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Author Topic: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II  (Read 342161 times)

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2008, 01:18:44 AM »
They didn't talk a lot during sex. How many nineteen year old boys are really in tune with their feelings? How many nineteen year old boys really have heart to hearts about how they feel about those who engage their affections?

Lots - just have a browse round livejournal or similar ;).   But that point is not that they don't have hearts to hearts and dissect the relationship, or that they don't talk much during sex, but they don't talk at all about the relationship - they don't even acknowledge that they're having sex at all, verbally AND they don't talk at all during sex - not a goddamn word, except for Ennis's warning and Jack jumping in. 

I'm not sure whether to answer your other points - I have a feeling you're trying to wind me up ;).
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2008, 02:43:24 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). 


No, I was just throwing that into the mix. I don't know that we truly know which came first, the fight or the instruction, but my instinct tells me the instruction to bring down the sheep came first. It just feels right.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2008, 02:54:07 AM »
They didn't talk a lot during sex. How many nineteen year old boys are really in tune with their feelings? How many nineteen year old boys really have heart to hearts about how they feel about those who engage their affections?


If it's so common for 19yo boys to say little of any sense about or during sex, then why would AP bother to tell us? As has been pointed out, she doesn't tell us about, for example, the sex life of Jack and Lureen; we can deduce that it was unremarkably ordinary, or at least that it did not impinge on the story of Jack and Ennis. Instead she specifically makes the point about the lack of talking, and that lack of talking raises its head throughout the story. Jack wants to talk, Ennis doesn't talk, until at last the years of things unsaid and now unsayable rise up around them. The point is made - they did not talk about the things that mattered, and this began with FNIT. It's a consistent theme, which is why I find it strange that this one occasion in FNIT should be queried. When they were 39 years old, they should surely have been able to talk to each other? But they don't. That silence was imposed back on Brokeback. It was one of Ennis's restrictions. (I don't suppose Jack was keen on silence, even if he wasn't good at heart to hearts.)

So some things were are told directly (and we ignore them at out peril, unless, of course, we feel that they are of no consequence  ;) ) and other things are hinted at, and a whole bunch of stuff isn't mentioned at all in any way, either directly or indirectly. It's only with this last bunch that I feel I am free to make whatever deductions seem reasonable. With the others I try to understand the author's intentions.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2008, 03:08:56 AM »



Ooops! Is this a list of things we are in agreement on? Ummmm.......My responses in bold.

1. There is damaging homophobia in Ennis' background.   yes
2. Ennis and Jack loved each other.      yes
3. Jack dies.    apparently  :D
4. Finding the Shirts is a revelation for Ennis.   yes
5. The DE was the emotional high point of their relationship.   While I agree in a simple way, I think it's more complex than this statement. It's Jack's POV we get and we never know how Ennis felt with any clarity. They led separate and difficult lives but do we know this was Ennis's high point? I think AP is getting the point across that they BOTH experienced difficulties while apart, but she doesn't exactly say the DE was Ennis's high point. He wasn't into the emotional side - not consciously anyway, so it wouldn't have meant as much to him. I suspect those magic hours in the motel might have been more like it, or the summer of sex before the downfall.
6. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his love for Jack after Jack dies. Sort of
7. Ennis comes to an acceptance of his homosexuality after Jack dies. No. I don't think we are told this at all.
8. Jack accepted his own sexuality. yes
9. Ennis spent their entire relationship in denial. yes
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. Yes, but his ingrained need to "get it right" also played a huge part. He might have had more realistic expectations if he hadn't been driven by that urge.

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.

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2008, 06:03:37 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.
Bolded is VERY intriguing...... ;D

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2008, 06:08:36 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?
I don't know, really.....I just think its the totality of what I see as the 'evidence' leaning towards them knowing about the come-down prior to the punch. Do you see a smoking gun that leads you to thinking it happened before? I am guessing at this point, we are all wading thru perceived ambiguity...I just never saw it as ambiguous, but I'd be THRILLED to have someone point something out that more or less shows it. I've learned things are seldom as they seem in AP's little story.....

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2008, 06:11:04 AM »
They didn't talk a lot during sex. How many nineteen year old boys are really in tune with their feelings? How many nineteen year old boys really have heart to hearts about how they feel about those who engage their affections?

Lots - just have a browse round livejournal or similar ;).   But that point is not that they don't have hearts to hearts and dissect the relationship, or that they don't talk much during sex, but they don't talk at all about the relationship - they don't even acknowledge that they're having sex at all, verbally AND they don't talk at all during sex - not a goddamn word, except for Ennis's warning and Jack jumping in. 

I'm not sure whether to answer your other points - I have a feeling you're trying to wind me up ;).
Actually, it may be a good point, that 19 year- old boys might be more about the action, and not spending time defining things....but the major impact of this is in the contrast with the Reunion; there is some catalyst that turns Ennis into a verbally gushing lover, that he could not be on BBM-that is the sticking point.

That catalyst is knowledge he did not have on BBM-and he tells this to Jack-and of course, Jack's actual presence is monumental (. Incidentally, if he can't be believed, that may have nothing to do with AP's writing and a lot do with individual interpretation.)

Offline janjo

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2008, 06:12:28 AM »
They didn't talk a lot during sex. How many nineteen year old boys are really in tune with their feelings? How many nineteen year old boys really have heart to hearts about how they feel about those who engage their affections?

Lots - just have a browse round livejournal or similar ;).   But that point is not that they don't have hearts to hearts and dissect the relationship, or that they don't talk much during sex, but they don't talk at all about the relationship - they don't even acknowledge that they're having sex at all, verbally AND they don't talk at all during sex - not a goddamn word, except for Ennis's warning and Jack jumping in. 

I'm not sure whether to answer your other points - I have a feeling you're trying to wind me up ;).

I'm sorry if anyone thinks I am trying to start a war, or to wind anyone up, because I wasn't and what I said was from the heart.
I seriously do worry as to what the point is about continually trying to prove that these "restrictions" were in place.
When we gently and discursively consider things we do often arrive at valuable new insights, when we each of us try to prove that our theories are "right" then all we do is to ruffle feathers amongst people who should be, and usually are friends of ours.
The restrictions theory does not IMO improve the book, and is not altogether relevant to the film.
In the general thrust of the plot it does nothing but seem a little unlikely.
When we argue we are not really adding to the sum of human knowledge on the subject of Brokeback Mountain, what we are trying to do is to prove that our theory, and our theory alone, is the correct one.
Brokeback Mountain with its many ambiguities is not really susceptible to this approach.
None of us will ever know conclusively who is right, so why must we be so vehement about it.
I agree so much with Rosewood, that "parsing" every word is not helping here.
The sense, the main thrust of the story is being lost under a multitude of falacious meanings.

With relation to my comment about nineteen year old boys, I can only say I work in a building with several thousnad of them most days and I have never seen any really profound vocalisations of deep thoughts on the subject of love!
They do grunt from time to time though. ::) ::) ::)
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Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2008, 06:25:36 AM »
I think you also mentioned, J, that your boys  expressed some fear over being approached sexually by other 18 or 19 year old boys, right,  a while back? I took that as good evidence of the fears Ennis would have on BBM. it would be natural for him to do so, even if not in the presence of others....See, that whole set -up of being alone, no one round, in a small, private tent-things SHOULD have been more loosey-goosey between them, insofar as expressing affection, you'd think. Ennis should have felt free to do any kind of foreplay Jack wanted, prior to FNIT-it is simply not acceptable in civilized society to slam thru the foreplay and jump someone's bones whom you have feelings for; he had now way to be sure Jack wanted it that way-he just did it. It took Jack being butted up against him the next morning, while he was sober, to know for sure how Jack felt-without words. Not counting the spontaneous, 'gun's goin off', of course....The very fact that Ennis does some of what he does, while NO ONE is around to judge, speaks volumes to me. He has brought DRH up the mountain with him, so when the sheep get mixed, ie, the straight and gay conflict within him starts to head towards the surface,-do you agree that 'sheep' is an metaphor for obedient straight society? maybe you don't- he goes into another phase, that seems to climax with the punch-how convenient that AP has Aguirre bring them down early. Lord knows how much further they may have been able to get, had they another month together-perhaps a question she chose not to ask.


off to work, I look forward to your comments.


Offline janjo

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2008, 06:36:11 AM »
Fear, teasing, homophobia, but not the sort of serious discussion of emotions that teenage girls never stop talking about. Boys take action and show their feelings physically, girls can chat about "Well he gave me this look," for HOURS.
Boys just don't do that.
The way Jack and Ennis are with each other in the film, never really saying what they are feeling is a perfect evocation of that.
That, I think is what we are told in the book. 
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Offline Ministering angel

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2008, 06:39:27 AM »
But that, as you'd be aware, is a gross exaggeration. Teenage girls can be pretty reticent to talk. It's just that we hear the ones that do talk. Once again I ask, if it's so common why bother telling us that they didn't say anything? Why emphasise that fact. We know they are horny 19 yo males. We can deduce that they wouldn't be spouting sonnets or discussing the importance of a set of matching dishes. We don't need to be told they don't talk - but we ARE told. Why?

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2008, 08:31:35 AM »
Fear, teasing, homophobia, but not the sort of serious discussion of emotions that teenage girls never stop talking about. Boys take action and show their feelings physically, girls can chat about "Well he gave me this look," for HOURS.
Boys just don't do that.
The way Jack and Ennis are with each other in the film, never really saying what they are feeling is a perfect evocation of that.
That, I think is what we are told in the book. 
I guess we've never considered what kind of talk we'd expect them to induge in, so fair enough. I think what gets me about that narrative is the utter lack of non-verbal communciation, not even a simple, 'oh, yeah' at the right moment-there is no acknowledgement, beyond, 'gun's goin off' from Jack, that it feels GOOD. I think Ennis is afraid to admit that...maybe that is what AP is saying. I mean they laugh, and snort, and wrestle-that is very typical of teen-agers, of course, who are -wrestling, playing. It is NOT typical for it to lead to s-e-x all the time, unless, of course, the two boys in question are willing.

So I think what' s interesting is how this kind of wrestling is different from the play kind of wrestling-it seems Ennis does not WANT to differentiate it-so he never open his mouth, to reveal anything that might indicate to Jack that it may be something else-cuz if he did, I think there'd be a confrontation much earlier-assuming Ennis is indeed loaded with DRH, and can't accept these erotic feelings for Jack. He accepts his desires-just not that they are for Jack. I find SNIT very moving in that way-its made clear that there is a specific object of affection-not just general horniness.

Offline janjo

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2008, 09:38:23 AM »
But that, as you'd be aware, is a gross exaggeration. Teenage girls can be pretty reticent to talk. It's just that we hear the ones that do talk. Once again I ask, if it's so common why bother telling us that they didn't say anything? Why emphasise that fact. We know they are horny 19 yo males. We can deduce that they wouldn't be spouting sonnets or discussing the importance of a set of matching dishes. We don't need to be told they don't talk - but we ARE told. Why?

No actually I really don't think it is. Teenage girls can talk about nothing for hours. Really, it just pours out. the emotionally damaged ones are often the worst too.
Of course no generalisation applies to everyone.
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Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2008, 10:14:08 AM »
I know I'm repeating myself a little but I think it needs to be made clear that we're not talking about degrees of conversation, but no conversation at all.   Not a goddamn word.   A point is being made strongly - why?  Why would the writer include the words just to tell us nothing of any consequence?   If we thought 19 year olds didn't talk, then we wouldn't need to be told. 

A very small point - although we call them 'boys' and 'teenagers' they were 19, not 16 or 14.   They were adults.   They'd both left home, and both had adult jobs and were supporting themselves (just).   Ennis got married and had a family shortly after they came down - no doubt some of his contemporaries would already have been married with kids while he was up on Brokeback.   They weren't chlidren, and were a bit too old and experienced in life to act like sulky monogsyllabic teenagers.   (And they don't.    We see that before the FNIT - you can't shut them up). 

We also wouldn't expect them to talk in exactly the same way as they'd talk to acquaintences, or superiors, etc.   They are very close friends, and they are eventually lovers.   They're in a relatively private place with lots of time on their hands.   We know that they talk and talk with each other given the chance.    So it's not as if they normally wouldn't talk.    It's that they won't talk about this one thing - the sex and all that entails.   And they shut up while they're doing this one thing. 
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline janjo

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2008, 10:29:22 AM »
Boys are about three years behind girls in this though. Fifteen year old girls are horrible. Eighteen / nineteen year old boys can still be pretty immature and monosyllabic.
They will talk about how their motor bike etc is running, but they do not discuss feelings, especially forbidden ones. Of course some men are like this for their whole lives.
Just saying,,,,,,,
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