There are many character similarities between Mr. Baumer in “The Bargain,” and Jim, of Ring Lardner’s story, “Haircut;” however, the major difference is the motive for their revenge. Both characters show lots of wit and brains, as well as pride and remorse. Getting revenge is very important to both of them, quite obviously to the reader.
However, Mr. Baumer is quiet while Jim is loud and obnoxious, only trying to get attention at someone else’s expense. They also show differences in their motives for revenge, and severity in it. Both men, as residents in a small town, are very well-known by all and all watch them, in even such cases where they are humiliated. Being men, and having pride, they cannot stand to be embarrassed in front of everyone else. Their pride has been hurt, and they return the favor. Until later when the spotlight is moved to someone else, equally if not more humiliated. Jim, a prankster in a small hickish town in the country, is probably best classified as a town bully, getting even for everyone else in the town’s wrongdoing. The judge, jury, and executioner, he gets away with everything he darn well wants to, until someone in this little town takes action and blows him away. He is loud and obnoxious, with selfish motives, only trying to make himself look better. He doesn’t even show consideration for his own family.
Meanwhile, Mr. Baumer has been repeatedly picked on by a certain member of his small hickish town, as well as getting all of his money ripped off. He is humiliated constantly, in front of all of the town members. Mr. Baumer gets his revenge by subtly hiring his persecutor, who is illiterate and an alcoholic, as a delivery man. This man drank himself to his death by drinking wood alcohol.