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 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
 Bam-Bam hides in a pile of garbage while Josey and Weeper pass by. They get into a red car and drive away, and Bam-Bam keeps running. On the radio he hears that the Singer was “treated and sent home,” and he realizes that Josey missed. Bam-Bam is desperate for a line of cocaine. He goes to the park where the Smile Jamaica concert will be held and realizes that the concert will still take place even after everything. He does not know how much time has passed since the night at the Singer’s house. He remembers being confused about why Josey was shooting at him after they drove away. 
Here Bam-Bam comes to the same realization as Demus: that he is now completely lost and alone for no reason, because the Singer is still alive and the Smile Jamaica concert is going ahead as planned. Bam-Bam’s confusion over how much time has passed is disorientating and surreal. It is as if all the events since the shooting––including the Singer’s inexplicable survival—are in some sense not even real.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Bam-Bam stays in the park until the Smile Jamaica concert takes place. He stares at the Singer, who is too far away for Bam-Bam to see him properly. Still, Bam-Bam feels that the Singer is taunting him, promising to punish Bam-Bam for what he did. Bam-Bam tries to sneak out of the crowd. He is sure that Josey is going to kill him, and feels as if the Singer is following him, haunting him. He imagines the Singer reaching inside his body and seizing his heart. Once the concert is over, Bam-Bam walks away, and as he does so he wets himself. Out of nowhere, Tony Pavarotti appears in front of him and punches him in the face.
Bam-Bam has no allies anymore, only enemies, and these enemies are closing in on him, leaving him nowhere to escape. It is ironic that Bam-Bam, the only one of the novel’s many narrators who actually witnesses the Smile Jamaica concert, experiences it not as the symbol of peace and hope that it is supposed to be, but rather a terrifying experience that reminds him that he is doomed and alone.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon