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Author Topic: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter  (Read 40463 times)

Offline janjo

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2012, 10:06:34 AM »
-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.?!

 

But surely Jack lies to "protect" Ennis' from his own mixed up view of his sexuality?
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Offline AZ.bbm

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2012, 10:57:37 AM »
But surely Jack lies to "protect" Ennis' from his own mixed up view of his sexuality?
Yes, I recall we discussed this a while back...

By the end of the first viewing I had thought that Jack had been protecting himself from Ennis' wrath.

My second thought, however, was that Jack and Ennis were psychologically co-dependent-- that is, Jack so desperately wanted Ennis that he was willing/eager to shore up Ennis' macho image in order to keep him enfolded; and indeed we saw Jack willingly tugging against the proverbial short leash, for years. 

...But I wouldn't go as far as to say that Ennis was "confused" about his sexuality, per se, just confused about how to adapt to being a married, bi-sexual person.. In order words, Ennis was more concerned about how to have his cake and eat it, too... Of course, Jack suggested that people inflicted with that dilemma might to move to Denver.  I noted that Jack was not referring to  himself and Ennis, but what other people might do...? I think it's telling that Jack did NOT go as far as to suggest that *he and Ennis* move to Denver, probably because he would have already formulated his plan for Ennis and the C&C while on the long drive up to Wyoming?





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Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2012, 12:19:52 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' ...

Why?  Because they are the only two gay guys in the west who are immune?

The book jacket of one of the editions of BBM that I have says as much: "They are doing
what was expected of them." Although who writes what's written on book jackets isn't
mentioned, if the author herself was okay with this, and we know she speaks her mind
when she is not okay with things, then I see no reason to discount "sociological claims"
as extra-curricular, especially when the product itself brings it up. If you do, then I think
you're being closed minded about it, probably because it doesn't fit with your interpretations,
so you dismiss it?

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.

I don't believe he ever states he wants to be "admired" by the
girls in the stands, only that he's wavin to 'em.  But then, I could
interpret it as girls, a slang word gay guys have used to describe
each other.

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

Because gay guys who have either externally or internally been even the slightest bit
influenced that feelings for another guy leads only to negative things happening to you
and/or is completely and utterly wrong, would never say they didn't want to do something
that wasn't expected of them.  Growing up, gay guys of all variety have said they wanted
to get married.  It was expected.  Doesn't mean you aren't gay. And the way Ennis explains
it doesn't say anything about his "wanting" to.  He says it like it's a fact.  That he's going to
marry her.  Going to and wanting to are not the same thing.

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

I highly doubt it!

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.

I'm sure that Lureen was thinking about having children right then.
And Jack wouldn't be the first gay guy to marry a woman for monetary reward.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2012, 01:19:42 PM »
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.”

Except the indication on the book jacket of one of the editions of the story I have.
[As mentioned in the previous post.]

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.”

Jack says he didn't know, not Ennis.  And then quickly utters the truth, that he did know.

Whether Lureen or Jack imitated their relationship is actually unknown.  ;D

Lureen:  "What're ya waitin' for cowboy, a matin' call?"

I think that's the initiation.

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.

Once there is a filmed version of a book or story, they become related and you discount one
over the other for your own reasons. You say the film makes it clear that was the reason, then
why isn't that the reason?  Because the short story doesn't explicably say it or that you don't
want it to be?

(For Jack to ask Aguirre about Ennis is not only unlikely but also a pretty obvious giveaway to Aguirre, I think.  ::))

I don't think it's unlikely Jack (or anyone) might inquire about the whereabouts of a person
he worked with despite their sexual orientation.  It might be an obvious giveaway to Aguirre,
but Jack doesn't know Aguirre surmises anything.  And if anyone else asked about someone
they worked with to Aguirre, that doesn't follow that he'd think it's because they were doing
anything to be suspicious about does it?

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.

