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 18 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
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 the Singer’s house and Echo Squad are not standing guard outside. Josey jumps out of the car first and shoots the Singer. The Singer’s wife Rita runs past with his children; Bam-Bam shoots Rita in the head and she falls to the ground. He feels angry that he didn’t get to shoot the Singer first. Bam-Bam wanted the Singer to look terrified and wet himself, but the Singer remained calm and said: “Selassie I Jah Rastafari.”
Unlike Bam-Bam, whose life of horror and extreme deprivation has left him with nothing to believe in, the Singer has a strong sense of his own principles. Bam-Bam wants to see the Singer sink down to his own level of nihilism, but instead the Singer remains calm, confident in his faith. The statement “Selassie I Jah Rastafari” expresses the Singer’s worship of God and Haile Selassie, who Rastas view as the returned messiah.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace 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 she is “stepping into hell.” The men drive away but soon run into police cars. Weeper slams the breaks and tells Bam-Bam to stop screaming. 
Bam-Bam’s recurring screaming reminds us that although he has already committed extreme acts of violence, he is still only 15.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon