What Is the Theme of “Just Lather, That’s All?”

The theme of “Just Lather, That’s All” is the nuances of morality and an exploration of the line between doing what is “best” and what is “moral.” The story further develops the themes of bravery, heroism and common sense.

In the short story by Hernando Tellez, a barber is faced with conflicting emotions and convictions when he shaves the leader of a military unit that has killed and tortured some of his friends and comrades. The options of either slitting the man’s throat or giving him a good shave highlight the themes of choosing between traditional morality and doing what would accomplish a “higher good” by eliminating the threat to an entire village of people.