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Author Topic: At Jack's Parents  (Read 371329 times)

Offline David

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2006, 11:59:17 AM »
Marius, I agree. I think John Twist was a bitter, compromised old man whose primary concern was that he was not going to get any help with his ranch. I don't believe for a minute any of his comments were directed at hurting Ennis or pointing out anything in particular. John Twist only thought of himself, and his thinking certainly did not run very deep.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline bb

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2006, 12:55:15 PM »

I struggled with this one too! I just can't picture that conversation happening between Jack and his father. Unless Jack's dad gave him trouble over abandoning the ranch (being the only son and all), and Jack, to ward him off on a few different levels, promised to bring Ennis and later Randall to help run the place. Which would explain part of John Twist's bitterness about Jack's plans never coming to pass - partly because they didn't, and partly because if they had happened as Jack wanted, that situation wouldn't have been to his father's liking either.

This is what I'm thinking also - from the text: The old man spoke angrily. "I can't get no help out here."  No, not if you're a mean old son of a ***, as I'm sure was very well known around town from that remark.  I think Jack loved to dream he could have a good relationship with his father and was hopeful every time he visited, but probably could take no more than a week at a time, and reality set in.  Gosh, just realized this is starting to sound like Jack and Ennis....

Offline David

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2006, 01:07:45 PM »

I struggled with this one too! I just can't picture that conversation happening between Jack and his father. Unless Jack's dad gave him trouble over abandoning the ranch (being the only son and all), and Jack, to ward him off on a few different levels, promised to bring Ennis and later Randall to help run the place. Which would explain part of John Twist's bitterness about Jack's plans never coming to pass - partly because they didn't, and partly because if they had happened as Jack wanted, that situation wouldn't have been to his father's liking either.

This is what I'm thinking also - from the text: The old man spoke angrily. "I can't get no help out here."  No, not if you're a mean old son of a ***, as I'm sure was very well known around town from that remark.  I think Jack loved to dream he could have a good relationship with his father and was hopeful every time he visited, but probably could take no more than a week at a time, and reality set in.  Gosh, just realized this is starting to sound like Jack and Ennis....

You hit the nail on the head. There is so much subtext with Jack's father, it makes one's head swim: In the short story it says that Jack came up every year to help his father; Jack undoubtedly wanted to emulate his father's bull-riding success, hopefully to be accepted by him; and he talked of moving back up to the ranch to live. One reviewer noted that Jack was attracted to a brooding, violent man like his father. Interesting fodder for thought.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline David

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2006, 01:10:47 PM »
Regarding the shirts: those shirts were in that closet for 20 years. Ennis may never have found them had he not gone to Jack's parents. Jack didn't know he would be killed. I think that is what completely overwhelms us with that scene: the accidental discovery by Ennis of how much and for how long Jack loved him.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline Pug

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2006, 02:38:18 PM »
The feeling in Jack's bedroom was so haunting; a whisper of his life growing up. Somehow when watching that scene, I hope it was all a dream and that Jack is alive.....
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Offline pdxbennett

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2006, 06:02:58 PM »
It is ironic that Ennis's ability to love anyone including Jack was as stripped as Jack's childhood room.  That room was bare bones with just enough to survive but nothing more to really live on. 

The last time I saw this movie was early morning on a Saturday with mostly older white straight couples.  When Ennis found and kissed the shirts there was an older lady not far from me who just lost it.  Her ragged breath just underscored what the rest of us was feeling. 

The other side to this scene is Jack's mother.  Most mothers know their children.  Mine certainly did.  Jack's mother knew who and what her son was.  She was the kind of mother who could raise her son to be open and decent despite the evil asshole she married.   Jack's mother knew what was in the closet.  This is why she sent Ennis up.  She had the bag ready and told him to come back.  She was trying to hold onto a piece of her son.

Offline Dal

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2006, 07:47:39 PM »


The last time I saw this movie was early morning on a Saturday with mostly older white straight couples.  When Ennis found and kissed the shirts there was an older lady not far from me who just lost it.  Her ragged breath just underscored what the rest of us was feeling. 


My guess, she was remembering hugging and inhaling thru some old shirt, too, just like Ennis.  When my kid brother died unexpectedly a few years ago, the duty of going to his place and gathering his stuff fell to me.  Closetful of shirts, and I had seen him in a lot of them.  Every one the same size as him, the same shape... I grabbed one just like Ennis, caressed, inhaled hoping anything at all was left, crying rivers....  Years later, when I came across the "discovery of the shirts" passage in Proulx' story, I realized many people must do the same thing, if two (I and Proulx or her informant) had done so. 

