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 Symbols

The Singer’s House

At the beginning of the novel, the Singer’s house––fittingly located at 56 Hope Road––is a symbol of peace, unity, and optimism. Papa-Lo explains that it is the only place in Kingston where people can…

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The Smile Jamaica Concert (a.k.a the Peace Concert)

The Smile Jamaica Concert is another symbol of peace and unity associated with the Singer. Organized in response to the chaotic violence that takes place in the lead-up to the 1976 election, the concert…

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Guns

Guns are ubiquitous in the world of the novel, highlighting the totally pervasive violence of life in the Kingston ghetto (and then, later in the novel, in New York City). As weapons that allow people…

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Cocaine

The novel is set across the period in which cocaine use became increasingly common in the Americas, beginning in the 1970s and stretching into the 1990s. This growth in popularity vastly increased the wealth and…

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Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica. Ackee is a fruit indigenous to West Africa that was taken to Jamaica while the country was a British imperial slave colony. The transportation of ackee…

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