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Author Topic: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II  (Read 337455 times)

Offline Desecra

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #3420 on: June 02, 2016, 02:33:48 PM »
Yes, it couldn't have happened anywhere else ... it's just so sad that what allowed the DE to happen was Ennis's denial, and Jack knew that.  There never seems to be an easy way to look at it. 
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 #3421 on: June 08, 2016, 05:33:42 PM »
Although Lureen doesn't directly say that Jack talked of Brokeback when he was drinking, there's an implication in what she says. It's easy to picture Jack four sheets to the wind and getting maudlin about the past and about the only place where he genuinely had hope of a rosy future. Whereas Ennis was wanting to hang onto his innocence, i.e. the denial which seems to have been utterly unconscious on the mountain compared to the thought-out denial of the reunion, Jack wants to hold onto the pure hope of the DE and those days of potential happiness. It's not the life he wants but it's the feelings which he needs to keep him going.

On a more practical level, Lureen's mention of Brokeback and the ashes is all part of the rapid reveal we get about Jack after he's remained an elusive character throughout the start of the story. We discover that for all his apparent ease, he's been slowly dying inside. It starts with his talk at the fire of missing Ennis, then there's the argument, then Lureen's conversation, then the parents' comments and finally the shirts. Ennis (and the reder) has to know the true nature of Jack's life, and what Brokeback meant to him, and how Ennis's rejection of his proposals (both at the reunion and after the divorce) have destroyed his life.

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #3422 on: July 18, 2016, 07:20:11 AM »
Thinking about never going back tied to the question of Was the DE ever marred later?
That final description of the DE is telling: Ennis breaks Jack's  reverie by telling him it's time for bed-'and for Ennis to leave. All the rules getting followed. Then the grinding of hoof on stone-Ennis as unchangeable; and the snorting horse-a reminder thst things would continue as they had all summet with No lack of noises and never talking about it:   It seems to me there is a tacit realization by both, even if subconscious, that the house of cards would come tumbling down if they ever compared the then with the now.

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #3423 on: July 22, 2016, 09:56:56 PM »
I go back and forth, though I agree essentially with your masterful analysis, Jo. Nice symbolism--even though I don't really like symbolism!

I think there is a strong thread of truth in "nothing marred it." It was the shining memory, both all the potential and something real at the same time. Nothing COULD change the fact that it did happen: for a long moment they were one, and complete.

But it WAS marred: it was not the beginning of more, it was a culmination.

It was marred because, though perfect, it could never be reached again. In its way, because it did happen, it cast a cold shadow over the whole rest of the relationship, because it showed what was possible, what they both wanted, but that didn't happen.
"…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 #3424 on: August 06, 2016, 08:15:54 PM »
I agree.   It's a tricky component , that 'nothing marred it' comment.  But note also it is past tense and not just a narrator's past tense:  Jack looks back  in 1983 at it so the overt thought-maybe they'd not got much farther- is he's comparing then and now. But if we keep it pure he can in fact see it as a stand -alone because of the feeling it gave him- regardless of the missing component. So yeah torn too...maybe the occurrence was unmarred, but later,  Jack's comparative analysis does  damage to the hope due to what he now understands about Ennis?

Here's another thought bubbling up: in Jacks estimate and  leaving out the C & C operation, what does "much farther" mean?  Again I'm talking relationship as Jack appears to be- not talking living arrangements

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #3425 on: August 07, 2016, 07:34:13 PM »
Well, depending on how you feel about kissing, there's that; certainly Ennis will now embrace him face to face. Also, Ennis did admit to feelings in the motel. And Jack did prevail upon him to continue the relationship, rather than a punch and goodbye. So Ennis acknowledges attachment feelings and agrees to some kind of ongoing relationship in which he's willing to do something more than front-to-back quickies. But he's not willing to commit to a live-in relationship, even once he's divorced. And all the real progress in the relationship happens in that first visit in 1967.

Of course, we'll never know what might have happened if they had gotten together in November…
"…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 #3426 on: August 08, 2016, 01:39:15 AM »
Yes, I agree.  The kissing is a physical step forward, and talking about it is another step.   But that's it ... what happens at the reunion is the furthest they get.  In fact the reunion goes a little bit further - a public kiss, going to a motel, especially with no real "excuse" (such as fishing trips).   It's not just that Ennis won't live with Jack, but that he won't accept him or their relationship, I think - the reunion must have given Jack falso hope that he would be able to. 
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 #3427 on: August 08, 2016, 04:35:38 PM »
And there's also the mysterious Don Wroe's cabin. Once and only once, it seems, do they have time under a solid roof again. They "had a good time that year" and yet Ennis is never willing to repeat the time, only dragging it out as a sweetener when Jack is about to blow. And the excuses in the motel - wife and kids - seem to fall away after the divorce yet nothing changes in Ennis's unwillingness, so in a way the reunion in its entirety is the beginning of the progress - the "not much further" which pretty much lasts that night (as you say, Des, the furtherest they get) and no further - and then the beginning of the decline with all the excuses.

I guess we can assume the physical side remains at or close to the reunion advance, so the physical restriction of the DE falls away and they "get further", but Jack comes to realise over time that the metaphysical advance, i.e. Ennis coming face to face with reality, with Jack, with the knowledge that he is attracted to a man and everything which that says about himself, never happens.

So getting back to the marring or otherwise of the DE, I feel that Jack still knows its significance - that Ennis is capable of love - and still knows that somewhere in this world it's possible for him, Jack, to experience the feeling of being loved and accepted which he has wanted since being rejected by his dad, but at that trailhead in 1983 he understands at last that he's not going to get it from Ennis. I can't see why that particular feeling should be marred - it's perfect - but the circumstances surrounding it are now marred. Or something. Perhaps I should have breakfast before posting.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 04:42:59 PM by Ministering angel »

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Ennis' and Jack's Relationship, II
« Reply #3428 on: December 28, 2016, 05:24:19 PM »



Hello members!!!!  The Admin/Mod/Tech team is coming to you with news for the new year.

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« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 02:45:24 PM by killersmom »