It's also certainly possible that if Aguirre hadn't seen anything that Jack would've been disappointed
Ennis wasn't there that summer, but may have stayed and done the work anyway.  The possibility
of another ranch hand to play with, who knows, but, as I wrote above, "Once there is a filmed
version of a book or story, they become related and you discount one over the other for your own
reasons. You say the film makes it clear that was the reason, then why isn't that the reason?  Because
the short story doesn't explicably say it or that you don't want it to be?"


Offline AZ.bbm

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2012, 02:08:35 PM »
 @Lyle
Quote
Why?  Because they are the only two gay guys in the west who are immune...
-I didn't realize that..  8)

2.  That's a novel interpretation: By his use of the phrase "girls in the stands," Jack Twist was hailing gay guys in the stands? I don't think so; Jack was a guy who was interested in pleasing women (and himself). IMO, if Jack had been truly gay and not interested in women he would have left young Lureen's cowboy hat in the dirt, right where it fell, don't you think?


3. Could you re-phrase para. #3, please..?  ???


4. Yes, I suspect that Lureen was indeed thinking of nailing Jack "right then" & there at the bar, or as soon as she could get that cute little bastard into the back seat of Daddy's car, and she did the deed with undue dispatch. -- I speculate that Lureen needed a 'beard' for herself, and a sperm donor/surrogate father for her child. She didn't seem to have much use for him, otherwise.?


"'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)

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2012, 03:30:56 PM »
-I didn't realize that..  8)

That doesn't answer the point I was making, it only dismisses it.

2.  That's a novel interpretation: By his use of the phrase "girls in the stands," Jack Twist was hailing gay guys in the stands? I don't think so; Jack was a guy who was interested in pleasing women (and himself).

I was more or less being facetious, pointing out in a more obvious fashion that people might read
some things into lines that are not really there, but that they themselves might want to be there.

IMO, if Jack had been truly gay and not interested in women he would have left young Lureen's
cowboy hat in the dirt, right where it fell, don't you think?

My guess is Jack would've picked up anyone's hat and not left it there because he wasn't a rude person.

Because gay men are not interested in sex with women doesn't mean they don't like women.
Gay guys hang out with women all the time.  I used to hang out with the girls more than the guys
in high school.  I wanted to take home economics (frowned upon) way more that shop class.  Most
gay men I know like women.  And some like them so much they design clothes for them and their
weddings and do their hair and makeup for them.  Many are the ones who divine what the straight
man likes to see in a woman.


3. Could you re-phrase para. #3, please..?  ???

I could if I knew what it was, the third part is this in my counting:

Lureen:  "What're ya waitin' for cowboy, a matin' call?"
I think that's the initiation.

4. Yes, I suspect that Lureen was indeed thinking of nailing Jack "right then" & there at the bar, or as soon as she could get that cute little bastard into the back seat of Daddy's car, and she did the deed with undue dispatch. -- I speculate that Lureen needed a 'beard' for herself, and a sperm donor/surrogate father for her child. She didn't seem to have much use for him, otherwise.?

Wow, young people really put a lot more thought into these things than I would have imagined.

Offline AZ.bbm

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2012, 06:12:52 PM »
Quote
Quote from: AZ.bbm
And of Ennis' aspirations, we know that he wanted to be a sophomore, and, to marry a woman.
Because gay guys who have...been...influenced that feelings for another guy [only leads] to negative things happening to you
and is...wrong, would never say they didn't want to do something that wasn't expected of them.  Growing up, gay guys of all variety have said they wanted to get married.  It was expected.  Doesn't mean you aren't gay.
-It's a moot point, as we cannot establish Ennis' true sexuality. This might apply to Ennis, certainly, provided he was inherently gay, but the evidence doesn't support that conclusion.

Quote
And the way Ennis explains it doesn't say anything about his "wanting" to.  He says it like it's a fact.  That he's going to
marry her.  Going to and wanting to are not the same thing.
??? Yes, it is a "fact" of the story...
You *chose* to assume that Ennis is gay and didn't want to be married, when in fact the evidence shows that the opposite is the case..? -Not only that, but there's plenty of evidence that despite it being well within his purview to forsake Alma and go forward with Jack,  Ennis *chose* not to do so, more than once. Whoa, whoa, whoa --Ain't gonna be that way! -- Back in Signal, no one was pressuring him to return to Worland (or Riverton, or wherever)...?!
Ennis knew what he wanted -- to not live life as a queer man -- his ego couldn't stand it, and the risks (at that time, in that place) were just too high for him.

