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Author Topic: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter  (Read 41770 times)

Offline AZ.bbm

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2012, 12:54:53 PM »
he was a 'bottom,' loaded with sperm -- just what she was looking for, and not much more than that, I think.
Was Lureen lurking in the FNIT?
>:D >:D

Now, *that's* a version of BBM I'd love to see!  ;) j/k

Actually,though, I was insinuating that a certain cut of woman is quite able to detect that je ne sais quoi  which 'beta' or 'omega'  males emit  in her vicinity and then ply these victims to her advantage. ;D See Black Widow Syndrome. Too bad we can't check Lureen's insurance portfolio.. ?!

(Don't know how I managed to get into this mood!- LOL!)
"'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

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2012, 01:00:59 PM »
There is a much simpler explanation for this though, Stan.

Jack is gay!

Perhaps he is gay to some extent; but since he consorts with and has sexual liaisons with females as well as males I prefer that he be classed as a bisexual person, or as a  'straight doing gay'.. -To me that just seems more fair..

"'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

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2012, 03:48:43 PM »
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.
Yes, -However, Ennis sounded fairly sincere about marrying his girl - "Me & Alma, we're gettin married when I come down from this mountain."


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

No, I would hardly dismiss 'societal pressures' particularly in small towns here in the West. however Ennis wasn't tied to a community, or a religious group, but  only to a couple of ranches. It appears that he had very little if any 'marital' pressure to deal with after the deaths of his parents and following the 'abandonment' at the hands of his siblings. He had few if any friends, grandparents or other relatives insisting that he marry and produce offspring, etc. - at least none about whom we were told.

Quote
The act of marrying is not in and of itself a reason or evidence of anything.
-A suggestion: You might try not reducing marriage to merely an "act, per se"...  -Marriage is good "evidence" of love; and love is a very good "reason" to marry!


Quote
Here you even [acknowledged] 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.
-That was Ennis' own perception. Even Earl & Rich assumed those risks, as well as the many others who likely didn't die of DRH..?

Quote
You spend much time on this thread telling those gay men, in essence, it isn't their story.
(And of course, before it's over, Le Moose has to hit the fan!)
'Their  story' ?? - Haha! -- Who do you think you are, anyway, Danny Camacho??*   (*ref. last week's Topic of the Week)
 :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 bubba

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2012, 04:17:10 PM »
I always assumed Ennis was gay (and in denial) and Jack was bi-sexual, also liked the ladies..

The place where I was confused (and maybe still am) is if Jack hadn't come along, I am not sure Ennis would ever have been with a man.


So if he had stayed married to Alma, would that have made him any less gay?   Even though he may have gone through life without ever having been with a man.


Is gay just a sex act, or what's in your heart?


I think Ennis "fell in love" so that made it easy for him.   


So Jack bi, Ennis gay, I think  :D


There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2012, 07:06:42 PM »
If we say that Ennis felt pressure to marry, a pressure which we would have to assume he felt before Brokeback, or he'd never have gotten engaged, we assume also that he acknowledged his homosexuality and was denying or trying to conceal it. That implies more thinking, to me, than I feel went into his decision. We are never told he was interested in any man but Jack--but that doesn't mean he wasn't gay. It simply means that (though I don't like the implication that any man would have done; I don't believe that) due to a unique set of circumstances, his homosexual nature was allowed, once, to find its natural expression due to prolonged isolation. In the same way, he wasn't so much pressured into marriage as swept along: everyone does it. You pair off toward the end of high school and you get married, get a job, and raise a family. It's simply not something Ennis saw fit to question: how else did a man get his clothes washed and get fed? How else was he going to have kids? He had a very clear idea, born and raised when and where he was, as to what a woman was: someone to take care of his needs and be protected. She was not the boss, not the breadwinner, and not his equal or partner. The idea that he could have things in common with her that he'd enjoy discussing was probably alien to him. She was a woman--cooking and babies were her interests. And he had no idea, therefore, that his feelings for her were not what they should have been. He was married to her--of course he loved her. There's a world of indifference that can hide behind that statement. Just as "the rules" dictated to him that he smoke and drink, and be a cowboy, and have a hard physical job, and not complain, they dictated that at a young age he was to pick out a woman and marry her. Unmarried men were isolated from the community and objects of suspicion and derision--drifters, criminals, losers--and deviants, of various descriptions. They weren't normal. And Ennis above all wanted to be normal. So he got married. In that sense there was pressure, but it wasn't society, it was Earl, and the pressure was so pervasive and so old he didn't feel it as such.
"…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 #65 on: May 27, 2012, 05:27:05 AM »
The trouble with living in the southern hemisphere is that one’s posts get out of kilter with those of people in the north.
Of course, it’s really only a convention that the north is believed to be at the top and the south is at the bottom.
And then there’s that damned time zone thing...

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.]
If we’re going to refer to dustjacket blurbs to back up our opinions where will discussion go next?  ::)  ;D

Incidentally, the cover of my first edition of Close Range is blurb-free.
Does it mean that myself and other first edition readers are left to decide for themselves what Proulx’s stories are about?

But how does one decide whether what a person does is because of ‘societal expectations’ or because it’s what they just want to do?

In Ennis’s case he had no idea he’d get mixed up with some randy sheepherder who would knock him for six.
It just came out of the blue.

Incidentally, Charlotte’s made a good case (in the reply above this) for what could be called automatic conformity to “what’s expected.”

By the way, Lyle, what are your thoughts on the expectations of society as far as Earl and Rich are concerned?


« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 09:13:06 AM by Paul029 »
...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2012, 05:32:33 AM »
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.
You’re correct, Lyle. My apologies.

But then Ennis says, “I about give up on you” which suggests that he would have eventually done so had Jack not sent the postcard.
It’s subtle, but (purported masturbation aside) it could indicate that while all he had to go on was his memories of the time on the mountain he’d eventually just get on with his married life—and Jack would be relegated to his “Memory Palace.”  8)

It’s interesting that Proulx could be said to foreshadow such a scenario in her Prologue: Ennis lives alone, Alma is out of his life, he has two daughters and he has wet dreams about Jack Twist.

This could still be the case had Ennis not met Jack in 1967, and Alma hadn’t, therefore, needed to divorce him.
Instead, he and Alma could have lived together for years with their two daughters, until she died (of overwork, unrequited love for the grocer?).
The Prologue scenario would still be "the same," with Ennis ending up similarly alone.

My point was that he was in the process of ‘putting Jack behind him’ and would have contented himself with the married life he’d set out to have in 1963.
He would have gone on doing what he’d started out to do

Charlotte mentioned in her insightful post (referred to previously) that “We are never told he was interested in any man but Jack...” and while she goes on to say that that “doesn’t mean he wasn’t gay,” I disagree that that’s a possibility.
I believe Ennis when he says “I know I ain’t [homosexual].”

Jack entering Ennis’s life is a unique event.
For a few summer months he experienced something for which he had no guidelines, no template.

Then, the summer passed, and while he never thought about another man, he didn’t forget the days with Jack Twist during that singular time, but relived them in his memory.

In a way, he had a religious experience, the like of which he’d never experienced before.

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

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2012, 05:39:53 AM »
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?
Yes, they do become related—but the source material (despite an author’s accolades and panegyrics about a subsequent film interpretation of his/her text) is the primary source, not the secondary.
For me, the original text is of paramount importance.

I prefer to work from that to deduce conclusions. The other way around is backwards reasoning.  8)
To use a secondary interpretation to explain, support or otherwise justify an opinion or concusion about the primary source is like comparing chalk and cheese, no matter how superb the qualities of either.

Just to make myself perfectly clear, I’m not suggesting for a moment that the film, in its own right, is flawed.
As a stand-alone art work it's certainly effective—but it’s not the same as the book.

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

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2012, 05:56:14 AM »
I combined these quotes/replies:

(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.
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?
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? 
I used the word ‘blatantly’ in my post to indicate that it wasn’t what was in the story, that it was an invention, whereas there’s no clear indication at all that that was the reason he went back.

While it could be assumed to be his reason (or a part of his reason), the film turned it into a certainty. (i.e. It was blatant.)
Who knows why? Maybe it was done because there was a feeling that mainstream audiences need things spelt out for them while they’re munching their popcorn.
Had Proulx wanted it to be a certainty she would have written it as one.

Quote from: Lyle
Because the short story doesn't explicably say it or that you don't want it to be?"
What I want or don’t want has nothing to do with it, Lyle.


I could just as well ask you the same question.  :D

It’s Proulx’s text that’s my reference—not some old movie version of it. (Sorry, that bit slipped out. ;D)

Of course, if we were restricted to talking only about the movie version on this thread, my current conclusions could very well differ.
Gee, I mean, of course Ennis was gay and simply conformed to societal expectations until he met Jack, whose artful stubble, long eyelashes and soulful eyes sent his heart into a permanent flutter.

Who wouldn’t be, if they had the chance?

(Be still, my beating heart.  :D)

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

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #69 on: May 27, 2012, 05:58:09 AM »
Whether Lureen or Jack initiated their relationship is actually unknown.  ;D
Lureen:  "What're ya waitin' for cowboy, a matin' call?"
I think that's the initiation.
Yes, in the film version, and maybe it happened, and maybe it didn’t—but it’s not in the book.
I refer here to my previous comment about spelling things out for mainstream audiences.

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

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2012, 06:08:22 AM »
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.
Perhaps it’s my ability to not self-identify with fictional characters.  ;)

Quote from: Cally
I never said it was in the film. My comment was how I 'heard' it when I read it - don't you do that?
The way your comment was written led me to believe that you meant that it was.
I don’t “hear” things when I read a book.  ::)
Perhaps it’s a gender thing.  ;D

Quote from: Cally
So not a matter of correctness, I don't think. 
A double negative, yet?  :D

Quote from: Cally
We are both giving our subjective interpretations here.
I think my interpretations are anything but subjective, actually.  8)

Quote from: Cally
Perhaps I should end with an amicable smiley  ;).
As you did.  :)


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

Offline Paul029

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2012, 06:09:30 AM »
~~~ Jack is gay!
I agree, I agree!

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

Offline Sara B

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2012, 06:16:20 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.


Did not stoop to comment on this yesterday but am now..... ;)

Actually, I can't get my double negative to sound wrong to me!

Anyway, O/T :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 Sara B

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2012, 06:21:31 AM »
I think my interpretations are anything but subjective, actually.  8)




Quote
my interpretation is that he’d put it all behind him, despite his boasting about his (purported) masturbation.


Not subjective? :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 Sara B

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Re: Were they gay? (Jack & Ennis) - Next chapter
« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2012, 06:22:01 AM »
I agree, I agree!



At least we are in accord here, Paul. :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....