Just Lather, That’s All
A Comparison Of Characters From Opposing Groups in “Just Lather, That’s All” “Just Lather, That’s All” by Hernando Tellez is a story that reveals the values of a government official and a rebel through an in depth illustration of their thoughts and actions. The barber (rebel) and Captain Torres (government official) are similar because they both value human life whereas they are different because the barber values his occupation and innocence and Captain Torres values the government and his reputation.
The barber and Captain Torres show that they both value human life as they both show a dislike for murder. The barber shows that he values innocence when he says that no one deserves the sacrifice of becoming a murderer and he shows that he values his occupation because he constantly talks about his pride in his job. Captain Torres shows that he values the government as he does anything the government instructs him to do no matter what his opinion may be on it and he also shows that he values his reputation because he goes the extra mile so that people think he’s a cold blooded killer.
In the dramatic story “Just Lather, That’s All” the two main characters (Captain Torres and the barber) show that they both value human life. Captain Torres shows that he values human life by his sorrowful statement at the end of the story “They told me that you’d kill me. I came to find out. But killing isn’t easy. You can take my word for it. ” (Tellez 51). This statement reveals that although Captain Torres appears to be a cold blooded murderer to many people in the village, he in fact does not enjoy killing and he goes on to say that it is very hard for people (including himself) to take lives.
Similarly the barber shows that he values human life during his mental argument over whether or not to kill Captain Torres. “What do you gain by it? Nothing. Other 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. ” (Tellez 50). The barber’s dislike of the taking of human lives is evident within his hypothetical words, he says that when one person is killed it simply starts a bloody chain reaction that continues until they are surrounded by and ultimately consumed by a sea of blood.
In this scene the barber momentarily loses track of who he is and contemplates killing as a result, when he returns to his senses he remembers the importance of human life and the greatest proof of this fact is that Captain Torres is able to walk out of his store alive. Although the barber and Captain Torres are shown to value human life through different scenarios, they both nonetheless value human life. In the story “Just Lather, That’s All” there are two main characters, a barber and a government official named Captain Torres.
Captain Torres and the barber are similar in some ways and they differ in others, some values that Captain Torres holds that may differ from the barber is that he values the government and how people see him (reputation). Captain Torres shows that he values the government by obeying the commands given to him by the government even if it means ignoring his own thoughts on the matter. “Fourteen. We had to go pretty deep in to the woods to find them. But we’ll get even . Not one of them comes out of this alive” (Tellez 48).
During the end of the story Captain Torres states “…killing isn’t easy. You can take my word for it. ” (Tellez 51) yet in the previous statement it is shown that he had to kill more than 14 people. This would mean that Captain Torres would follow orders from the government even if it meant doing something he detests, therefore I say that he values the government above almost everything else. Captain Torres Also values how other people see him as he may not necessarily be a bad person but he definitely goes to great lengths so that people believe that he is.
A man of imagination, because who else would have thought of hanging the naked rebels and then holding target practice on their bodies” (Tellez 49). Through the last few sentences in the story we know that Captain Torres does not enjoy killing yet he goes to extreme lengths so that he may appear as a merciless murderer to everyone else. I believe that he does this because he feels guilty for what he has done, he doesn’t believe that he has the right to be seen as a normal human being so he appears as inhumane as possible. This is proven by the above quote where he kills 14 rebels and appears to be bragging about it.
In conclusion Captain Torres values the government that he faithfully serves and he also values how other people see him in other words his reputation. In the story “Just Lather, That’s All” the barber and Captain Torres share some values and differ with others, some values that the barber has that Captain Torres may not are that he values innocence and he values being a barber. The barber shows that he values innocence when he states that becoming a murderer is a burden that one should not have to carry.
“No one deserves to have someone else make the sacrifice of becoming a murderer. (Tellez 50). This quotation shows that he believes that becoming a murderer is a worthless burden, this would also mean that he thinks of innocence as a very important thing that everyone should try and preserve. On several occasions the barber himself points out his pride and value in his job. “I was secretly a rebel, but I was also a conscientious barber, and proud of the precision required of my profession” (Tellez 49). This quotation shows that despite whatever he may be or whatever he may become, he is and always will be a barber.
Further proof of this is that he goes on to boast about his job “…I’m a good barber, the best in town, if I may say so” (Tellez 55). In conclusion the barber in the story “Just Lather, That’s All” differs from Captain Torres as he values Innocence and being a barber. In summary the barber and Captain Torres may differ in some aspects, while they are the same in others. Captain Torres and the barber both show that they value human life as they both detest and almost go as far as to condemn murder within their own minds.
Captain Torres differs from the barber as Captain Torres values his country’s government, he shows this as he does whatever the government tells him to do even if he doesn’t like it. Captain Torres also shows that he values how other people see him (reputation) as he often puts in time and effort to make sure that people see him as a heartless murderer, even though he may not necessarily be one. The barber shows that he values innocence when he states that no one deserves to become a murderer and the also values his occupation as he often talks about the pride he takes in his job.
Therefore the barber and Captain Torres are similar because they both value human life whereas they are different because the barber values innocence and his occupation and Captain Torres values the government and how people see him. In conclusion, despite what people try to portray themselves as on the outside, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s who they are on the inside. Work Cited Tellez, Hernando. “Just Lather, That’s All” Elements of English 10. Ed. Douglas Hilker and Sue Harper. Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 2005. 48-52. Print.