The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter  (Read 43609 times)

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2012, 10:51:58 AM »
I feel in determining whether a person is gay or not, that social pressures have to be taken into account.
In a world where it really didn't matter if one was gay or not, would it be easier to be openly gay, and not to pretend to like women at all.
I feel that I am pretty heterosexual, but then there is no one pressurising me to be anything else.
Even in this day and age I have a relative who is gay and quite camp, but no one dares to tell his Grandama, in case she cuts him out of her will!
So there is still a feeling that one "ought" to be straight, and this goes on to colour what people say they are, or pretend they are.
I have always said that Brokeback Mountain was a story about facing up to the truth as much as one about being gay, therefore, I do think that in some cases subterfuge and lies can be a part of a gay persons persona.
-AP did mention in an interview that her Ennis del Mar character was "self loathing."
I speculate that she intended for him to be fouled-up at not being 'normal,' considering himself to be 'the bad person' for having homosexual impulses and not being up-front about them...

But, Hitchcock fan that she is, Proulx deliberately declined to crack that nut in her story, preferring to completely suppress Ennis' innate sexuality. (If Ennis is gay, he is so incredibly dysfunctional that, outside of his sexual interest in Jack he does not/cannot even consider looking at another man. That's even weirder than the prohibition against discussing their sexual activities, IMO.)

On the other hand AP made it relatively clear that Jack Twist was better adjusted -- not a bit conflicted about his homosexual tendencies and certainly not afraid to act on them. Yet, ironically,  it is Jack who feels compelled to lie to his beloved Ennis about his trysts with other men.?!

 
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 19109
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2012, 11:45:36 AM »
It’s only after the reunion that his ‘world view,’ if you like, changes.
Prior to that he’s, as far as we know, content with his life of wife and young son.
Then, things change—and, twenty years later, he says he never wanted a child at all.

The whole group of scenes from J&E leaving Brokeback Mountain to the reunion scene is a
back and forth look of the motions two guys are going through who think they have to conform
to what guys do, or what society informs them they should do, get married and have a family.
(This notion is something often brought up to you and Stan and from my perspective, it's
something you both dismiss in large part.)  Just with the spotlight on Jack--he's not the one
who initiates the relationship with Lureen.  During these scenes we first see Jack going back
to Aguirre's to see if he has a job for him, hoping Ennis is doing the same.  When he is rebuffed
we next see him trying his hand at rodeoing and his encounter with Jimbo.  Then we get to Lureen
who first initiates their meeting in the bar; the look on Jack's face when they are slow dancing doesn't
suggest excitement of any kind, it suggests concern or trepidation of some proportion. At the very
least he is pondering some question.  Later it is Lureen who initiates the sex in the car.  He's in no
hurry for it, in fact he even comments on that. The next we see of him he's being ordered around by
his father-in-law in Lureen's maternity room.  He's mostly silent, not gushing over having had a child.
The screenplay says:  "He maintains a polite, glazed smile. Feeling the outsider he...turns and leaves."
The visuals of Jack show a guy who is hardly "content with his life of wife and young son."  And
why can one surmise this?  The very next scene is Ennis driving home where a postcard from Jack is
waiting for him.

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2012, 02:06:09 PM »
Maybe the 'drivers-by' don't have the verbal dexterity of others, Stan? Their stand is non the less valid, surely, and not to be dismissed. I bet there are many a political voter who would stand and be counted as belonging to one party or another but would not find it so easy to say why, though they know it in their gut/heart.

-I see your point certainly, Andy.


« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 02:28:47 PM by AZ.bbm »
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2012, 02:28:28 PM »
BBM authorities like to conjure up all manner of sociological claims about the story and the Old West; but the notions of Jack and Ennis feeling compelled to live up to societal norms are 'extra-curricular' ...

All we know of Jack's aspirations in life is that he wanted to be a rodeo star, admired by the girls in the stands.

 And of Ennis' aspirations, we know that he wanted to be a sophomore, and, to marry a woman.

-That's about all..(?!)


"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2012, 05:25:39 AM »
It’s only after the reunion that his ‘world view,’ if you like, changes.
Prior to that he’s, as far as we know, content with his life of wife and young son.
Then, things change—and, twenty years later, he says he never wanted a child at all.
The whole group of scenes from J&E leaving Brokeback Mountain to the reunion scene is a
back and forth look of the motions two guys are going through who think they have to conform
to what guys do, or what society informs them they should do, get married and have a family. ~~~
Ennis knew, when he left the mountain, that he was going to marry Alma, and there’s no indication that he was doing so simply to “conform to what guys do.”
Although he had gut cramps as he left and felt as bad “as he ever did,” the feeling did wear off.

He had no idea he’d ever meet Jack again, and until he received Jack’s postcard, my interpretation is that he’d put it all behind him, despite his boasting about his (purported) masturbation.
And, as he says later, he didn’t know they were “goin a get into [it] again.”

Quote from: Lyle(Mooska)
Just with the spotlight on Jack--he's not the one
who initiates the relationship with Lureen.  During these scenes we first see Jack going back
to Aguirre's to see if he has a job for him, hoping Ennis is doing the same.
Whether Lureen or Jack initated their relationship is actually unknown.  ;D

We also don’t know that Jack returned to the mountain in the hope of meeting Ennis, although the film makes it blatantly clear, and clumsily so, that that was his reason.
(For Jack to ask Aguirre about Ennis is not only unlikely but also a pretty obvious giveaway to Aguirre, I think.  ::))

But story Jack only says that he was “thinkin of goin back,” with the implication that it was to get work, but “lit out for Texas instead” when Aguirre told him he’d seen what he and Ennis had been up to.
Maybe he did go back half in the hope of meeting Ennis again; but as we don’t know for sure that he did, it’s really only a possibility, not a certainty.

The point I was making in my post to Andy was that after their reunion the lives of both Ennis and Jack were forever altered.
My reference to Jack’s changed ‘world-view,’ for want of a better term, includes, for one, his renewed hopes for a small spread (something for which we’re told he claimed he’d been saving) when he suggests that he and Ennis had a little ranch together.
We don’t know what happened to that idea when he married Lureen, but it’s clear to me that the reunion got him thinking about it again, and probably even as soon as he received Ennis’s reply (his ‘plan’ seems too considered to have been invented on the spot).

Had Jack never sent his postcard their lives would (perhaps) have gone on as they’d started after they left the mountain, and as the years rolled on they’d possibly look back, perhaps with some nostalgia, to their youthful fling during the summer of 1963.

I understand that that’s conjectural, and that we won’t know, of course, what could have happened had the postcard never been sent.

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2012, 05:26:37 AM »
BBM authorities like to conjure up all manner of sociological claims about the story and the Old West; but the notions of Jack and Ennis feeling compelled to live up to societal norms are 'extra-curricular' ...

All we know of Jack's aspirations in life is that he wanted to be a rodeo star, admired by the girls in the stands.

 And of Ennis' aspirations, we know that he wanted to be a sophomore, and, to marry a woman.

-That's about all..(?!)
I’m rather envious of your skill with putting things in a nutshell, Stan.  ;)

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2012, 05:37:32 AM »
The whole group of scenes from J&E leaving Brokeback Mountain to the reunion scene is a
back and forth look of the motions two guys are going through who think they have to conform
to what guys do, or what society informs them they should do, get married and have a family. ~~~
Ennis knew, when he left the mountain, that he was going to marry Alma, and there’s no indication that he was doing so simply to “conform to what guys do.”
Although he had gut cramps as he left and felt as bad “as he ever did,” the feeling did wear off.

