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 4, Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dorcas and Ken are in Dorcas’s apartment. She wonders if she should offer Ken a drink, but worries that this would seem like an invitation for them to have sex. Ken asks for a drink, and Dorcas says she has vodka and pineapple juice, but tells him to get it himself. Ken advises her to throw out the leftovers in the fridge, and offers to make her a drink as well. Dorcas asks how long it will take until the police come looking for Ken, and he requests to hear some music. Dorcas puts on Prince and they start dancing together. Dorcas sings into a microphone and Ken plays air guitar.
This is the only moment in the novel when we see Dorcas/Nina/Kim truly happy. She knows that the happiness will be fleeting, as indicated when she asks Ken how long it will take for the police to come and find him and bring him home. However, in this moment, in the privacy of her own apartment, Dorcas is able to stop worrying, not care what other people think, and simply enjoy herself. 
Themes
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Dorcas makes them from ramen noodles, and Ken asks where she’s from. She replies that she’s from a Kingston suburb called Havendale. Ken asks why she left, and Dorcas dodges the question. Ken goes to the bathroom, and Dorcas imagines turning on the TV to find a news item about his disappearance. Suddenly, Ken emerges waving something and asking, “What’s this?” It is a book by Doug Richmond called How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found.  
There is a sense of irony in the fact that just as Dorcas starts being honest with Ken––telling him the truth when he asks where she comes from––he discovers that her life is an elaborate lie. This moment suggests that it is never possible to truly “disappear completely,” and that dishonesty will always come back to haunt you.
Themes
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon