Barry drives his older son to school. Barry’s wife complains that the previous Christmas was supposed to be the last Christmas they spent in Jamaica. She winds him up, accusing him of being bad at his job, until he threatens to violently kill her if she doesn’t shut up. They have been idling in the car outside the Singer’s house; Barry’s wife notices and asks what they are doing there. Eventually they drive away, still fighting and cursing, both of them forgetting that their younger son is still in the car too.
The novel makes clear that violence is hardly confined to Jamaica and Jamaicans. Indeed, the overall implication is that violence is a constitutive part of the social norms of masculinity. While Barry is not represented as being a particularly violent person, a perfectly ordinary argument with his wife quickly escalates into him threatening to kill her.