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Author Topic: First Night in the Tent  (Read 570986 times)

Offline fofol

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Re: First Night in the Tent
« Reply #4170 on: May 19, 2014, 01:34:32 PM »
  Somewhere under the surface there was quite a battle going on to keep those barriers up - right through having sex with, and falling in love with Jack.  But also through the years before, through adolescence and sexual development: Ennis's avoidance must have been practiced - instinctively avoiding certain lines of thought, etc.  I do think the avoidance in FNIT is an extension of that.  I don't think there is any thought process going, just drives. 


   With only an eye to offer a highly personal suggestion, I do believe that children can learn such 'lessons' that they become so internalized they do not ever need to be considered again in a lifetime:  my father learned as a child that 'a man does not cry,' and held that information as such a cardinal rule that when Mom died and he could no longer hold to that hard and fast rule that he learned, very brutally, as a child, that as he cried at Mom's wake and funeral, I heard him tell people he'd been friends with for years that he didn't know them.  When I asked him why he did that he didn't even remember, at first, what he'd done.  Eventually - a month or so later - he did remember and suggested that maybe he didn't want his friends to know that he'd cried!
   The brutality of his lesson came in grade school.  As the only Catholic boy in his class, he had to deal daily with the attitudes of the Ku Klux Klan, from all of his classmates and his teacher (!), and letting them see a boy cry was a weakness that they would further exploit.  (My uncle - who was in another grade in the same school, and a protestant himself, told me that he witnessed Dad's teacher lift him off the ground by the hair of his head and Dad didn't cry.  When my uncle asked Dad about it, Dad's response was that it would have been much worse if he had cried because the teasing would never have stopped.  He had to endure this kind of stuff for eight years, not the acute and terrifying occasion of Ennis' exposure to openly-homosexual Earl's brutalized corpse, of course, but certainly an experience horrendous enough to give him lifetime issues.
he felt he could paw the white out of the moon

Offline Desecra

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Re: First Night in the Tent
« Reply #4171 on: May 20, 2014, 08:21:34 AM »
It's heartbreaking that children are affected in this way.  To be honest, I suspect that ongoing abuse (if you don't mind me calling it that) like your father experienced can be even more damaging than single, traumatic experiences like Ennis's.  There's more chance to get the message across, over time. 
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline fofol

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Re: First Night in the Tent
« Reply #4172 on: May 20, 2014, 11:50:34 AM »
It's heartbreaking that children are affected in this way.  To be honest, I suspect that ongoing abuse (if you don't mind me calling it that) like your father experienced can be even more damaging than single, traumatic experiences like Ennis's.  There's more chance to get the message across, over time. 

I do agree: Mom and Dad were married for over 65 years before she died, and it was her death that inspired him to cry for the first time in eighty years.
he felt he could paw the white out of the moon