Beyond that, I got the feeling that Ennis didn't do much of what he didn't want to do, anyway (-That fire & brimstone crowd?... Move to Texas? -- that's real smart, Jack, etc.)



« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 06:24:41 PM by AZ.bbm »
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Offline royandronnie

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2012, 06:35:48 PM »


2.  That's a novel interpretation: By his use of the phrase "girls in the stands," Jack Twist was hailing gay guys in the stands? I don't think so; Jack was a guy who was interested in pleasing women (and himself). IMO, if Jack had been truly gay and not interested in women he would have left young Lureen's cowboy hat in the dirt, right where it fell, don't you think?

4. Yes, I suspect that Lureen was indeed thinking of nailing Jack "right then" & there at the bar, or as soon as she could get that cute little bastard into the back seat of Daddy's car, and she did the deed with undue dispatch. -- I speculate that Lureen needed a 'beard' for herself, and a sperm donor/surrogate father for her child. She didn't seem to have much use for him, otherwise.?


As to #2, have a look at that scene again. When Lureen winks at him, Jack looks rather bemused, like "what did she do that for?" Rather like "you ARE in a hurry" instead of him being happy at the turn of events, he expresses a negative, which is a clue to his sexuality.

As to #4…if you married a gorgeous guy who seemed perfect and later discovered he was indifferent to you sexually, and not as cool (clumsy, as in dropping the keys) as he seemed on a bull, couldn't stand up for himself to your Dad--you'd have less time for him too!
"…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 Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2012, 05:14:08 AM »
The following exchange occurred in some recent posts, and I thought it'd help to set things straight:

Quote from: Paul029
[Ennis] 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.
Quote from: Cally
Small niggle - why 'purported' or 'boasted'? Ennis says it so naturally and it has a ring of truth.
Quote from: Paul029
My edition doesn’t indicate how Ennis said it.
Quote from: Cally
OK, neither does mine - but nor does it indicate any element of doubt or of boasting :).
Quote from: Paul029
Now that we're reading from the same edition we can agree to disagree over our respective interpretations.  ;D
Quote from: Cally
Absolutely.

*bows courteously*  :D
Now that that's over, I apologise to Sara for perhaps appearing to be unneccesarily curt regarding her “small niggle,” and I’d like now to respond more appropriately to the point she made.

• Firstly, the reason I said that Ennis “boasted about his (purported) masturbation” was that his statement (“I sure wrang it out a hunderd times thinkin about you...”) comes out of the blue and so, for me, it doesn’t 'ring true'—I feel it’s not the sort of thing he’d actually say, whether it’s ‘true,’ or not.

It may be Proulx’s attempt to suggest that Ennis hasn’t actually gotten over the sex with Jack on the mountain, and often masturbates in order to rekindle his feelings about it, but it just jars—it’s out of character, in my opinion, and not the sort of thing he’d say—and as it’s uncharacteristic, I described it as ‘purported,’ or ‘supposed,’ to be true. For instance, he’s basically saying that his earlier “I’m not no queer” was a deliberate lie. Admittedly, while the start of the motel scene provides a reader with tactfully-chosen information about what had occurred, there’s nothing spoken directly by either Ennis or Jack about what they’d been doing; their remarks are indirect references only.

But he’s also bragging (again, uncharacteristically) to Jack about his masturbatory prowess, hence my use of “boasting.”

• Secondly, Sara, you were unfortunately not correct when you wrote that “Ennis says it so naturally and it has a ring of truth.”
The film does not, actually, contain the line to which I was referring.
 
It’s interesting that the screenwriters did not incorporate it in their screenplay.
Perhaps they also felt it jarred.  :)

So there appears to be at least some justification here for my focusing on the story, rather than on the film.


