Barber's Profession

857 Words4 Pages
The phrase, “you are what you eat,” is much alike to “you are what you do,” because what you eat, or your actions, both affect your future and your sense of self. Similarly, Hernando Tellez explores the correlation between identity and occupation in ¨Lather and Nothing Else.¨ Captain Torres, who is responsible for killing and injuring his enemies, goes to the barber for a shave, despite already knowing the barber's negative perception towards him. By giving Captain Torres a name and leaving the barber’s name anonymous, Tellez suggests that one’s occupation can impact one’s identity. To start off, the barber conceals his identity to protect his occupation. For example, the barber knew he had to shave “his beard just like any other, carefully,…show more content…
A true identity is stable and consistent, but the barber demonstrates two distinct ones, a fake identity for his profession, and the real identity in his mind. Despite the barber's animosity towards Torres, his inner voice tells him to treat all his customers with equal respect and service, because “each one to his job” (184). Unlike Captain Torres and his occupation, he is only a barber, so he thinks personal opinions should not be involved in this situation. Therefore, the author doesn't give him a name, because the barber just wants to, "stain his hands with lather, and nothing else” (184). Captain Torres’ life was in the hands of the barber, but the hungry barber chose to be let go of his prey, because of his self-awareness to his reputation. One’s occupation restricts them from their actions, as it is a necessity for one to use their profession to support themselves and make a living of it, so if he reveals his thoughts and acts upon them, his occupation and identity will be in jeopardy. Thus, the barber has to and does ignore Torres's unethical doings in order to focus on his main priority, which is survival, and to accomplish that, he needs to give good service to all of his customers, despite their background. The barber is not given a specific name because a name represents who they are, wherever they are, and the barber’s concernment for his reputation and employment creates a career
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