He had no idea he’d ever meet Jack again, and until he received Jack’s postcard, my interpretation is that he’d put it all behind him, despite his boasting about his (purported) masturbation. And, as he says later, he didn’t know they were “goin a get into [it] again.”
Whether Lureen or Jack initated their relationship is actually unknown.  ;D

We also don’t know that Jack returned to the mountain in the hope of meeting Ennis, although the film makes it blatantly clear, and clumsily so, that that was his reason.
(For Jack to ask Aguirre about Ennis is not only unlikely but also a pretty obvious giveaway to Aguirre, I think.  ::))

But story Jack only says that he was “thinkin of goin back,” with the implication that it was to get work, but “lit out for Texas instead” when Aguirre told him he’d seen what he and Ennis had been up to.
Maybe he did go back half in the hope of meeting Ennis again; but as we don’t know for sure that he did, it’s really only a possibility, not a certainty.

The point I was making in my post to Andy was that after their reunion the lives of both Ennis and Jack were forever altered.
My reference to Jack’s changed ‘world-view,’ for want of a better term, includes, for one, his renewed hopes for a small spread (something for which we’re told he claimed he’d been saving) when he suggests that he and Ennis had a little ranch together.
We don’t know what happened to that idea when he married Lureen, but it’s clear to me that the reunion got him thinking about it again, and probably even as soon as he received Ennis’s reply (his ‘plan’ seems too considered to have been invented on the spot).

Had Jack never sent his postcard their lives would (perhaps) have gone on as they’d started after they left the mountain, and as the years rolled on they’d possibly look back, perhaps with some nostalgia, to their youthful fling during the summer of 1963.

I understand that that’s conjectural, and that we won’t know, of course, what could have happened had the postcard never been sent.



Small niggle - why 'purported' or 'boasted'? Ennis says it so naturally and it has a ring of truth.
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2012, 05:41:15 AM »
BBM authorities like to conjure up all manner of sociological claims about the story and the Old West; but the notions of Jack and Ennis feeling compelled to live up to societal norms are 'extra-curricular' ...

All we know of Jack's aspirations in life is that he wanted to be a rodeo star, admired by the girls in the stands.

 And of Ennis' aspirations, we know that he wanted to be a sophomore, and, to marry a woman.

-That's about all..(?!)



And another small niggle: I never felt that Ennis aspired to marriage - seemed like it was just the next expected step in his life (though I don't think he was averse to the idea).

The 'sophomore' ambition was so sweet though....
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2012, 06:40:28 AM »
Small niggle - why 'purported' or 'boasted'? Ennis says it so naturally and it has a ring of truth.
My edition doesn’t indicate how Ennis said it.

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2012, 06:44:36 AM »
OK, neither does mine - but nor does it indicate any element of doubt or of boasting :).
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 06:57:57 AM by Cally »
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2012, 06:51:13 AM »
OK, nor does mine - but nor does it indicate any element of doubt or of boasting :).
Now that we're reading from the same edition we can agree to disagree over our respective interpretations.  ;D

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Sara B

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 42255
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2012, 06:57:29 AM »
Absolutely.

*bows courteously*  :D
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2012, 07:24:13 AM »
 ::)

 :D
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2012, 07:31:27 AM »
Lureen and Jack were both thinking pretty much the same thing while they were slow-dancing, I presume, i.e., how to get into each other's pants, literally & figuratively -- albeit for different reasons: Lureen for breeding purposes, and Jack, panning for gold.

<@@>
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 08:57:15 AM by AZ.bbm »
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2012, 08:55:34 AM »
And another small niggle: I never felt that Ennis aspired to marriage - seemed like it was just the next expected step in his life (though I don't think he was averse to the idea).
-Concur! - Though, I have to ask, What else was Ennis going to do with his life, aside from riding horses..?!  ;)

+Recall that Ennis was envisioned by the screenwriters to be ideologically "right wing" types (c.f. the 'hippie scene')? -- The Family Ethic is thoroughly ingrained in them, since, well, birth..!?!  (I know, that's of 'extra-curricular' origin, but the writers and the director at some point felt this pov was reasonable and consonant.)

Quote
The 'sophomore' ambition was so sweet though....
Yes, that's what I was thinking, too...



 ...At that point Ennis thought he could 'be somebody,'  someone 'a cut above'... But of course his fate was already sealed...............


"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin