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Author Topic: Did Jack Quit Ennis?  (Read 463699 times)

Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2006, 04:04:51 PM »
And do you really think Ennis's kind of love was so profound and rewarding that Jack would throw his life away for it? 
Wrong question.  Was Jack's love profound and rewarding enough?  Was either one of them in this affair for what they could get out of the other?
I think Jack was thinking about how much shit he'd felt he'd taken, with Ennis' controlling nature and his distancing himself from sentiment-out of sheer survival-, when he was considering quitting Ennis.
But these are surfacy things in a LT relationship. Actually, lots of things become superficial over time in a LT relationship, just as poisonous fruits eat away at it.
The real question is, IMO: Were Jack's needs being met? How strong are the basic roots of the relationship? (Not talking Ennis here, for now...)
IMO, Very strong.
I think that summer on BBM, this ideal that Ennis holds to and Jack no longer sees in the same light, was that rare event in the life of a couple: A moment in time that defines what they are to each other.
They were each other's "firsts", in many ways; first loves; first real, true best friends; first inkling of gay love-at least for Ennis. BBM kind of emblazoned Ennis in Jack's heart; that's why he does not know how to quit him, even though resentment is blossoming over the lack of time together. It's like the brain  continuing to grow outside the womb as the human being develops; it is virtually impossible to go back from those changes that have occurred; they are a part of you, every trauma, every joy. It is not a "normal" relationship, but then it never was. They've redefined "normal" for each other. Ennis sees this too late....Jack, I think, always knew it. He knew he loved Ennis from day one.
When Jack says-I know you'll love this, Sid-"Damn you, Ennis!" What he is really saying is, You've damned me, Ennis. ....I'm yours forever. Little do they know that Ennis is the one who is truly damned.
I think Randall was a safety blanket during Jack's male menopause, if you will; And he was just another "idea" to pass on to the folks, to get them off his back about the ranch, etc. I am quite sure telling these little daydreams to Mom and Twist, Sr. became broken records that helped support their family dynamics-dysfunctional as they were.
So, I am still today in the No Quit camp-apologies to Jake G, who was apparently sure he was.

We don't even know that there was actually a love triangle; it is only hinted at as a possibility, a speculation, something Jack mentioned to his father as a possible eventual action, just like the one Ennis had never even heard of about himself; there is no incontrovertible proof. Jack may have never said a word to 'Randall' about such a thing. It is all so amorphous, so vaporous, perhaps, as you say, a daydream.

''So, I am still today in the No Quit camp-apologies to Jake G, who was apparently sure he was.''

? Was sure who was what?
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Offline heavysigh

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2006, 04:08:54 PM »
I don't think Jack quit either. Like someone else said, it takes away from the heartbreaking premise of the story to think that he could. I do think he was fed up, discouraged, and disenchanted, but I think he loved Ennis to much to end things. If it were me, I would take the scraps though I wanted more. How many people get to experience a love like that?

So, in other words, for a "love like that" you just suffer, degrade yourself, and live in misery till your last breath?  Where is the humanity, or dignity, in that?  And do you really think Ennis's kind of love was so profound and rewarding that Jack would throw his life away for it? 

I think Jack was better than that.  I think he concluded, through a haze of regret and agony, that twenty years was enough.  In this way he was much like the rest of us, who learn throuigh hard experience that "love" works when you esteem yourself as much as your beloved. 

In any case, it is incontrovertible Jack was looking to build a life with another man.  Concluding that this meant no difference for his relationship with Ennis speaks more about your conception of what love is than anything presented on the screen, or in the book.

