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 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Alex claims to have not been in Jamaica since 1978, but seems suspiciously knowledgeable about the events of 1979. Tristan doesn’t believe that Alex is really writing a book about the Singer, and asks if Alex thinks he’s a “fucking idiot.” However, after Alex apologizes Tristan continues with his story, explaining that the peace council had a real office in the Singer’s house. Once, the Singer saw Josey Wales leaving the peace council office, and furiously asked Tristan what he was doing there. The Singer said Josey was there during the shooting and argued that the peace treaty was doomed because of him.
Tristan’s suspicion that Alex thinks he’s an “idiot” is unsurprising, given the way that white characters in the novel repeatedly treat black characters as if they are unintelligent. However, unlike Josey and Kim, Tristan does not play into this false assumption for his own advancement, but instead becomes fiercely defensive.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Later, Tristan discovered that a company called Copenhagen City Promotions sold footage of the second peace concert to stations around the world. Tristan called Papa-Lo, who insisted he had no knowledge of this, and warned him: “Pull your leash on Josey Wales or me will do it for you.”
The issue of who controls the Singer’s image––and by extension the image of Jamaica in the eyes of the world––is as important to many of the characters as matters of wealth, territory, and money.
Themes
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Four days later Tristan flew to Miami and met up with an old friend called A-Plus, who looked at him as if he was a duppy. A-Plus explained that Weeper claimed to have killed Tristan in New York. Tristan and A-Plus then drove to the house Weeper was staying in, tackled Weeper and pressed a gun to his head. Tristan was about to shoot him when another man who was in the house began crying and begging for Weeper’s life, as if Weeper was his child. Tristan left, confident that Weeper would not come after him. Tristan then explains that Shotta Sherrif stole the cocaine stash of a man whose brother was in Wang Gang. He was killed by Wang Gang members in a nightclub in New York. Everyone but two people involved in the peace council were now dead.
Ironically, it is Weeper’s homosexuality––which he is so desperate to keep secret from others––that ends up saving him from being killed by Tristan. When Weeper’s male lover starts begging for his life, Tristan realizes that he does not actually need to kill Weeper. The fact that Tristan has seen the evidence that Weeper is gay will protect him in the future. It is now clear that Weeper purposefully pretended to kill Tristan in order to allow Tristan to escape; the men made an unspoken deal with one another based around the secret of Weeper’s sexuality.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon