A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by

Marlon James

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Dorcas Palmer Character Analysis

Dorcas Palmer is the second of Nina’s false identities. She lives in the Bronx and takes a series of temporary care work positions through the God Bless Employment Agency. She finds Ken attractive, and on his request, she takes him back to her apartment in the Bronx, where she begins to relax and enjoy herself for the first time she can remember.
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Dorcas Palmer Character Timeline in A Brief History of Seven Killings

The timeline below shows where the character Dorcas Palmer appears in A Brief History of Seven Killings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 4, Chapter 1
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Part Four is set on August 14, 1985. Dorcas Palmer thinks about girls who immigrate to America and still speak like “dutty whore” from... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Dorcas sometimes worries about the fact that she has nothing to worry about. She observes that... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
The first job Dorcas was assigned through the agency was to take care of an elderly woman who had... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Dorcas arrives at the Colthirsts’ apartment, which is on East 86th Street between Madison and Park.... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 7
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Dorcas sits in the Colthirsts’ apartment, awaiting instructions. The man who let her in simply stares... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Ken’s daughter-in-law, Ms. Colthirst, enters, and tells Dorcas where to find the cleaning supplies. Dorcas tries to say that she is not a... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 11
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Recently Dorcas went home with a man she met at a bar, but when they got there... (full context)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Back in the present, Dorcas asks Ken which disease he has: diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s. He doesn’t tell her and... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Dorcas observes that his disease must be giving him a “death wish.” Ken says that maybe... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 15
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Dorcas and Ken are in Dorcas’s apartment. She wonders if she should offer Ken a drink,... (full context)
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Dorcas makes them from ramen noodles, and Ken asks where she’s from. She replies that she’s... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 19
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Ken furiously questions Dorcas about the book. Dorcas tells him to calm down and reminds him that she doesn’t... (full context)
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Ken asks if Dorcas is an American citizen, and she replies that she isn’t. She has a Jamaican passport,... (full context)
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Dorcas tells Ken that he should go home soon. He goes to the bathroom, and Dorcas... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 23
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Ken has been in the bathroom for about an hour. Dorcas is still trying to figure out what disease he has, and for some reason it... (full context)
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...looking disheveled. Ms. Colthirst takes Ken down to the car, leaving Mr. Colthirst alone with Dorcas. He explains that “every day is a new day for Pop,” to which Dorcas replies... (full context)
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...and quit. Mr. Colthirst says he will phone the agency and tell them it wasn’t Dorcas’s fault it didn’t work out. However, Dorcas tells him not to, because she wants the... (full context)