A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by

Marlon James

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A Brief History of Seven Killings: Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Papa-Lo still feels restless; he feels that something is especially wrong today. The JLP will do anything to win, and suddenly, Papa-Lo realizes what Josey is planning to do. He is so shocked he drops his glass of juice to the floor and immediately sets off for Josey’s house. In January Peter Nasser called Papa-Lo for the last time, telling him the IMF (International Monetary Fund) were coming to decide whether to give Jamaica money. Nasser warned everyone that Michael Manley would turn Jamaica communist, and the country would resemble Doctor Love’s stories from Cuba.  
The Cold War collapses any sense of scale, making small, local matters seem as if they are of global importance. Although from one angle Papa-Lo and Josey are simply gangsters who control little more than sections of the West Kingston ghetto, due to the Cold War their actions taken on a much broader significance, connected to the international battle between capitalism and communism.
Themes
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Back in January, Josey went into Trench Town with Doctor Love and one other man. Papa-Lo warned Josey he was crazy to be going in with no backup, but the next day the news reported that two whole tenement yards in Trench Town had been blown up. The violence escalated dramatically from that point. In March, police followed Josey into Copenhagen City, but were then chased out by the residents and had to be rescued by Nasser. At this point, Josey officially became “a man of the people.” 
As this passage shows, residents of the ghetto have a fierce sense of loyalty toward whoever is the don at the time. As before, this is in part due to the fact that politicians are known to be untrustworthy, and thus the people feel that their only advocates are the gangsters who are at least in touch with what daily life in the ghetto is like.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
On May 19, Josey and Doctor Love took Papa-Lo to watch them set off an explosion in the Orange Lane tenement. From May to July there was war in the city. The police found the hospital that had been secretly running in Copenhagen City, and shortly after this 15 soldiers busted down the door of Papa-Lo’s house. They locked him up for three days along with Josey, Weeper, and others from Copenhagen City. While they were in jail, two more bombs exploded in Elysium Gardens. 
The structure of gangs, much like governments, ensures that even if certain individuals are robbed of their power (for example, by being locked in prison), it makes little difference to how society operates on the day-to-day level. Thus even though Josey is put in prison, the explosions he has been orchestrating with Doctor Love continue to occur.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon