to tremble… hoping to conceal [his] emotion.” Knowing Torres has been brutally murdering rebels in public, the barber has to keep his own work as a rebel undisclosed. As Torres sits in the chair seemingly oblivious to the rebel in his
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He is astonished by himself; who is he to judge whether someone gets to live or die? He tells himself, “No one deserves to have someone else make the sacrifice of becoming a murderer… Others come along and still others, and the first ones kill the second ones and they the next ones and it goes on like this until everything is a sea of blood.” At this moment the barber is able to distinguish the difference between himself and captain Torres. He realizes, “I don’t want to be a murderer, no sir. You came to me for a shave. And I perform my work honorably… I don’t want blood on my hands. Just lather that’s all.” Unlike Torres, the barber is not one to act on hate. He decides that even his most detested enemy can’t take away his
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