A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings


Marlon James

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A Brief History of Seven Killings: Part 2, Sir Arthur George Jennings Summary & Analysis

When Jennings’ body was found, people claimed he had been sleepwalking. He explains that death is dirty and vulgar. Jennings is inside the house of the man who killed him. The killer is an old man now, and is having sex with his wife, the former runner-up of Miss Jamaica. After they finish, the killer walks into the living room and speaks to another man. His wife shouts his name, Peter, but he tells her to go back to bed. The other man tells Peter that Papa-Lo and Shotta Sherrif have both stopped eating pork. It is revealed that this other man is Josey Wales. A dead fireman is in the room too, a man who Josey killed while he was attempting to tackle a blaze on Orange Street.
Because he is dead, Jennings has insight into all the secret allegiances and deals that take place behind closed doors. He therefore knows the extent to which duplicity and corruption characterize life in Jamaica. Despite this special insight, death is overall not romanticized in the novel. As well as describing death as dirty and vulgar, Jennings emphasizes the frustration of being witness to the secrets of the living but not being able to do anything about it. 
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon