A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by

Marlon James

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Bam-Bam Character Analysis

Bam-Bam is a teenager born in the Eight Lanes. When he was a child, Funnyboy and his gang orally raped Bam-Bam’s father before killing both of Bam-Bam’s parents in front of him. After this point, he was taken in by Josey Wales and Papa-Lo. He shoots a gun for the first time at the age of ten. Already at this young age he is deeply cynical, convinced that he will never have a chance to get out of the ghetto and that life is worthless. During the attack on the Singer’s house, Bam-Bam shoots the Singer’s wife, Rita. He flees and sleeps in a park, where he accidentally witnesses the Smile Jamaica concert, an event he finds terrifying. Immediately after, he is buried alive by Josey, Weeper, and Tony Pavarotti.

Bam-Bam Quotes in A Brief History of Seven Killings

The A Brief History of Seven Killings quotes below are all either spoken by Bam-Bam or refer to Bam-Bam. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead edition of A Brief History of Seven Killings published in 2014.
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

Gun weight is a different kind of weight. Or maybe it be something else, a feeling that whenever you hold a gun is really the gun holding you.

Related Characters: Bam-Bam (speaker)
Related Symbols: Guns
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 11 Quotes

I didn't want to fuck him, none of that nasty batty boy business, I just wanted to go inside him like a duppy and move when he move and buck when he buck and wind when he wind and feel myself pull out little by little by little and ram back in hard then soft, fast then slow. Then I wanted to be the woman. I just need to fucking breathe.

Related Characters: Bam-Bam (speaker), Weeper
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bam-Bam Character Timeline in A Brief History of Seven Killings

The timeline below shows where the character Bam-Bam appears in A Brief History of Seven Killings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Part One of the novel is set on December 2, 1976. Bam-Bam is 14, the son of a “whore” and “the last good man in the ghetto.”... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
For Bam-Bam, life in the ghetto is defined by chaos and violence. People rape and kill for... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
In 1971, the Singer first appeared on TV. That same year, Bam-Bam shot a gun for the first time, at the age of 10. Back then, Bam-Bam’s... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Two days later, Bam-Bam’s father beats up his mother and rapes her with a broomstick. Bam-Bam thinks he would... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Bam-Bam makes it all the way to Copenhagen City, where he runs into Papa-Lo and his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Josey Wales comes to visit Bam-Bam, and gives him a gun and asks if he is ready to be a man.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Everyone in Bam-Bam’s life has been behaving differently since Bam-Bam got a gun. Bam-Bam’s girlfriend is newly cautious... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Weeper tells Bam-Bam that Josey is making them go to Rema, another swing district, because there are rumors... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
...Josey, but instead tells him that one day he’ll run out of people to kill. Bam-Bam’s girlfriend looks at him like he is a stranger. Josey and the gang continue to... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
...PNP payroll.” The Singer thinks he understands the ghetto because he came from there, but Bam-Bam thinks that the Singer doesn’t understand anything anymore. (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Bam-Bam sees Weeper naked outside a woman’s house and feels a strong sense of sexual desire... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 16:
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Demus is inside a house by the sea with Josey Wales, Bam-Bam, Weeper, Heckle, Renton, Funky Chicken, and two men from Jungle whose names he doesn’t know.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Demus has spent the night in a shack with Weeper, Funky Chicken, Heckle, and Bam-Bam. In the morning, everyone in the shack is “going mad and ting.” Bam-Bam is screaming,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
This chapter is written in verse. As the men drive to the Singer’s house, Bam-Bam’s thoughts are fragmented. He wants to “fuck fuck fuck” and “start shooting.” They arrive at... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
The men continue to shoot bullets in every direction, and Funky Chicken almost shoots Bam-Bam by accident. As they leave, Bam-Bam sees a girl (Nina) walking in, not realizing that... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
...gets out of the car and starts running; no one knows where he is headed. Bam-Bam and then Josey also run off, leaving Demus alone. He starts to cry. He feels... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
 Bam-Bam hides in a pile of garbage while Josey and Weeper pass by. They get into... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Bam-Bam stays in the park until the Smile Jamaica concert takes place. He stares at the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 22
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
 Bam-Bam tries to scream, but his mouth has been gagged. Hs hands and feet are bound.... (full context)
Part 3, Sir Arthur George Jennings
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
After Bam-Bam dies, he does not at first realize he’s dead, and walks to the Singer’s house.... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
One of the other tied-up men disagrees, saying it was Bam-Bam who shot Rita. Papa-Lo struggles to concentrate, his mind drifting away. He declares that the... (full context)