“And so, which will it be? Murderer or hero? My fate hangs on the edge of this razor blade…But I don’t want to be a murderer…You are an executioner; I am only a barber” (Tellez 4). The protagonist in this story encounters internal conflict on either to murder or not. In the end, he settles on being an ordinary barber which demonstrates his dynamic growth. In the “Lather and Nothing Else”, Hernando Tellez portrays the barber as a dynamic character because his personality varies and changes from a timid murderer to a painstaking barber.
Initially, when the barber was shaving for his customer, he was frightened by the consequences of murder but held homicidal intents. The barber thought, “My hand began to tremble again. The man could not be aware of this…… and with an enemy in my house I felt certain responsibility” (2). The barber could cut the man’s throat easily without him even seeing “the shine of the razor” (3). However, fear and his cautious mind-set made him extremely hesitant. He thinks about consequences and if it is right or wrong, but he still imagines him killing the customer. Therefore, the barber was first timid but homicidal, this characteristic changes throughout the story.Moreover, the barber was earnest and dutiful to his job. He tries to offer his best to his customers: “The pores might open, minutely, in this area and let out a tiny drop of blood. A good barber like myself stakes his reputation on not permitting that to happen to any of his customers” (3). This shows his attitude and personality as a barber. He decides to continue his honorable job without staining his hands with blood but “just with lather and nothing else” (4). He realized that each person has a job and all you needed to do is to do your own duty well. This is similar to me since I believe sometimes I should focus more on what my duty is and think about how I could improve as a learner. His state changes from hesitating of becoming a murderer into asserting that he is an ordinary but painstaking barber. Thus, the protagonist changes into an earnest barber that respects his job and customers.
In conclusion, the barber is a dynamic character because he changes from a timid murderer into realizing that he should continue as a dutiful and honorable barber. The theme of the story is that “each one to his job” (4). This means that we should each respect and do our own duties well.
Al-Furati, H. (2015). Freedom and Nothing Else. Voices of the Arab Spring. doi:10.7312/alsa16318-042