“Just Lather, That’s All”

Today in my Short Fiction for Street Humanities class, we are going to read Hernando Tellez’ “Just Lather, That’s All.” [Feel free to download my handout with the discussion questions.]

Students tend to respond well to it, plus it’s really nice and short! That means we will have lots of time for discussion. I find it’s a good introduction to the idea of context and point of view–we talk about “freedom fighters” vs. “guerrillas” vs. “terrorists,” for example.

I’m also thinking of showing them this short film based on the story, although I’m slightly hesitant because it actually shows the barber’s fantasy of slicing the general’s throat and it kind of violent (you don’t see the throat-slitting, you just hear him gurgling and see his feet kicking, and then afterward the puddles of blood on the floor). Maybe I’ll ask them what they’d like to do and let anyone who doesn’t want to watch it go early.

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