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 5, Sir Arthur George Jennings Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jennings describes the Singer’s funeral, at which there are four priests, an Ethiopian archbishop, and Rastas chanting. The new Prime Minister gives a eulogy, saying: “May his soul find rest in the arms of Jah Rastafari.” The Singer is posthumously given the Order of Merit, which is ironic considering he was a “black revolutionary.” The man who killed Jennings still won’t die, although he is getting old and irrelevant. The drug business is booming, killing many in its wake. Jennings observes that “three killers have outlived the Singer.” One––presumably Weeper––dies in New York, while another “sees and waits in Kingston.” The third is behind the Iron Curtain, waiting and knowing.
The different attendees and conflicting messages at the Singer’s funeral represent the battle over the Singer and how his image relates to Jamaica’s cultural and political identity. Just as during the Singer’s life, everyone present at the Singer’s funeral wants to claim him for themselves and the groups they represent. This leaves the reality of who the Singer was permanently lost, never completely knowable.
Themes
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon