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 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Barry finds Louis Johnson at a bar with Doctor Love. They leave almost immediately, however, and Barry quickly gets in the car to follow them. Louis drives into the ghetto, and Barry begins to get nervous. Then, out of nowhere, Louis crashes his car into Barry’s, and Louis gets out, asking why Barry is following him. Louis takes Barry to the hospital, where a doctor gives him stitches in his forehead.
Like Josey, Louis Johnson and Doctor Love appear to always be two steps ahead of the other characters in the novel. Barry thought he was secretly following Louis, but in fact Louis knew Barry was after him all along––which is also exactly what happened when Barry attempted to spy on Bill Adler.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
After the stiches are done, the two men discuss Barry’s previous work in Ecuador, which sought to undermine communist activities there. Louis emphasizes that Jamaica isn’t Ecuador and that Barry doesn’t understand what’s going on. He tells Barry that there was recently a meeting set up by the PNP in which soldiers drew guns on Michael Manley, before backing down. Barry tells Louis to stop getting involved in the domestic matters of the country and “let diplomacy run its course.” However, Louis responds that it is too late for that, and adds that he and Barry are “two sides of the same coin.”   
Much of what Louis says during this conversation rings true, including the fact that Barry does not understand what is happening in Jamaica. Similarly, Louis’ statement that he and Barry are “two sides of the same coin” is correct. Barry sticks to the party line and is rather inept, whereas Louis is a renegade who is more deeply connected to those on the ground. However, they both represent the insidious power and presence of the US in foreign politics.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon