The Choices of Life Analysis
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.”, said Roy E. Disney. The Wendy Project, a graphic novel by Melissa Jane Osborne, “The Sniper”, a short story written by Liam O’Flaherty and “Just Lather, That’s All”, a short story written by Hernando Téllez all focus on the hard choices one comes across and how to overcome them. The Wendy Project is about 16-year-old Wendy Davies who goes through the difficult journey of growing up after a traumatic car accident leaving her youngest brother, Michael, dead; but she doesn’t believe it as at the end she has to make a choice between Michael in Neverland or her parents back home. “The Sniper” takes place during the Irish Civil War from a sniper’s point of view who after killing his enemy makes the choice of either risking his life to see who he killed or forgetting about it. Similarly, “Just Lather, That’s All” focuses on a barber who faces a dilemma of killing Captain Torres, a ruthless killer of rebels, with his razor or giving him a normal shave. All three stories have a common theme that sometimes, making life changing choices can be intimidating, but at the end of the day, one’s moral values and the bonds they have with people in their life can make it easier. This is portrayed by Wendy’s ultimate choice at the end of the graphic novel, the sniper’s curiosity of his fallen enemy, and the barber’s choice to be a citizen and not a hero while giving Captain Torres a shave.
Firstly, in The Wendy Project, Wendy Davies is faced with many tough choices as she believes in something that no one else does. When she finds her youngest brother, Michael, in Neverland and learns that he has lost his memories, she makes a hard choice of leaving him behind to restore the bonds she had with her parents. In chapter 7, Wendy stated, “I choose them. I choose to be here” (Osborne 23). This shows that Wendy finally came back to her senses and the reality was that Michael was never coming back. This was one of the hardest choices Wendy had to make, her bond with someone who didn’t even remember her was not worth holding on to; she needed to grow up and move on. Overall, sometimes the choices we make in life can be unreal and some part of you doesn’t want to make that choice, the key is who you really want to be. Wendy accepted that some part of Michael will always be back in Neverland and that it wouldn’t be morally right to leave her parents in the dust with no explanation.
Moreover, in the short story “The Sniper'', the sniper is a Republican who is challenged with many dilemmas while trying to stay hidden from his enemies, the Free Staters. Near the end of the story, the sniper makes a decision to cross the “bridge”, which refers to the street between the two sides, and risk his life all just to see who he shot. As he crossed the street “A machine gun tore up the ground around him with a hail of bullets” but after taking cover he “turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face” (O’Flaherty). The sniper knew that crossing the street would put his life in danger but despite that, the connection he felt with his fallen enemy was worth it. The outcome was not what he expected but this allows him to start his path of grief and think more about humanity. In summary, the sniper is successful in killing his enemy but the curiosity and bond he felt with that enemy leads him to expose himself to open fire just to get closure. He realizes that war isn’t moral and not the answer to everything. It will help him to think differently in the future.
Lastly, in the short story “Just Lather, That’s All”, the barber has an intimidating encounter with Captain Torres when he enters the empty shop for a shave. As the story progresses, the barber thinks about how easy it would be to kill Captain Torres and get justice for the rest of the rebels, but he also considers the consequences. He contemplates, “I would have to flee, leaving all I have behind, and take refuge far away, far, far away. But they would follow until they found me” (Téllez). He expresses the concern for his future and so the barber has a choice to stay true to himself or be a heroic figure for the rest of the rebels. Being in a shop alone with his worst enemy and a razor on his neck made the barger tempted but it’s easier said than done. He chooses to do what’s best for himself because he wouldn’t be able to live with himself knowing he killed someone and hid the body. Thus, the barber realizes what his moral values are and chose that his job and reputation is more important than killing Captain Torres.
In conclusion, ethics and bonds with people in one’s life can make it easier to make the hard choices in life. The Wendy Project, “Just Lather, ‘The Sniper”, and “Just Lather, That’s All” all display this. Wendy chooses to be with her parents back home over her youngest brother who has no memory of her in Neverland, the sniper feels a connection with his enemy only to find out he killed his own brother in war and this uncovering will lead him to value bonds over everything else, and the barber chooses what is right for his future and identity rather than being a hero and acting brave. Often, difficult choices can be agonizing, they can even lead to being irrational, but it depends on where you should be and where you want to be.