Or not -- guess the scene is touching enough to set off waterworks, without that specific detail of personal resonance!

Dal
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Offline Dal

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2006, 08:24:30 PM »
It is ironic that Ennis's ability to love anyone including Jack was as stripped as Jack's childhood room.  That room was bare bones with just enough to survive but nothing more to really live on.  [.....]

Ouch!  Poor Jack found some comfort in E's arms that first summer -- pity he had to keep trying to take it further, for even more years than he'd lived in that impoverished room. 

Loved the room in the movie.  Seen a few like it in West Texas.  The room's hot in the story; in the flick, Ennis opens the window, to reveal... nothing.  Very claustrophobic. 

Quote
Jack's mother knew what was in the closet.  This is why she sent Ennis up.  She had the bag ready and told him to come back.  She was trying to hold onto a piece of her son.

In the middle of nowhere with that old man, no one to share her grief... what a life.  Jack's visits were the highlights of the year for 20 years, that's for sure. 

In the story, Ma Twist is "careful in her movements as though recovering from an operation."  Maybe she's just arthritic... or maybe Proulx is telling us the old lady still sobs so much around the house that her tummy is sore? 

Dal





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Offline Danny

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2006, 09:35:12 PM »
I like the thoughts of John Twist being a selfish man and being mad at Jack for running off and leaving the farm, "being the only son and all" but In the beginning of this someone mentioned Jack being "Run Off" as when he asked Ennis "Did your parents run you off!?"  John Twist being a coniving type of man surely wouldnt have "Run Jack off" but probably guilted him in to staying while making his life there miserable all at the same time.  Misery loves company you know.

Also, what stems John Twists contempt for Jack and maybe even his wife if that is what we believe to be the case?  How about his young rodeo cowboy days of fun, fancy free life being cut short by a pregnant girlfriend that he is forced to marry out of respect and decency which was the "duty of that day and time"  Maybe he takes that out on Jack and blames him for some loss of his own youth.  Being forced to settle down and provide, although im sure because of his personality, he feels the responsibility to do so.

And while we're giving food for thought... Everyone thinks Randall is hitting on Jack for a good time.  Randall is NEW in town and has a NEW job.  What if Randall is "PUT UP" by some people to find out if Jack has some gay tendencies and he feels compelled to oblige in order to show that he can be a "team player" in the good ole boy club and earn a seat in the saloon.  There are many opinions on in the end wether or not what Lureen tells Ennis is the truth and Ennis imagines the worst when he hears it, or is Lureen trying to be compassionate and not tell the bad thing that actually DID happen. (JAck being tire ironed to death)  If he was tire ironed for his "tendencies"... how did they find out?  Was it because of Randalls advances being accepted?  If someone knows for sure on the death, please let me know.  Even if Lureens dad didnt like Jack, he WAS the father of his grandson... 
"'watchin Lureen punch numbers in her addin machine till she gets more zero's, her eyes gettin smaller and smaller, its like watchin a rabbit tryin to squeeze down a snake hole with a coyote on its tail.."

Offline mwiersma

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2006, 08:30:07 AM »
I think it's problematic to lump Jack's mother and father together when you ask the "they" questions, because they are polar opposites when it comes to the issue of Jack's sexuality and Jack & Ennis's relationship.

Jack's mother is a kind, compassionate woman who accepted her son's sexuality and paid Ennis the respect afforded a grieving spouse because she appreciated that her son had been loved.

In contrast, Jack's father was a hateful man whose disdain for his son's sexuality and his relationship with Ennis was abundantly clear.

It's interesting to speculate (much information) about Jack's parents, and especially his father.  I suspect it is more likely that Jack's father was "in between" the good, charitable version of his intentions (angry because Ennis couldn't make Jack happy) and the S.O.B. version, which would, if fully developed, have certainly removed or destroyed the shirt years ago and would probably not even speak to Ennis.  (Maybe spat at him instead of in front of him.)  Jack's (probably long-suffering mother) is less mysterious, but no less heart-wrenching. 

I think Father Twist was probably sad and disappointed with his son, his personal condition, and the condition of his farm, which was probably the (pathetic) culmination of his life's work.  Everything seems to have disappointed him.  I didn't get the feeling that he would have kicked Jack and Ennis out if they decided to help him, so probably the gay thing was less tragic than the deteriorating farm thing. 

