Lather And Nothing Else By Hernando Tellez

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“Lather and Nothing Else” Short Story Essay There are many times in our lives when we are faced with a conflict where the right solution is not always obvious. In Hernando Tellez’s short story, “Lather and Nothing Else”, this struggle is paramount to the story. Eventually, it is solved by what is evidently the theme of the story: staying true to one’s self. Tellez brilliantly brings out this theme through the use of setting and atmosphere, the title of the story and its relation to the theme, and his narrative point of view. Tellez effectively creates a suspenseful atmosphere and setting to lay out the theme first by establishing to the reader and “the man” are not allies (something seemingly not known by “the man”, then adding to it by his masterful use of contrast. Tellez clearly establishes that the two characters are not on the same side when the narrator remarks to himself, “He went on talking. He evidently took it for granted that I was on the side of the existing regime.” (Tellez, 1). This occurs when Captain Torres (“the man”) enters the shop requesting a shave and begins discussing his plans for the captured rebels. Furthermore, this assessment by the narrator also makes apparent that he thinks Torres does not know he is not oh his side. By doing this, tension and suspense is generated between the two characters, although it appears that only one is aware of what has transpired. Tellez then adds to the aforementioned suspense by contrasting a supposedly mundane
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