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 escape violence, and also the only place where people from opposing political parties mingle together, with gangsters, politicians, aristocrats, musicians, and celebrities all rubbing shoulders together. The house is an oasis of calm and a symbol of hope of what Jamaica could be if it were no longer plagued by conflict and violence. Of course, the optimism encapsulated by the house is closely related to that inspired by the Singer himself. The Singer grew up in the ghetto yet chooses to shun violence, instead focusing on messages of black power, unity, and love. While in this sense he at times seems like a unique individual completely at odds with the rest of the country, his house serves as a reminder that he is not the only Jamaican who wants to unite the country and create positive change. The other characters who show up at the house––even if they are not as committed to peace as the Singer––are at least able to momentarily put aside their differences and envision a better existence.
Yet this optimism is irrevocably tarnished when Josey Wales and his gang descend on the Singer’s house and shoot everyone inside. Suddenly, the Singer’s house is no longer a place of peace and neutrality, but just another part of Kingston afflicted by violence and instability. This corresponds to the Singer’s new attitude of suspicion and unease in the wake of the shooting. On the other hand, there is something remarkable about the fact that every person in the house survives the shooting, particularly given that Josey and his crew are some of the most infamously lethal gangsters in Jamaica. The shocking survival of the shooting victims suggests that the Singer’s house has an almost magical power to repel violence and protect its inhabitants.
The Singer’s House Quotes in A Brief History of Seven Killings
I remember when that was the only place any man, no matter what side you on, could escape a bullet. The only place in Kingston where the only thing that hit you was music. But the fucking people soil it up with bad vibes, better if they did just go into the studio one morning and shit all over the console, me no going say who.