I think that Jack's parents, Ennis, and everybody else in the film that loved Jack (and probably most of us!) loved Jack as best they could, even though it probably wasn't enough.  This is one of the central themes of the film and story.

Offline DaveL

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2006, 10:37:03 AM »
mwiersma, you are correct.  In the "wake" scene, many viewers lack life experience.  They haven't lost a child; they haven't lost a parent.  There are different dynamics in those circumstances.  I noted in earlier posts, evidence suggests J is an only child, and this in itself is a distinguishing point in the perceptions of the three characters in the "wake". 
"Ennis del Mar wakes before five....The shirts hanging on a nail shudder slightly in the draft..It could be bad on the highway with the horsetrailer.He has to be packed and away from the place that morning...The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies...."

Offline aintnoreins

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2006, 07:55:22 PM »

It's interesting to speculate (much information) about Jack's parents, and especially his father.  I suspect it is more likely that Jack's father was "in between" the good, charitable version of his intentions (angry because Ennis couldn't make Jack happy) and the S.O.B. version, which would, if fully developed, have certainly removed or destroyed the shirt years ago and would probably not even speak to Ennis.  (Maybe spat at him instead of in front of him.)  Jack's (probably long-suffering mother) is less mysterious, but no less heart-wrenching. 

I think Father Twist was probably sad and disappointed with his son, his personal condition, and the condition of his farm, which was probably the (pathetic) culmination of his life's work.  Everything seems to have disappointed him.  I didn't get the feeling that he would have kicked Jack and Ennis out if they decided to help him, so probably the gay thing was less tragic than the deteriorating farm thing.

this is a really interesting reading of jack's father to me - while it doesn't line up entirely with what we know of his father in the book (that one scene from jack's childhood comes to mind), it does allow for his maturing...

and it does explain some of his behavior towards ennis. john twist is curious, i think, about who else his son had tried to find love with, and maybe wants to hurt him a little for various reasons, but mainly out of a kind of rage and spite that may well have little to do with ennis himself and more with what you described.

thanks for the food for thought... now i want to see that scene again...
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Offline scot5636

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2006, 01:13:38 PM »
I grabbed one just like Ennis, caressed, inhaled hoping anything at all was left, crying rivers....  Years later, when I came across the "discovery of the shirts" passage in Proulx' story, I realized many people must do the same thing, if two (I and Proulx or her informant) had done so. 

Or not -- guess the scene is touching enough to set off waterworks, without that specific detail of personal resonance!

Dal

I think a lot of us have done something like that.  I met my partner 18 years ago at an east coast college.  Two months later, I had to move to Los Angeles for a summer job, and he couldn't follow.  I took one of his shirts with me (one that he'd just worn).  That's why I knew Ennis' shirt would turn up again after Brokeback.  Still wasn't prepared for it when Ennis pulls the shirts out from Jack's closet.

Offline shonuff07

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2006, 11:31:36 PM »
  I took one of his shirts with me (one that he'd just worn).  That's why I knew Ennis' shirt would turn up again after Brokeback.  Still wasn't prepared for it when Ennis pulls the shirts out from Jack's closet.

   I knew Jack took it too.....as soon as Ennis said " Can't believe I left  my shirt up there " and Jack says ( with the " can't believe that  either " look )....." Yeah ".......I said ....Jack took it...


But even knowing that.........I'd completely forgotten that fact...and was not ready for the shirts in the closet scene.........went right thru me......!


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Offline shonuff07

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Re: Scene: At Jack's Parents
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2006, 11:41:51 PM »
Marius, I agree. I think John Twist was a bitter, compromised old man whose primary concern was that he was not going to get any help with his ranch. I don't believe for a minute any of his comments were directed at hurting Ennis or pointing out anything in particular. John Twist only thought of himself, and his thinking certainly did not run very deep.
                         I agree also, Jack's dad is disappointed only in the state of his property.....Never once spoke about missing Jack....just what Jack & Ennis missed out on doing......Helping him with his farm.....And so naturally, he keeps
 talking about Jack's plans about whippin his farm into shape....the fact that it was another guy coming other than Ennis doesn't mean a thing to this old man.......He's just upset that now, none of it from any man ( help for  his farm ) will come to pass...........

& I agree....Jack certainly did seem to find a man, much like his Dad....That was a really good observation.......tough, brooding  man focused mostly on self, yet....getting very Little done for self......Ennis & Jack's Dad are similar in this regard.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2006, 11:58:23 PM by shonuff07 »
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