I'm not sure how the relationship "degraded" Jack, although there were certainly some times when Ennis was rude and dismissive of him. I believe that Jack knew Ennis's heart, and knew why he behaved the way that he did. There were no easy answers to their situation, given the time and place. While it's possible that Jack may have found someone who was willing to live with him, I doubt that I would have had the courage to do it if it were me. I don't think that the evidence is incontrovertible, to me it's very vague and open to interpretation. I never said that it made no difference to him - it appeared to matter very much - but I believe that Jack loved him enough to carry on with their relationship. I'd love to know what you think my idea of love is, and I'm not being sarcastic, I'm really interested.
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Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2006, 04:27:50 PM »

We don't even know that there was actually a love triangle; it is only hinted at as a possibility, a speculation, something Jack mentioned to his father as a possible eventual action, just like the one Ennis had never even heard of about himself; there is no incontrovertible proof. Jack may have never said a word to 'Randall' about such a thing. It is all so amorphous, so vaporous, perhaps, as you say, a daydream.

''So, I am still today in the No Quit camp-apologies to Jake G, who was apparently sure he was.''

? Was sure who was what?
Sure that Jack had quit Ennis....lost myself on the grammar. It's tough getting old---------er.

Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2006, 04:41:05 PM »

We don't even know that there was actually a love triangle; it is only hinted at as a possibility, a speculation, something Jack mentioned to his father as a possible eventual action, just like the one Ennis had never even heard of about himself; there is no incontrovertible proof. Jack may have never said a word to 'Randall' about such a thing. It is all so amorphous, so vaporous, perhaps, as you say, a daydream.

''So, I am still today in the No Quit camp-apologies to Jake G, who was apparently sure he was.''

? Was sure who was what?
Sure that Jack had quit Ennis....lost myself on the grammar. It's tough getting old---------er.

I absolutely adore Jake G (how could you not) but I wonder if his interpretation was coloured by the fact that his girlfriend had just dumped him? I don't mean that rudely his interpretation was second to none, and he should have got an Oscar for it, I just wonder if he portrayed some of his own misery in the character.
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Gonzo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2006, 04:58:42 PM »

I absolutely adore Jake G (how could you not) but I wonder if his interpretation was coloured by the fact that his girlfriend had just dumped him? I don't mean that rudely his interpretation was second to none, and he should have got an Oscar for it, I just wonder if he portrayed some of his own misery in the character.

I think the people involved in the movie have various opinions that are not shared with forum members.  I remember on Oprah, Anne Hathaway said it was obvious that Lureen knew about Jack's other life.  I don't necessarily agree with that.  The point of this is that we can't accept their words as gospel.  They have interpretations just like us.  Remember, we have a whole lot more invested in this story than they do.  They learned their roles, did their job and went home.  Sure, they are closer to the creation than we could ever be, but I don't think that qualifies them as experts whose words are gospel truth.

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2006, 05:08:07 PM »

I absolutely adore Jake G (how could you not) but I wonder if his interpretation was coloured by the fact that his girlfriend had just dumped him? I don't mean that rudely his interpretation was second to none, and he should have got an Oscar for it, I just wonder if he portrayed some of his own misery in the character.

I think the people involved in the movie have various opinions that are not shared with forum members.  I remember on Oprah, Anne Hathaway said it was obvious that Lureen knew about Jack's other life.  I don't necessarily agree with that.  The point of this is that we can't accept their words as gospel.  They have interpretations just like us.  Remember, we have a whole lot more invested in this story than they do.  They learned their roles, did their job and went home.  Sure, they are closer to the creation than we could ever be, but I don't think that qualifies them as experts whose words are gospel truth.
Go get em, TwistedBoy! I love your loyalty to this Forum, and you are so open about it...and I totally agree. I think they'd be going, "huh"? if they ever plumbed the depths of these threads. Not to be a snob, but they are after all probably not as experienced -or possibly as educated- in life as the majority of posters here-I am guessing this of course.
I think this Forum has to be considered the subject matter experts-outside of Annie Proulx and Ang Lee, of course.

Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2006, 05:59:31 PM »
Sure that Jack had quit Ennis....lost myself on the grammar. It's tough getting old---------er.

