A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by

Marlon James

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Brief History of Seven Killings can help.

A Brief History of Seven Killings: Part 5, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In prison, Doctor Love asks Josey if he ever thinks about the past, and Josey replies: “No. You know I never think about the fucking past.” Josey notes that Peter Nasser is now hoping to be knighted and is thus praying that his past doesn’t come back to haunt him. Josey implies that someone must have sent Doctor Love to visit him, because Doctor Love won’t do anything unless he’s being paid for it. Doctor Love declares that they are “relics” from history, and that no one will ever really know about their past.
Once again, Peter Nasser is shown to be a stereotypical slimy politician, only interested in his own reputation, power, and prestige. Doctor Love, on the other hand, remains somewhat mysterious. Josey is convinced that, despite their long history together, Doctor Love could only be visiting because he’s being paid to do it.
Themes
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
Doctor Love tells Josey he is the smartest man he’s ever known. Josey asks if “this family quarrel” has reached him in Miami, but Doctor Love dodges the question. Doctor Love mentions Weeper’s mysterious disappearance in 1985, and Josey responds that it wasn’t mysterious; Weeper simply overdosed. Doctor Love asks why Weeper would inject himself with pure cocaine, and Josey suggests it might not have been an accident. However, he won’t develop this idea any further. Doctor Love tells Josey that Benjy’s funeral was “really nice,” but Josey tells him not to mention Benjy.
Josey’s knowledge of the exact way in which Weeper died––that he overdosed and that it wasn’t an accident––suggests that he may have managed to contact John-John. On the other hand, perhaps he simply had access to the police report or obituary regarding Weeper’s death after the murder itself occurred.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon