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Author Topic: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar  (Read 480794 times)

Offline blairski

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2006, 08:44:59 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.

Discuss.

Perchance it's my romantic nature, but... No.  I think Ennis is wholly in love with Jack, and Jack alone.  I agree with a lot of what's been said here about Ennis' sense of responsibility and downright trustworthiness, and also his self-image as someone who is not queer, as important factors as to why he would not have gotten together with another man.  But I think the real reason is that he isn't really interested in anyone else at all.  Jack completed him.

Offline RonitR

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #61 on: February 02, 2006, 12:21:29 AM »

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!
Quote

Thanks for that quote from the book!

I read the short story on-line, and am Going to re-read it.That's really interesting.

BTW - isn't this just the most beautiful acknowledgment on Ennis's part?
He seems  so unaware of his feelings, and yet completely honest.

he doesn't want to be labled as "Gay", and yet he tells Jack exactly how he feels about him ("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." ).

That takes courage - especially in 1967 Wyoming !. It's also touching how he exposes himself completely to Jack.


Offline RonitR

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2006, 12:30:07 AM »
Oh, and another thing (I'll shut up soon, I promise.. ;) )

Does anyone else think that his marriage to Alma did Ennis some good (until the reunion with Jack?)

Remember Ennis's  painfully shy body language , when we first see him at Agra's office ? How Jack leans so confidently on his truck, and Ennis just shrinks into himself, trying to look invisible.

And then at the reunion, 4 years later, his body language (IMO) shows Ennis feels like "the king of his castle" at his home. He shows confidence. And, when Jack finally gets there, Ennis absolutely takes control of the situation. He smiles (!) jumping down the stairs to Jack, he pushes Jack to the side and kisses him, and at the end of this gorgeous scene, he breaks away from Jack, stops Jack from carressing him, than gives Jack a last,  really confident touch, tucks his shirt in, and then practically struts upstairs.

To me, Ennis really came into his own in these four years...


Offline lektronnorth

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2006, 01:40:01 AM »
Oh, and another thing (I'll shut up soon, I promise.. ;) )

Does anyone else think that his marriage to Alma did Ennis some good (until the reunion with Jack?)

Remember Ennis's  painfully shy body language , when we first see him at Agra's office ? How Jack leans so confidently on his truck, and Ennis just shrinks into himself, trying to look invisible.

And then at the reunion, 4 years later, his body language (IMO) shows Ennis feels like "the king of his castle" at his home. He shows confidence. And, when Jack finally gets there, Ennis absolutely takes control of the situation. He smiles (!) jumping down the stairs to Jack, he pushes Jack to the side and kisses him, and at the end of this gorgeous scene, he breaks away from Jack, stops Jack from carressing him, than gives Jack a last,  really confident touch, tucks his shirt in, and then practically struts upstairs.

To me, Ennis really came into his own in these four years...



Hmmmm.  But look at him immediately before when he is wondering whether Jack will turn up. (The story says because he doesn't know when Jack's going to arrive, Ennis has taken the entire day off......). He's restless, crushed in on himself, continually smoking and drinking, and looking mournful. I'm sure he thinks that Jack's not going to turn up.
And then he hears the pick up truck............
"Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a YEAR..."

Offline valkyrie

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2006, 01:49:30 AM »
Hi Folks, Day has come to Norway and I am all into this forum. (Can't help myself).
I find Ennis touches me deeply on an existential level, even more than Jack. Ennis fear and pain seems so deep-rooted that I see it as touching his very sense of self. He traps himself in his tight-compressed body, not allowing too much of him to come out. But Jacks brings Ennis out: look at how free and receiving he let himself be in the second tent scene, the reunion kiss, their romping around in the nature like to young stallions.
That is Ennis's polar (opposite) quality. I believe everybody has their own inner ying and yang on all emotional levels. If a person is very hung-up, non-flexible and taut, she or he has also great capacity for a complete sense of freedom and joy.(I know on a personal level and also that it is one of our greatest tools in psychotherap to bring out the polar quality). Jack is instrumental in bringing Ennis out so he gives himself so freely, and in turn Jack can do the same to Ennis, providing they are alone (...out here in the middle of nowhere, as Ennis one time states). They both bring out their inner 'ying and yang' in each other, and that makes their love so deep and complete. That I think, is one of the great factors that makes their love so enduring, even after 20 years amids all the obstacles.

I am very curious to hear your opinion: what do you think Jack sees in Ennis that makes him love the man so much? And still after so many years can say with raw emotions: "the truth is, that sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it...". (It's hard even to write this sentence, it touches me so deep).

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2006, 01:21:12 PM »
"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. ^_^"

You know you are right. I think I have been too judgemental when it comes to Ennis because of our similar backgrounds. He really is not a coward. I think I said that because I'm so mad at him for what happens to Jack. Do you remember the scene at the July 4th picnic when he stands up to those bikers?He was there for his family. When I envision that scene I think of the scene of the men killing Jack and I wish that Ennis could have been there for Jack too. I've been re-reading the posts about Ennis in this thread and the Truck thread  and I want to say  I've seen my error in trying to pin Ennis down as one thing or the other. Thanks Everyone. I guess I really can  be Mr. Wrong sometimes. :D
Jason

Offline lacy8753

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2006, 03:00:06 PM »
Ennis is terribly angry. He never dealt with his parents' death. Depression is anger turned inwards. He's depressed for most of the movie. He's in worse shape than Jack because at least Jack has come to terms with who he is. Ennis is a homophobe till the bitter end. He is never able to acknowledge that part of himself. He never learned any communication  skills so when he's thwarted, he just lashes out. He always looks like he's expecting the worst.

Offline PALeben

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2006, 03:01:08 PM »
I think that their love endures and remains so intense for several reasons. When they frist meet they are both 19 year old boys who have had to face growing up without real approval from an unloving or missing father and have to grow up and become"men" rather fast. Jack has (at least you get the feeling in the film) a loving mother who has perhaps instilled in him that outgoing love that we admire. Ennis on the other hand lost his mother and has reached 19 with what little nurturing two syblings struggeling to survive can give him. 

When the two meet on Brokeback Mountain and gain each others trust and affection, they are soulmates. Their characters are in some ways opposites, but yet they complement and complete each other. For once they are whole, happy and the world is in order. They both realize that after the summer is over and over the course of time. That one summer of a perfect world, isolated from the realities off the mountain remains with them forever and binds them.

The fact that they only get back together after four years intensifies that feeling and binds them closer. The pattern of only seeing each other every few months also allows them to hold on to that memory and the intense feelings because they aren't together constantly. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

In the end though I think it because they really are soulmates who complete each other. That is also why I agree with some others here that Ennis would not have taken any opportunities with other men. His experiences made him that more loyal to Jack.

Just some ideas toss around. Like others here too, I identify with Ennis. In fact a family member told me that he knew I would identify with him, because I am him without the violence. I would like to think however, that I also have a little of Jack in me. I have been visiting the site for weeks, but just yesterday had the courage to post.
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Offline lektronnorth

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2006, 03:46:36 PM »

In the end though I think it because they really are soulmates who complete each other. That is also why I agree with some others here that Ennis would not have taken any opportunities with other men. His experiences made him that more loyal to Jack.

Just some ideas toss around. Like others here too, I identify with Ennis. In fact a family member told me that he knew I would identify with him, because I am him without the violence. I would like to think however, that I also have a little of Jack in me. I have been visiting the site for weeks, but just yesterday had the courage to post.


Pleased you did - welcome, we're a friendly, if slightly obsessed lot......
Ennis wouldn't have taken any opportunities with other men. He "ain't queer". He says it once, but acts on it all the time. Being queer, if found out, means the tire iron - his Dad made sure he realised that. This thing with Jack is just what he calls it "this thing grabs hold of us".
This guy hurts. As people have said, he practically climbs up INTO his stetson to hide when he's tellingJack he can't get away until November in the final scene of them together.
And I'm more Ennis than Jack.....but I'm trying not to be so much...... 
"Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a YEAR..."

Offline Island in the Sea

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2006, 07:21:59 PM »

He doesn't want to be labled as "Gay", and yet he tells Jack exactly how he feels about him ("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." ).

That takes courage - especially in 1967 Wyoming !. It's also touching how he exposes himself completely to Jack.


Important point you make.  Ennis does not hate himself or Jack for being attracted to each other or for having sex with each other. He has not internalized is homophobia to that extent. He does, however, fear homophobic violence from others.

Offline RonitR

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2006, 03:19:52 AM »

 I have been visiting the site for weeks, but just yesterday had the courage to post.

HeyaPALeben, greetings from another newbie. This is a really fun place (and the ONLY place where people don't look at me funny for wanting to discuss the movie 24/7  :))

and also -

Ennis does not hate himself or Jack for being attracted to each other or for having sex with each other. He has not internalized is homophobia to that extent. He does, however, fear homophobic violence from others.


I can't  blame him for fearing  homophobic violence from others. See what (probably) happened to Jack.
And its not just the violence - its the contempt he would have been held, if people knew. Think of Agguira's disgusted look, and telling Jack he wouldn't hire him again. Think of Alma's reaction ("Jack nasty"). Not to mention his own father's teaching.

At that time, being gay was considered disgusting, and I think Ennis would have rather died, than let Alma Jr. and Jenny know their daddy is gay.

That being said - I also think that Ennis coped with his love for Jack by NOT labeling himself as gay, even to himself. IMHO, Ennis thought of himself as a regular, straight guy, who just happened to love Jack and had sex with Jack - but with no other man.

But I don't think he resigned himself to being gay either - which, I think is part of the reason he wouldn't live openly with Jack. The times were hard, it was dangerous, and I am not judging - just stating an observation. Jack was willing to do it. The old couple from Ennis's childhood did it (and paid a heavy price). But he chose not to, partly, because, to my mind, he couldn't resign himself to who and what he really was.
That's one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the movie, to me. I think Ennis began the road to acceptance only once Jack had been so brutally taken away from him.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 03:26:12 AM by RonitR »

Offline andy/Claude

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2006, 01:05:04 PM »
Hey folks
I just posted a word or two on another board that I feel is more appropriate here. How do I get it here please?
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Offline lektronnorth

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2006, 01:29:41 PM »
Hey folks
I just posted a word or two on another board that I feel is more appropriate here. How do I get it here please?

No idea, other than the good old "copy and paste" routine.
While I'm on......


What's all this about Ennis and smoothing down the back of his shirt?  Nothing in the book about it, as far as I can recall. Is this a Heath Ledger trait, or is it more than that?  As I've now watched the film more times than I'd admit to anyone other than a psychologist, I've noticed that whenever there's a crucial moment in the movie, there is Ennis, smoothing the back of his shirt down.
It's almost like Pulp Fiction - whenever something's about to happen one of the main characters, usually John Travolta, goes to the mens' room.  Whenever something's going to happen to Ennis, there he is, smoothing the back of his shirt. 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 04:50:55 PM by lektronnorth »
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Offline PALeben

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2006, 01:44:28 PM »
RonitR and lektronorth - Thanks for the welcome and greetings to you as well.

Many of us do seem to be fascinated and a bit obsessed with the book, movie and the characters. I have been around for while, but this is the first time that I really feel like I know characters in a movie and feel for them so much. Perhaps that is because we have some of them in us or know people like them.

The movie haunts me sometimes and I'm off to see it again after work today. You always seem to observe their characters and notice more each time you see it. I will be watching for Ennis to smooth down his shirt today.
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Offline DaveinPhilly

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Ennis Del Mar
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2006, 02:51:29 PM »
He does smooth down the back of his shirt - sort of a nervous bit of attention to his appearance. Unexpected in a rough, simple guy, but endearing nonetheless. I think it shows him having a tiny bit of self esteem...
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