I thought that he just said that Jack 'died' in that last meeting, not that he meant Jack decided to quit Ennis, but only that he knew than that Ennis would never live with him.
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Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2006, 06:09:48 PM »
Sure that Jack had quit Ennis....lost myself on the grammar. It's tough getting old---------er.

I thought that he just said that Jack 'died' in that last meeting, not that he meant Jack decided to quit Ennis, but only that he knew than that Ennis would never live with him.
Tthere was another quote, Lance...not from this thread, where Jake G said he felt that scene in the Last Scene together, where the camera moves back and forth, placing Ennis on either side of Jack while he ponders....indicated that he was getting ready to move on.
I'll try to locate the source for you.
I thought this was well known; apparently not. Sorry for the mislead.

Offline wiljohn

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2006, 07:16:33 PM »
The visualization of Jack's face AFTER the dream sequence makes me sense that Jack was upset that he did not get through to Ennis about how upset he really was that they were still not together, and Ennis' continued resistence to being willing and able to change his situation to make it happen. It leaves open the possibility that perhaps Jack didn't give up completely on Ennis, but would maybe not be as excited about future gettogethers.  (Isn't Randy already in the picture somewhere by now?) Jack always looked for opportunities--if not Ennis then maybe Randy...Jack was desperately looking for an intimate long-term relationship because he was not afraid of it. He needed someone equally fearless about it. 


Offline David G

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2006, 07:25:12 PM »
The visualization of Jack's face AFTER the dream sequence makes me sense that Jack was upset that he did not get through to Ennis about how upset he really was that they were still not together, and Ennis' continued resistence to being willing and able to change his situation to make it happen. It leaves open the possibility that perhaps Jack didn't give up completely on Ennis, but would maybe not be as excited about future gettogethers.  (Isn't Randy already in the picture somewhere by now?) Jack always looked for opportunities--if not Ennis then maybe Randy...Jack was desperately looking for an intimate long-term relationship because he was not afraid of it. He needed someone equally fearless about it. 

I agree.

For me, I don't like using the word quit but that's what Jack uses. What I see is Jack moving on. He never stops loving Ennis or harboring a hope that one day he'll come around but Jack knows that things are unlikely to change with Ennis and Jack really wants to settle down, even if he has to settle for someone else. It's another sad mirror in the story. In the end, neither Jack or Ennis get what they wanted. 

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2006, 09:00:17 PM »
I have a question.

Do you think that this scene was deliberately left open-ended?  Sort of like how no one really knows what Ennis meant by "Jack, I swear...."? 

I think that they both had no language for what was between them, so they couldn't communicate how they felt or what they wanted too well.  And the open-endedness in the movie is meant to reflect the silence between the characters (ALL the characters, including the wives), the inability to communicate, and how that throws up such a wall of uncertainty so that even the audience must feel the frustration? 

The uncertainty between Jack and Ennis is poignantly reflected in all the times in the movie where the viewer has to think about what's happening and never knows for sure.

This movie is the highest form of art.  Anyone who failed to see this is severely lacking in the ability to detect subtlety and nuance. 

Offline samsung

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2006, 10:31:04 PM »
[I'm not sure how the relationship "degraded" Jack, although there were certainly some times when Ennis was rude and dismissive of him. I believe that Jack knew Ennis's heart, and knew why he behaved the way that he did. There were no easy answers to their situation, given the time and place. While it's possible that Jack may have found someone who was willing to live with him, I doubt that I would have had the courage to do it if it were me. I don't think that the evidence is incontrovertible, to me it's very vague and open to interpretation. I never said that it made no difference to him - it appeared to matter very much - but I believe that Jack loved him enough to carry on with their relationship. I'd love to know what you think my idea of love is, and I'm not being sarcastic, I'm really interested.

