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Author Topic: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar  (Read 465335 times)

Offline westexer

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2006, 09:00:13 AM »
I also found it rather puzzling why he has sex with Alma in a way which, we are told in the story, she hates. There is the obvious parallel between his relationship with Jack and that with Alma (and another reason for Alma to suspect the nature of his relationship with Jack), but it seemed rather out of character as, in general (the Thanksgiving scene apart) he seemed reasonably gentle with her . Perhaps he didn't realise she hated it?

I think he probably realised she didn't much care for it, after all the one time we see him turning her over she is trying to stop him.

But - he was in love with Jack, he missed him, missed the sex. I think he missed Jack as much as Jack missed him, and if there was a way he could try and recapture their relationship† then Alma's feelings wouldn't count for much.† Having said that I think if she'd been more assertive about hating it, and made him really appreciate her feelings, he wouldn't have done it.† But she didn't so he carried on.

Well, he treats her as a possession most tha time.  She's expected ta do tha cooikin and cleanin and take care tha kids.  It's really obvious in tha scene where he's droppin tha kids by the grocery and whne Alma's stormin off ta work and Ennis says "Nobody's cookin any supper but you."

Offline Rockbern

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2006, 09:01:43 AM »
It's interesting that Jack being very boisterous,outgoing does not endear him to other people except Ennis.
Actually, this is one of the few problems I have with the movie.† Granted, I'm biased having a great big silly man-crush on Jake Gyllenhaal, but I think Jack is an extraordinarily likable character in the movie.† So it seemed a little artificial that he would suffer so many put-downs and humiliations from virtually everyone.†

Perhaps it may have something to do with Jake saying he played Jack Twist as he would a straight man and is too good looking or even too endearingly romantic.† Although Annie Proulx does not suggest that he was effeminate in any way, he did have curly hair, buck teeth and heavy haunches.†

But he just can't do anything right.† The screen play does include the 'rodeo clown' scene where Jack gets the brush off because the clown senses something 'wrong' about him.† Jack is always ready to please but can never do it.† He is perceived as a 'try hard' with no talent.† Even his wife underminds him when she calls him the best combine machinery salesman they have - only to follow it with "You're the only combine machinery salesman we have."

What I find so endearing about Jack is that he never gives up trying.† He is never put off.† After every put down he always comes back smiling.† †We also need to remember that we see the many and varied sides to Jack's personality where as others only get a two dimensional view of him.

Heaven forbid you should suggest that Jake can't act.† I'd leave town if you are.† You'd be crucified.† I think it's probably your silly man-crush ;o)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 01:20:19 AM by Rockbern »
Our fantasies keep us sane in an incomprehensible, indifferent universe - inevitably, we comprehend them as reality itself.

 
 

helen_uk

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2006, 09:02:41 AM »
I find it impossible to understand how popular Jack Twist's character has become compared to Ennis.

They both seem pretty popular to me.

Offline Rockbern

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2006, 09:17:32 AM »
I find it impossible to understand how popular Jack Twist's character has become compared to Ennis.

They both seem pretty popular to me.

Helen† I notice you're from the UK.† These predominently US boards have Jake's posts [8 pages] and Ennis's [4 pages].† That's double.  I don't understand it.
Our fantasies keep us sane in an incomprehensible, indifferent universe - inevitably, we comprehend them as reality itself.

 
 

helen_uk

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2006, 10:22:13 AM »
I find it impossible to understand how popular Jack Twist's character has become compared to Ennis.

They both seem pretty popular to me.

Helen  I notice you're from the UK.† These predominently US boards have Jake's posts [8 pages] and Ennis's [4 pages].† That's double.† I don't understand it.

And.....?

Maybe there's more to disagree about with Jack's character?  You've posted over on the 'Jack' thread yourself, provoking a lot of response to what you say.  I don't think that the number of posts on a certain thread means either character is more popular than the other.  All it says is that there are more posts on one thread.  Besides, these two threads that you mention are not the only places where the characters are discussed.

Offline scot5636

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2006, 11:03:59 AM »
I'd like to get some responses to another rediculous "what if . . . " scenerio.

If, during those long periods between "high altitude fucks," Ennis were to encounter another ranch hand like Jack, who literally took him by the hand and suggested or offered sex, would Ennis have refused?  Assume that it is a completely safe location for Ennis -- like the isolation on Brokeback Mountain. 

The issue I'm getting at is whether Ennis's dogged loyalty to Jack is a product of fear and lack of opportunity, or is it something deeper.

Discuss.

helen_uk

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2006, 11:14:54 AM »
scot5636,

It took a relatively long time for Jack and Ennis to come to the point where Ennis was ready to explore his feelings for Jack.  Weeks, if not a couple of months.  Theoretically I guess it would be possible, but highly improbable, if not impossible in reality. 

Also, Ennis' "dogged loyalty" is because he loved Jack, and personally I don't think he would have wanted anything to do with anyone else whatsoever anyway, whether the opportunity was there or not.

Offline Island in the Sea

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2006, 11:52:27 AM »

I love this quote about Ennis (from an article on msnbc):

"Ennis resonates because he reminds us of some part of us. Life has such possibilities, and from lack of courage or weariness or outright fear we allow it to shrink us into this small, sad space doing this small, sad thing. Donít look at my face because you might see who I am. The film does what itís supposed to do. Itís specific but itís universal."

Such a succinct analysis of Ennis.


This analysis omits what Ennis would think of himself. I think he would not call himself cowardly or fearful. He would call himself sensible and responsible. He might see himself as a failure, however. The sorrow of Ennis is that he started to play role of a nurturing, responsbile adult without developing adult emotional insights. He is ravaged by emotions that he cannot name and hence looks like a child when these emotions are roused.

Offline RonitR

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2006, 12:49:37 PM »
I'd like to get some responses to another rediculous "what if . . . " scenerio.

If, during those long periods between "high altitude fucks," Ennis were to encounter another ranch hand like Jack, who literally took him by the hand and suggested or offered sex, would Ennis have refused? Assume that it is a completely safe location for Ennis -- like the isolation on Brokeback Mountain.

The issue I'm getting at is whether Ennis's dogged loyalty to Jack is a product of fear and lack of opportunity, or is it something deeper.

That's a good question !.

Was he in it primarily for the sex, or primarily for the love and connection he only had with Jack?

I really don't know. I do know that if Jack was faced with this opportunity, he wouldn't have thought twice. But, that's Jack. He's hungrier for what life has to offer, and also IMO feels that he deserves better than what he actually got.
Ennis, on the other hand, tends to want to "do the right thing" more. Also, I think it's possible that Ennis was troubled by the "Gay" label, and on some level explained it to himself that he wasn't gay, it was just Jack he was attracted to [this is my own silly notion. I cannot prove it in any way. Please don't kill me ].
I really don't know what Ennis would have chosen.

P.S - funny how both guys view sex with another women as something not worth getting bent out of shape over.... ::)

Offline makeitstop

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2006, 02:21:08 PM »
"Ennis resonates because he reminds us of some part of us. Life has such possibilities, and from lack of courage or weariness or outright fear we allow it to shrink us into this small, sad space doing this small, sad thing. Donít look at my face because you might see who I am. The film does what itís supposed to do. Itís specific but itís universal."

I agree.† I very much identify with Ennis's lack of courage as I suspect we all do - to some degree.†

It is his character that I have the most sympathy and empathy for.† Perhaps it says something about me but his Stoicism and inability to express his feelings openly - even to Jack - I find somehow attractive yet tragic at the same time.† I feel I want to cuddle him as one would a child and say "There, there."† He needs a mother.† You want to ease his obvious pain.† †Ennis's repressed, clenched personality serves as a contrasting foil to his few moments of tenderness and vulnerability - when he feels brave enough to face the world† - and heaven.† It is his fear that makes him so deserving of our love.† Unlike Jack, Ennis feels undeserving.†

I would trust Ennis more than I would Jack.† Ennis's word would be his bond.† If he told you something you'd believe it - though not if you were Alma.

Ennis's moments of openness and vulnerability appear to get less and less as time goes by.† We are unaware of any closeness that goes on inside or outside the tent as they age, apart from a shot of them both asleep, huddled together inside the tent, Ennis's arm slung over Jack.† The 'dosing on your feet like a horse' [?] scene seems to be a long time ago when they were much younger.† It appears to be a rather rare event, hence Jack's reverie of it.

Jack, on the otherhand, would tell you what he thought you wanted to hear, if he wanted you to like him.† It was very atypical of him to stand up to his father-in-law the way he did.† It shocked everyone present.† It pained him to do it.† Jack has a sense that his needs [including his feelings and emotions] must be met and does what he can to meet them - not always successfully.†

Given the above views of these two men, I find it impossible to understand how popular Jack Twist's character has become compared to Ennis.† Anyone care to explain?






I totally agree with everything you say here.  Just an amazing discription of both Ennis and Jack and I think it gets right to the bottom line of who each are.

One theory I have of why Jack is so much more popular is that he is so much less complicated then Ennis and therefor much easier for people to relate to and understand.  Just my theory but I think it is an interesting question and would love to hear more theories.

patroclus

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2006, 03:11:56 PM »
Also, I think it's possible that Ennis was troubled by the "Gay" label, and on some level explained it to himself that he wasn't gay, it was just Jack he was attracted to [this is my own silly notion. I cannot prove it in any way. Please don't kill me ].

It's not a 'silly notion' at all. Don't know if you've read the story but in the motel scene there is a lot more dialogue than in the film and Ennis is much more self-revealing, including: "You know, I was sittin up here all that time trying to figure out if I was...? I know I ain't. I mean here we both got wives and kids, right? I like doin it with women, yeah, but Jesus H, ain't nothin like this. I never had no thoughts a doin it with another guy except I sure wrang it out a hunderd times thinkin about you. You do it with other guys? Jack?"

Seems you're spot on!

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2006, 04:05:40 PM »
I think Ennis IS fearful (but in a manner that is practical; after all, our fears are often healthy emotions that keep us from doing really stupid things). I do not think Ennis is cowardly in any way.

I think Jack is more popular becuase we all want to be like Jack (or who is it we perceive Jack to be, becasue IMO, the Jack of our perceptions is not the Jack of reality--I will expound later when I have more time).  We want to think we have the ability to live our lives to the fullest in spite of our fears, that we would throw all caution to the wind for love.

You might notice Ennis is also the most maligned of the two characters. Most of us, it seems, has something bad to say about Ennis, but fewer of us have anything bad to say about Jack. We see in Ennis a complex human being with human failings. We tend to want to romaticize Jack and have him be the perfect man we all want to be, so we won't allow that humanness in him.

IMO, the reality is that most of us know we are more like Ennis than Jack even though Jack is the romantic hero. I think it pisses us off a bit at ourselves or saddens us. However, I think in the end, Ennis is not such a bad guy and that we might be selling ourselves short.

Mr. Wrong

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2006, 05:19:15 PM »
"I do not think Ennis is cowardly in any way."


Pete,† When it comes† to decisions† about the most important thing in his life(Jack) Ennis is totally motivated by shame and FEAR. He never overcomes that really until after Jack has died.Does that make him a coward? Well, all I have to say is ---"a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. "

Jason

« Last Edit: February 01, 2006, 05:42:08 PM by Mr. Wrong »

Mr. Wrong

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2006, 05:27:15 PM »
"IMO, the reality is that most of us know we are more like Ennis than Jack even though Jack is the romantic hero. I think it pisses us off a bit at ourselves or saddens us. However, I think in the end, Ennis is not such a bad guy and that we might be selling ourselves short."


Now I totally agree with the above statement. I really identify with Ennis. We come from the same type of background. I live in a small town in a small conservative state and believe me it is no picnic! I guess that is why I have such an anger toward Ennis because I see someone like me who is also Gay and he's sooo afraid. I'm scared sometimes too but there comes a point where you have to take a stand. I know it would have been hard for Ennis in 1963 but 1983? Come on.

Jason
PS
And where I live it sometimes feels like 1963 but I'm trying hard to live my life.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2006, 05:59:42 PM by Mr. Wrong »

Offline BeL

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2006, 07:37:09 PM »
IMO, the reality is that most of us know we are more like Ennis than Jack even though Jack is the romantic hero. I think it pisses us off a bit at ourselves or saddens us. However, I think in the end, Ennis is not such a bad guy and that we might be selling ourselves short.

"How dangerous we, cowards, can be," said my friend Meri after her second Brokeback Experience, even more devastating for her than her first. 

I've been reading comments about popularity, and well, I don't really get the concept of Ennis being less popular or more popular than Jack, though it's obvious that we can relate better to one or another. To me, they are Ying and Yang. I personally love and understand Jack and love and understand Ennis. And I love the way they complemented each other, fears and all.

Is Ennis a coward? mm...I would say yes...and no.  I mean, fears, deep fears, are a terrible thing. We suffer not because we can't overcome something outside, but because we can't overcome ourselves. And few things are worse that the knowledge that you are wasting time/love/chances because of you and only you.   I can totally understand Ennis situation... as much as a straight 26 year old girl can. 

Of course he's not such a bad guy at all. He just can't help it, as we just can't help some of our fears, and take us a lot of time and suffering to overcome them, in the best of the cases. I agree with you, Mr. Wrong. There is a point when you must take a stand. But every one is different, and what takes me a week may take you a decade, or viceversa  :)

Ennis has flaws, but I can't help but love him and suffer because of his own suffering. And that applies to ourselves, too. ^_^