Short Story Just Lather That's All

Improved Essays
P.4 “Just Lather, That's All”

Murder is not as simple as it seems. In the short story “Just Lather, That's All” the reader learns that killing is not as easy as it is put out to be. A man that works at a barbershop, is one day faced with a difficult decision. Torres, the captain of rebel-hunting excursions, walks into his shop on a sunny day, requesting a shave from the man (who secretly happens to be a rebel).
As the barber lathers soap onto Torres’ warm neck and slides the blade downward, cleaning off the thick frothy layer of soap, along with hair from the man's beard, he thinks about the position that he is in. At any moment, he could slit the Captain's throat with his sharp, shiny razor in just a matter
…show more content…
His thoughts reveal that he personally feels murder will corrupt his soul. All he wants on his hands is soap. Not murder, crime, blood, or guilt. He thinks about his honorary role as a barber, and how he doesn't want to be a murderer. He thinks to himself “You are an executioner and I am only a barber.” As the Captain is leaving, he turns to the barber and says, “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.”
This quote reveals that the Captain knew he could have been be killed at any moment by the barber holding a sharp blade to his neck, and that he seemed to have some surety that the man wouldn't kill him, because he personally knew that killing is not as easy as it seems. It also reveals that the Captain does have a personal problem with killing. Despite how careless he may seem about hunting down rebels, it is clear that killing haunts him. Although he talks about his jobs and tasks as though he is proud of them, and that they are simple and easy, the reader now knows that it is difficult for him.
In conclusion, the men both have different principles towards killing and murder and both act on those principles differently. But to some extent, both of the men know that it is wrong and feel guilty about it. This story portrays that killing is not effortless as it may sometimes

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    This foreshadowing is telling you that the barber himself is possibly going to harm the captain. Self-conflict is shown a lot in the story as well. The barber is fighting against himself, within himself, whether or not to slit the captain’s throat. “And how easy it would be to kill him. And he deserves it.…

    • 844 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He was always pushing the barber to his limits. After the Captain was done explaining how he brought back some rebels he added yet another comment, “The town must have learned a lesson from what we did the other day.” Captain Torres knowing that the barber wanted to kill him just kept egging him on, knowing the barber would do nothing. The barber held his composure by saying a simple, “Yes.” He was trying so hard to hold his composure because he didn’t want to lose his character. The barber was good at his profession and didn’t want to stoop down to the Captains…

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Compassion In Macbeth

    • 878 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Just before he murders Duncan, Macbeth recognizes his failure to live up to his responsibilities in planning the assassination of the King, who he should be protecting from killers instead of killing: "He's here in double trust: first, as I am his kinsman and his subject. Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against murderers shut the door, not bear the knife myself" (1.7.1215). Macbeth has an inner dialectic of right and wrong; the good part of him recognizes the bad of what he's doing and the bad part of him rationalizes and justifies his behavior. He almost seems resentful of the fact that Duncan no longer has to suffer through the process of dealing with normal mortal issues. In an effort to make himself feel better, and justified in his murderous act, Macbeth rationalizes that Duncan is better off dead than going through the pain of living.…

    • 878 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Revenge Theme In Hamlet

    • 1119 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although nobody else would know that Old Hamlet was murdered, Hamlet would have a guilty conscience and would think that not avenging his father’s death is very cowardly and worthless. Obviously, the setting and time period do have an effect on what Hamlet believes, as a sane person would not go towards such extreme measure just to get revenge. At that time, it would have seemed that if someone you knew had killed a relative or friend, the best way to counter it, is to murder them back. It clearly shows that revenge, for Hamlet, is what will protect his honor and keep him from becoming a coward, although he does “miss” opportunities to kill Claudius. Hamlet actually believes that murder or any sort of violence is the best way to go forward with his plan of revenge.…

    • 1119 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Fate In Oedipus The King

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages

    “Upon the murder I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom!” (260-263). Oedipus insists that a murder is going to face a miserable fate in the future; however, he actually knows that he will have the horrible fate as well because he is a murder. Even though he knows that he killed someone and he is a murder, he does not want to reveal the truth because he has a pride and arrogance. Since he does not want to believe the reality, he tries to frighten others by talking in an imperative tone. His tragic flaw definitely leads himself to a miserable fate.…

    • 1204 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His plan to kill Bartleby instead of finding another method reveals the dark side of the narrator’s thoughts because Bartleby’s simple actions have gotten into the narrators head and he cannot take it anymore. He reasons with himself that murder is too heavy of a task and “rather would [he] let him live and die here, and then mason up his remains in the wall” (35). Although the narrator no longer wants to directly kill him, his new thoughts of having him stay at the office until he dies still display his dark thoughts caused by Bartleby’s agitations. At the end of his contemplation, the narrator feels guilty for his dark thoughts. He tells himself that he “will not thrust such a helpless creature out of your door” (35).…

    • 1229 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Clean Water Case Study

    • 736 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Add more gall soap if you feel the need. Continue until the stains are gone. Dab lightly with water to remove all lather. Then the water from the mattress with paper towels. 7.…

    • 736 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I came to find out. But killing isn’t easy. You can take my word for it.””( 2). This quote is saying that Torres would have expected the barber to kill him due to how easy it would be and all the wrong things Torres has done but the barber is a good man and wanted to not have to leave everything behind. With the dentist, the mayor doesn’t pay his bills like he should.…

    • 954 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He tells the murderer that he hired that he’d rather see blood on his face than flowing through the veins of the person he wanted killed. From the outside, this statement seems strong and powerful, but it truly is not because Macbeth is not even the one committing the act. Macbeth’s vulnerability is seen clearly when he sees the ghost. Macbeth says “Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake Thy gory locks at me.” (Act III Scene IV).…

    • 1720 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    self. Montresor in the beginning of the story addressed “You, who so well knows my nature of my soul,” Montresor needed to tell someone and get out of his chest the revenge he had taken against Fortunato (Poe 1108). He wanted to let the person know he was confessing to that his actions he took in murdering his friends was not how everyone knew him. He was seen to any man in his community as kind and no one would have thought he would be able to murdering his own friend without a reason. “His death-bed confessor – for if Montresor has murdered Fortunato,” the revenge against his friend Fortunato had a major affect with himself and needed to confess the awful murder he committed (Thompson).…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays