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Author Topic: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II  (Read 329512 times)

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2008, 05:16:51 PM »
Chill out, Jess....let's not start a war.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2008, 05:23:42 PM »
Back to the last afternoon: I thnk it works better if they already know they are finishing up for the summer. That introduces the quality of desperation. Just a practical thought - the sheep are more than an hour's ride away, so on the last day they have to break camp. ride off for more than an hour (with mules? Either they take everything with them up to the sheep, or they leave stuff in camp and trek another hour plus back to get them), gather up 1000 ewes and their lambs, get them down the mountain, get them counted, get something to eat in Dubois, get paid out and have their final conversation.

That lot takes a lot of time. I'm inclined to think the word came through, they have a last whatever, the fight happens, Ennis heads up to the sheep for the night, and the whole caravan comes down the next day. Maybe Jack packs while Ennis and the dogs bring them down. FWIW

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2008, 05:28:38 PM »
I kind of thought that too, about the time it would take to haul their butts down the mountain......I am intrigued at the thought of them almost getting caught in flagrant delecto, if indeed, Aguirre sent one of his thugs up to tell them to bring em down.

But..I still feel cozier thinking he met the guy at the bridge, and instead of supplies, got told to come down. I think there is too much angst implied in that last coupling-or near coupling-for them not to be on edge over the impending parting. Just a sense I have. I don't know if it is noteworthy, that it is the afternoon that they are going at it, either. AS R&R says,' if they were doing it six times a day', etc.  ;D


and for anyone needing a break from the heavy discussions, let me invite you to the Heath Planet thread, where there has been posted on the last few pages a series of simply gorgeous BBM, J&E love shots.....

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2008, 05:43:03 PM »
Yes, I feel they HAVE to be aware that it's all over. Otherwise, as I think Des said, it's too much of a coincidence that they fight. And it would completely destroy any argument that it was all about Ennis's swirling confusion a la the film, that many here have supported.

Offline Sandy

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2008, 05:59:28 PM »
Jo,

My point, I guess, is to ask a question, then a follow-up question. Is everything relevant to our understanding of the story of BBM? The answer would have to be yes. The follow-up question would then be, Is everything equally reveleant to the story of BBM. And there I would have to say no. Gene Shallit's interpretation of Jack as a sexual predator probably struck him as relevant at the time, but I believe that interpretation is one that will not hold up under scrutiny. I don't believe, and I don't think anyone here believes, that all opinions/readings of the story are equally valid, at least not from the way we argue over them.  :) So at some point or other, over the course of discussion, we have to consider what we will keep and what we will reject.

Another point of my post is that the further we leave behind the core of the story to fret over the more minute details, the less return we are likely to get on the intellectual capital we're investing in the analysis/discussion of the story. Nothing inherently wrong with this, because that can lead off to new topics altogether, some that have very little to do with BBM. IMO, of course.


Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2008, 08:16:34 PM »
I don't take strong exception to your points, Sandy.....But I think it's been illustrated that some things don't produce concensus, ergo, they bring further discussion. It is not relevant in this setting who thinks which is more valuable, except to each individual, ie, this point or that. We are not all coming from the same place, nor are we doing a project that requires we come to concensus.

One thing I'll say is I doubt we ever lose sight of the core of this story-assuming we all have at least one or two touchstones upon which we agree, ie, that there is damaging homophbobia in Ennis's background; and that Jack and Ennis loved each other.  :)

I think its possible the rest may well be fodder, but its interesting fodder, and I think its a worthy exercise. My opinion.

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2008, 08:25:49 PM »
Yes, I feel they HAVE to be aware that it's all over. Otherwise, as I think Des said, it's too much of a coincidence that they fight. And it would completely destroy any argument that it was all about Ennis's swirling confusion a la the film, that many here have supported.

So you mean, the idea that he punches Jack because he is upset and displaces his pain, rather than targeting Jack for the sudden terror of being q produced by the Earl connection? yes, I see how someone would think that.....but either way, if he gets a knee to the nose, he'll make that association. But what is more telltale, is what brings that knee to that nose, ie, what is going on that suddenly they are uncoordinated-either they are stressed out, or something new is happening between them-maybe both.
Again, I think Ennis remembering it as the last afternoon, is because it is part of his knowledge AT THE TIME it happened, so he is recalling it. And I really think we would not be told anything that was not accurate, when the story is using that memory to produce a moment of truth. For example, he might think it was the last afternoon, only they had no idea at the time...you'd get told that, perhaps, because it would have been a traumatic surprise, after, instead of before.

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2008, 08:32:23 PM »
I would say after careful thought that the reason we keep picking and picking and picking at certain points of the story is that if we rake over those coals long enough we will find an interpretation, a way of phrasing, that will make those who disagree say "Oh! I never thought about it that way! You could at least be right." I do that, I know; I don't presume to speak for everyone, but I think that's likely. It is also interesting intellectually--can we convince ourselves that we are undeniably right? Not always. But we keep looking for the shining moment of surety.

As CSI says, there are only a few basic truths in the story that no one will argue. I would add two to her list: Jack dies, and the finding of the Shirts is a revelation for Ennis.
"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2008, 08:44:19 PM »
ooh, lets make a list..I love lists!!  :D :D :D

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 10:05:45 PM »
I see no problem in people discussing topics ad nauseum. This is self-regulating in a way. If someone posts something and no-one takes it up, it tends to fade away, maybe to be revived later when the moon is in a different house or whatever.

So long as we have moderators to ensure we stay within the rules of the forum then the topics discussed pretty much take care of themselves. I don't think we need to decide which are the most relevant or which are core points or anything else. Everything is a potential discussion point, and individuals have their own reasons to pursue certain lines.

However, querying or impugning a poster's or group of posters' motives or needs to discuss something is off-topic, in my opinion, and not within the spirit of these particular threads. I may choose to put in a note of self-explanation here and there, and I certainly always welcome the personal insights that others have provided, but it is not my right to question someone else on why they feel the way they feel, except as that question applies to their literary interpretation.

I hope this makes sense. The forum ate my previous and better worded post. Such is life.

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 10:09:55 PM »
1. There is damaging homophobia in Ennis' background.
2. Ennis and Jack loved each other.
3. Jack dies.
4. Finding the Shirts is a revelation for Ennis.
5. The DE was the emotional high point of their relationship.
6. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his love for Jack after Jack dies.
7. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his homosexuality after Jack dies.
8. Jack accepted his own sexuality.
9. Ennis spent their entire relationship in denial.
10. Jack's combination of boldness, courage, and love enabled him to start, restart, and hang on to their relationship in the face of huge odds.

This could get really trivial, of course. And there are other points. I'm trying to keep it serious, so I'll stop before I get to Alma or Aguirre.
"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2008, 12:07:59 AM »
I think it's interesting that the topics which there seem to be most objection too (i.e. should this be discussed at all) are often the topics which generate the most discussion!  :D
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2008, 12:10:51 AM »
1. There is damaging homophobia in Ennis' background.
2. Ennis and Jack loved each other.
3. Jack dies.
4. Finding the Shirts is a revelation for Ennis.
5. The DE was the emotional high point of their relationship.
6. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his love for Jack after Jack dies.
7. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his homosexuality after Jack dies.
8. Jack accepted his own sexuality.
9. Ennis spent their entire relationship in denial.
10. Jack's combination of boldness, courage, and love enabled him to start, restart, and hang on to their relationship in the face of huge odds.

This could get really trivial, of course. And there are other points. I'm trying to keep it serious, so I'll stop before I get to Alma or Aguirre.

This is really interesting because I'm thinking this is a summary of the points that we all do agree on, and yet I have some quibbles with some of them.    Not huge disagreement, but just some 'buts'.    Thanks for doing that list.   It's getting me thinking.
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2008, 12:19:58 AM »
The 'last afternoon'.

MA, you said it would take a while to get the sheep - I think meaning that the message couldn't have come after the punch on the last afternoon because there wouldn't be time.   But it could - the message could have come later that day to bring them down the next day, or it could have come the next morning.  (I'm not sure if the mention of the punch on the 'last day' when they're saying goodbye implies that it wasn't the same day). 

CSI, you say you think that message must have been passed at the bridge.   But Ennis (or Jack - we don't know if they switched that role - or do we?  Ennis kept the watch, so I suppose they didn't) only went to the bridge once a week, at noon on Friday.    It's implied that the sheep needed to be brought down quickly - would Aguiirre have waited up to a week for that meeting, or would he just have ridden up (as he did when Uncle Harold was ill) or sent someone up with the message?
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2008, 01:13:45 AM »
Just a general comment on the 'restrictions'.   I've pointed out before that the things we are initially told are ambiguous enough, that we could see them as pointless - that we're just being told about the normal expression of sex between men that age.   But for those who think that that's all they mean, why do you think we are told them?   As I mentioned about other sex (e.g. Jack and Lureen), if there's nothing we need to know about it, we're not told.    So why do you think it's so important that we must know exactly what they did in the FNIT, that they didn't talk about it at all, that they didn't say a word during sex, that it was all quick and rough, etc.     Because what I see is people saying that it could be that way for men that age, but not really explaining why they think we're given that precise detail.   

I also disagree that all quick and rough, etc. is the norm for men this age.   I most of us will at some point (even if it was a while ago) have had lovers that age, or inexperienced lovers - given time (which Jack and Ennis) and lack of inhibitions, they are usually eager and keen to explore.   Maybe personal experience affects your view on this a lot, and maybe I've just been lucky.   But if they're limiting themselves to quick and rough sex, and we know that time and privacy aren't an issue, I think we're left with the lack of inhibitions - they are inhibited.   Now that might be normal in the circumstances - I'm not saying it's not - of two men from that homophobic background who need to prove they are straight, macho men while having sex.    I'm not saying that what they do is particularly weird, because if it was, we wouldn't have accepted it on first reading of the Brokeback time - it's normal enough.   It's also normal enough for Jack to believe that there's the potential of more.   But it's still a restriction - they're inhibited by their need to be masculine and appear straight. 
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)