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Offline AZ.bbm

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2012, 07:02:09 AM »
As to #2, have a look at that scene again. When Lureen winks at him, Jack looks rather bemused, like "what did she do that for?" Rather like "you ARE in a hurry" instead of him being happy at the turn of events, he expresses a negative, which is a clue to his sexuality.
-Possibly so... True, Jack is not as 'eager' to engage as we may think he ought to be at 19 y.o., but this could be because his hormones ran in different directions...
But consider for sec some other 'extenuating' factors: Jack is A) exhausted from rodeo-ing all day, B)  lethargic from drinking to kill his pain* (*rodeo-ers are frequently in pain), perhaps all day, too... C) Later, he is aggressively confronted by an attractive, imposing female -- likely for the first time? -- Lureen is breaking all the rules, here, and newbie-Jack would be justified in regarding her with some amount of caution, even trepidation, don't you think?  And D) thanks to his low self-esteem, when Lureen winked at him (a nod would have been more appropriate gesture from a country lady,I think), he'd likely become uncomfortable, wonder why she'd even bother with him, i.e., what does she want with me? --Is she some kind of a slut?, etc.

Quote
As to #4…if you married a gorgeous guy who seemed perfect and later discovered he was indifferent to you sexually, and not as cool (clumsy, as in dropping the keys) as he seemed on a bull, couldn't stand up for himself to your Dad--you'd have less time for him too!
-Yes, very likely so...

You know, it's rather incredible that Lureen ever married a guy like Jack, in the first place, isn't it? -- considering that he was most certainly not in her league, i.e., not Texas born & bred, not well-educated, rough-hewn and unmannerly, etc.?  But he had his good qualities, he was attractive-looking, and he was a 'bottom,' loaded with sperm -- just what she was looking for, and not much more than that, I think. Of course consorting with 'that element' would disturb Daddy greatly, particularly if L.D. himself was a homophobe complete with functioning 'gay- bi-dar' - to which the movie did allude (@Hospital, @Twist Thanksgiving dinner).


"'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)

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #55 on: May 26, 2012, 10:11:47 AM »
You know, it's rather incredible that Lureen ever married a guy like Jack, in the first place, isn't it?

Diania Ossana has said that one of the things she and Larry discussed while adapting
the story is the reasons some straight women fall for and marry gay men.


Offline Sara B

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #56 on: May 26, 2012, 10:42:26 AM »
Now that that's over, I apologise to Sara for perhaps appearing to be unneccesarily curt regarding her “small niggle,” and I’d like now to respond more appropriately to the point she made.


No problems there, Paul.
 
Quote

• Firstly, the reason I said that Ennis “boasted about his (purported) masturbation” was that his statement (“I sure wrang it out a hunderd times thinkin about you...”) comes out of the blue and so, for me, it doesn’t 'ring true'—I feel it’s not the sort of thing he’d actually say, whether it’s ‘true,’ or not.

It may be Proulx’s attempt to suggest that Ennis hasn’t actually gotten over the sex with Jack on the mountain, and often masturbates in order to rekindle his feelings about it, but it just jars—it’s out of character, in my opinion, and not the sort of thing he’d say—and as it’s uncharacteristic, I described it as ‘purported,’ or ‘supposed,’ to be true. For instance, he’s basically saying that his earlier “I’m not no queer” was a deliberate lie. Admittedly, while the start of the motel scene provides a reader with tactfully-chosen information about what had occurred, there’s nothing spoken directly by either Ennis or Jack about what they’d been doing; their remarks are indirect references only.

But he’s also bragging (again, uncharacteristically) to Jack about his masturbatory prowess, hence my use of “boasting.”


So we’re both talking about our ‘feelings’, which is fine. But to me, Ennis’s remark follows naturally on from “trying to figure out if I was... etc etc” so it isn’t really coming out of the blue.  I absolutely disagree with your interpretation of it as ‘bragging’ to Jack. It seems to me to be something he shyly, and rather sweetly, admits – something which surprises himself as much as anything. Yes, of course AP is saying E hasn’t got over the sex with Jack – the whole relationship on the mountain – isn’t that the point of the story? And is it at all strange that he should masturbate fantasizing about J? It's your interpretation that he's boasting that really jars on me, and which would  seem out of place and out of character, but if that’s how you see it.... Not one I have ever heard before though.

Quote
• Secondly, Sara, you were unfortunately not correct when you wrote that “Ennis says it so naturally and it has a ring of truth.”
The film does not, actually, contain the line to which I was referring.
 
It’s interesting that the screenwriters did not incorporate it in their screenplay.
Perhaps they also felt it jarred.  :)

So there appears to be at least some justification here for my focusing on the story, rather than on the film.

I never said it was in the film. My comment was how I 'heard' it when I read it - don't you do that? So not a matter of correctness, I don't think.  We are both giving our subjective interpretations here.

Perhaps I should end with an amicable smiley  ;).
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

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2012, 10:53:11 AM »
he was a 'bottom,' loaded with sperm -- just what she was looking for

Was Lureen lurking in the FNIT?
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 Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2012, 11:02:32 AM »
Yes, it is a "fact" of the story...

If someone says "I'm going to jail when I come down off this mountain," might be a fact,
but it doesn't imply they want to go to jail, only that they are going to go to jail.

You *chose* to assume that Ennis is gay and didn't want to be married, when in fact the evidence shows that the opposite is the case..? -Not only that, but there's plenty of evidence that despite it being well within his purview to forsake Alma and go forward with Jack,  Ennis *chose* not to do so, more than once. Whoa, whoa, whoa --Ain't gonna be that way! -- Back in Signal, no one was pressuring him to return to Worland (or Riverton, or wherever)...?!
Ennis knew what he wanted -- to not live life as a queer man -- his ego couldn't stand it, and the risks (at that time, in that place) were just too high for him.

A lot of the things you dismiss in my posts are because you don't consider the
societal pressures of being gay as relevant. Above you write:

-Not only that, but there's plenty of evidence that despite it being well within his purview to forsake Alma and go forward with Jack,  Ennis *chose* not to do so, more than once.

That is not evidence that he isn't gay or is straight if you take into account
what you deem "extra-curricular" notions of societal pressures that gay people
deal with.  I don't think Ennis for one minute thought it was "well within his purview
to go anywhere with Jack."  He HAD to get married like everyone else.  In the series
Mad Men there was a gay character in big ol' New York City. He acted the same way
Ennis did in terms of marriage. He was married, too. And he is definitely gay. If someone
who lives in the big city and is definitely gay is married why is it so hard to leap to the
possibility that a rural country boy in a town where everyone knows your business would
get married or feel pressured to get married?  The act of marrying is not in and of itself a
reason or evidence of anything.

Here you even acknowledge the societal pressures Ennis was under:
Ennis knew what he wanted -- to not live life as a queer man -- his ego couldn't stand
it, and the risks (at that time, in that place) were just too high for him.


Annie Proulx has revealed that she's received many letters from gay men stating that
Brokeback Mountain is their story. You spend much time on this thread telling those
gay men, in essence, it isn't their story.

Offline janjo

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2012, 11:33:48 AM »
-Possibly so... True, Jack is not as 'eager' to engage as we may think he ought to be at 19 y.o., but this could be because his hormones ran in different directions...
But consider for sec some other 'extenuating' factors: Jack is A) exhausted from rodeo-ing all day, B)  lethargic from drinking to kill his pain* (*rodeo-ers are frequently in pain), perhaps all day, too... C) Later, he is aggressively confronted by an attractive, imposing female -- likely for the first time? -- Lureen is breaking all the rules, here, and newbie-Jack would be justified in regarding her with some amount of caution, even trepidation, don't you think?  And D) thanks to his low self-esteem, when Lureen winked at him (a nod would have been more appropriate gesture from a country lady,I think), he'd likely become uncomfortable, wonder why she'd even bother with him, i.e., what does she want with me? --Is she some kind of a slut?, etc.
-Yes, very likely so...



There is a much simpler explanation for this though, Stan.

Jack is gay!
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