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 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Josey thinks that just because Weeper has “read a few books” doesn’t mean he is really intelligent. Weeper’s job is to maintain communications between Jamaica and Griselda Blanco in Miami. However, this is a problem because Weeper has trouble getting on with women. At the same time, Griselda is hardly a woman, and has no sense of morality. Josey has known for years that Weeper has sex with men and has chosen to ignore it.
Weeper and Griselda Blanco may not get along, but there is an important similarity between them: they both deviate from the gender and sexual norms assigned to them, alongside norms of morality.
Themes
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Josey no longer cares what happens in Jamaica; his attention is being called elsewhere. Weeper doesn’t understand why Josey works with Eubie, a dapper Bronx-based Jamaican who graduated from “a posh high school” and dropped out of Columbia Law School to start selling drugs. Weeper dislikes Eubie and calls him a “battyman” for getting pedicures, which makes Josey laugh. Josey tells Weeper that Eubie is in fact ruthlessly violent. He says that Weeper will have to learn to work with Eubie because the competition for supplying drugs in New York is stiff. He threatens to send Weeper back to Jamaica if he does not start acting right.
In his own way, Eubie also deviates from gender norms, particularly when it comes to how a gangster is supposed to behave. Unlike Weeper, Eubie is not gay, but simply takes care of his appearance. Eubie’s class privilege, intelligence, and level of educational attainment also make him an unlikely figure in the drug game. On the other hand, the novel continually challenges the stereotype of what a gangster should be.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
The rival Jamaican gangs in New York––Ranking Dons, Blood Rose, and Hot Steppers––are gunning for Josey’s territory. In 1982 Josey sent Weeper after Tristan Phillips and was told by one of Weeper’s runners that he was killed; however, recently Josey heard that Tristan is in fact alive, imprisoned in Rikers, and has joined the Ranking Dons. In Kingston, Josey talks briefly to his son, who is now 16, before he leaves for the airport.
The more powerful Josey becomes, the more “untouchable” he is. However, it is also true that the more powerful he becomes, the more he has to lose. Whereas before Josey only had to keep track of enemies within Jamaica, he now has to stay on top of threats to his power coming from all over the world.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon