A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings


Marlon James

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A Brief History of Seven Killings: Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Nina is still waiting across the road from the Singer’s house. She wishes Kimmy would visit their parents, and wants to make a plan with her sister about how they can leave Jamaica. Nina knows she should go home, but can’t bring herself to do it. Nina was once on a bus that was evacuated by the police. She thinks that every Jamaican is secretly a little happy when a police officer gets shot. Now she sees a fat policeman looking at her, so she goes back to the Singer’s house and again asks to see him. She tells the guard that she is pregnant with the Singer’s child, but the guard only replies that countless women come to the house saying the exact same thing. 
Nina wants to be exceptional, but in reality she is something of an “everywoman.” Her struggles and desires are the same as countless other women in Jamaica, and in this sense Nina is less of an individual character and more of a symbol. She represents those people––particularly women––who are intelligent, well-educated, and ambitious, and who dream of escaping Jamaica to lead a better life.
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A white man pulls up and introduces himself to the guard as Alex Pierce, a writer for Rolling Stone. Alex insists that he was told by a secretary to come and interview the Singer at this time, during rehearsal break, but the guard won’t let him in. Alex offers the guard money, but he refuses, and Nina laughs. They talk and Nina teases him. Alex says that he’s not “some tourist” and that he knows “the real Jamaica,” to which Nina replies that she hasn’t found the real Jamaica yet. They both walk to the bus stop, and Alex gets on the first bus that comes. Nina, however, keeps waiting.
One of the themes of the novel is the way in which people with wildly different lives come into contact through their proximity––or desire for proximity––to the Singer. There are many ways in which Nina and Alex are oppositional figures, and the main one lies in their contrasting feelings about Jamaica. Alex is fascinated by Jamaica and claims to know the “real” country, whereas Nina finds her own homeland mystifying and nightmarish. 
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