The Challenge of Recognizing and Eliminating Unconscious Evil

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The Challenge of Recognizing and Eliminating Unconscious Evil
In life, it is crucial for individuals to challenge themselves for the exhilaration of victory and to form proud milestones that they can look back on. The individual must overcome this challenge in a successful manner in order to not only benefit themselves, but to also improve the lives of those who surround them. Hernando Tellez’s “Lather and Nothing Else” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe both illustrate a challenging situation that the protagonists are forced to overcome. In both of these stories, the barber and the murderer demonstrate that evil existing in the world must be acknowledged. It is then the responsibility of the individual who recognizes this evil
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My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears…” (Poe 60). The protagonist acknowledges his own sin of murdering the old man. He is forced into a situation where he is placed under scrutiny for the death of a man he is responsible for. Both characters demonstrate their recognition of evil in the situation they are forced to be in. However, the difference is that the barber is able to recognize evil in the captain and the murderer acknowledges the evil in himself. This shows that regardless of where the evil is found, it can be attempted to be removed. By being able to identify evil in the world, one can take on the challenge of eliminating it.
Once the character has become conscious of the evil around them, it is the individual’s responsibility to take on the challenge of eliminating it. In “Lather and Nothing Else”, after the barber confirms that his customer is a heartless executioner, plans of murder run through his mind. He thinks, “I could cut his throat just so, zip! Zip!” (Tellez). This thought demonstrates that he has an intention to eradicate the evil by killing his customer. He concludes that he must eliminate it to prevent others from being trapped into the executioner’s duties and by ending his life, nobody else will have to undergo his treatment. This is where the barber takes on the challenge, but fails to complete it because the captain leaves the shop unharmed. “The Tell-Tale Heart” also

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