I think anyone who visualizes his love bond with another person in terms of a life of peace, togetherness, and dignity, would ultimately, over time, come to understand that a couple of 14-hour truck trips a year for a few moments on an isolated, cold mountain -- which are declining in number anyway -- to be very degrading indeed.  Especially when your lover, for whom you're making all these sacrifices, won't or can't do anything to meet you even part of the way.  Jack's outburst in the last scene is an uncompromising, and I believe final, expression of frustration, which the better part of the second half of the movie builds up to.  It is impossible, in my view, to see that last sight of Jack looking on in despair and bitterness as Ennis's truck drives away, yet again, as anything but the beginning of the end. 

I can't speak for you, only for myself.  I don't believe emotional bonds exist in some kind of romantic ether, unchanging and impervious to social reality, and I know Annie Proulx doesn't either (check out her other stories in "Close Range").  Jack loved Ennis dearly, but in these conditions -- relentless and unyielding -- such a love simply could not survive.  It had to ebb away under the hammer blows of homophobia, both external and internal.  This is, after all, what this story is all about.  If not, if the relationship were meant to live on no matter what, then this would have been a very different story indeed, and that last scene would have ended differently, too.

Now, I said Jack's plan to move on with (probably) Randall is incontrovertible, simply because we're told this, in very clear English, by John Twist (Annie Proulx).  To speculate about whether Jack really meant it, that he was just trying to distract the old man, or whatever, may be comforting, just not very convincing.  In the end, I think it boils down to whether you believe that breaking from the love of your life is sometimes necessary in order to live your life; that it takes great courage, will, and self-regard, to do it; and that, in this case, Jack Twist possessed those qualities.

Offline doodler

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2006, 11:44:38 PM »
DID Jack quit Ennis? No. In both the book and the movie Jack dies soon after the last reunion. That's the end of it. WOULD Jack have ever quit Ennis? That's personal opinion. And nothing more.
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Offline josephR

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2006, 11:56:42 PM »
It is made clear that Ennis is far from willing to let the relationship progress from a lustful life of hiding.  Instead, the two are forced to live their love lives eluding their wives and searching for that precious day or two every year that they are able to spend with each other.  Personally, I don't believe that any relationship as such could have even lasted as long as it did aside from the intimacy; especially without any form of communication except for infrequent postcards with little merit or content other than: "See you this fall" or "June 9-15?"
It is clear that Jack does his best to try to make the relationship work as best that it can, and he sees the reasoning behind Ennis's unwillingness to leave his family and establish a life together.  However, Ennis is unable to come to any sort of compromise, which I believe is one of the strongest and most important parts of a relationship.  There is a limit to which any relationship can be pushed, and I think that their relationship was pushed far, far past that line.
Jack wish he knew how to quit Ennis, but he could never fix it he just had to stand it.  If there's a problem you can't fix, you can stand it, or you can simply ignore it completely.  After the final outburst, I think that Jack used Randall (and possibly more trips to Mexico, etc.) to push thoughts of Ennis into the back of his mind.  He may not learned how to quit him, but I think that Jack was able to successfully be able to be free without having to be depressed spending every night in a false sense of satisfaction with Lureen or another man.
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Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2006, 02:15:07 AM »
Jack and Ennis did not see each other for a couple of days a year, they often as I see it were away for a week or more at a time, several times a year. Of course that was not enough, but they were everything to each other, if that were not so, what is this story about?
This is not just a tale of a frustrated and unhappy love affair that eventually went nowhere, if that was so how could Ennis be left in complete devastation with the knowledge that he had wasted his life?
There was "never enough time", but what there was, was their whole reason to be!

A long love affair is never a bed of roses, even with society's sanction, which at that time and place they did not have. Over years there is resentment, and trouble, difficulties, and deaths to cope with, health problems, family problems etc etc. real love will see you through all of that and see you stronger,and loving and understanding each other more at the end  of it. For real love, you don't quit, you understand, you fight, you carry on when the going gets tough. Jack knew that in spades, by their last scene together Ennis was starting to learn it too!
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