Just Lather That's All Analysis

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Proper decision making is a necessity for survival whether it is a matter of life and death, saving one’s reputation, or saving oneself from unredeemable embarrassment. In the short stories “Just Lather, That’s All”, “The Dinner Party”, and “The First Day”, the theme of grace under pressure is demonstrated in attempt to make the right decision that benefits everybody. This is prominent through the protagonist’s internal conflicts, given situations, and the circumstances. By having control, the protagonist from “Just Lather, That’s All” by Hernando Téllez saved himself from execution, the hostess from “The Dinner Party” by Mona Gardner saved her reputation, and the protagonist’s mother in “The First Day” by Edward P. Jones saved herself from …show more content…
Jones, demonstrates the theme of having grace under pressure by putting the character in tough circumstances. The mother faces the challenge of convincing the secretary to let her daughter sign up for the school. Since she is illiterate, she has a fear of being embarrassed in front of her daughter so she asks the secretary to kindly fill out the forms for her “‘I can’t read it. I don’t know how to read or write, and I’m askin you to help me.’ My mother looks at me, then looks away” (Jones, 60). She then went through the process without making a big deal with all of her stress, and kept it under control. Lastly, she faces the challenge of letting her daughter go. Since her husband left when her daughter was young, the only person she has left is her daughter. Just like any mother, she does not want to let go in fear of losing her, “her lips are quivering. ‘I’ll be back to pick you up at twelve o’clock. Don’t want you to go nowhere’” (Jones, 62). This story contrasts from the other two because once a child’s perspective on their mother changes, it is hard to go back to the way it was. In the end, the mother was able to make her daughter’s first day of school as calm as possible even though she was under very tough

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