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Author Topic: Did Jack Quit Ennis?  (Read 457484 times)

Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2006, 05:43:51 AM »
The problem is that Ennis, till their last meeting  never had understood how frustrated Jack was about not seeing him more. Jack wanted more time but Ennis thought he had been giving him enough  to maintain  the relationship. Ennis had been used to seeing him two or three times a year, mainly because that was convenient and thought of the same for Jack. But that wasn't true and Ennis discovered it the hard way in that last meeting. On Jack's side i can say that   he might have been disappointed that Ennis never had shown  that  much eagerness to be with him  as he did (at least in his mind). He couldn't understand  why he felt that " s'times i missed you so much that i can harldy stand it" while Ennis didn't feel the same way, (i think   at the same degree fits better) or   at least he never told him so .So when Jack finally  discovered that Ennis also felt the same way and moreover that he  (Ennis) couldn't anymore stick to what he had told to Jack 20 years  ago (that they can meet once in a while...)  he became to realise that quiting was not the answer. And i know that Jack looked miserable and in pain but IMO in his heart wasn't ready to quit Ennis.

Of course neither the story nor the film indicates 100% that Jack quit or didn't quit Ennis. We can only assume and believe the version that makes us happier or whatever fits to anybody. What we know for sure  is that Ennis & Jack lived together for ever and the "for ever" was defined by Jack's death. At the end what we get is that only death did them apart.


 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 05:57:26 AM by gres »
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Offline heavysigh

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2006, 06:00:43 AM »
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?"

I have a different take on it. I think that it was in part because they weren't together all the time that their passion stayed strong.
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Gonzo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2006, 08:30:08 AM »
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?"

I have a different take on it. I think that it was in part because they weren't together all the time that their passion stayed strong.

I agree completely.  That factor in their relationship is often sidetracked in this discussion.  It is precisely because they had to struggle to keep it going that made their meetings so much sweeter.

B73

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2006, 08:51:33 AM »
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?"

I have a different take on it. I think that it was in part because they weren't together all the time that their passion stayed strong.

I agree completely.  That factor in their relationship is often sidetracked in this discussion.  It is precisely because they had to struggle to keep it going that made their meetings so much sweeter.

You know, I'm just reminded of a couple of landlords I had when I lived in the Bay Area, California.  One was tall and blond and kind of a tough guy, the other dark-haired and beautiful and gregarious.  One was from the South, and the other (no kidding) was from someplace like that North Dakota or the something.  Well, they were together for a really long time, I think, and I am damn sure they still are.  They weren't very demonstrative with each other in public, but all the same you could just feel the love they had for each other when you saw them together.  Reminds me of what Jack and Ennis could have had in a different time, a different place.  The point is, I don't know if J and E's love would have weakened if they *had* spent more time together.  (Sure wish I knew what my old landlords thought of the movie, but haven't seen them in years....)

Gonzo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2006, 09:11:29 AM »
You know, I'm just reminded of a couple of landlords I had when I lived in the Bay Area, California.  One was tall and blond and kind of a tough guy, the other dark-haired and beautiful and gregarious.  One was from the South, and the other (no kidding) was from someplace like that North Dakota or the something.  Well, they were together for a really long time, I think, and I am damn sure they still are.  They weren't very demonstrative with each other in public, but all the same you could just feel the love they had for each other when you saw them together.  Reminds me of what Jack and Ennis could have had in a different time, a different place.  The point is, I don't know if J and E's love would have weakened if they *had* spent more time together.  (Sure wish I knew what my old landlords thought of the movie, but haven't seen them in years....)

It may not have been any different, but that is dreaming of a situation that is not given to us.  Extrapolating a much easier and happier existence for them.  What they do have are "separate and difficult lives."  And I can't help but believe that that difficulty and separation made them fight even harder to regain what they had lost and want it even more.  JMO.

B73

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2006, 09:17:09 AM »


It may not have been any different, but that is dreaming of a situation that is not given to us.  Extrapolating a much easier and happier existence for them.  What they do have are "separate and difficult lives."  And I can't help but believe that that difficulty and separation made them fight even harder to regain what they had lost and want it even more.  JMO.

I see what you mean.  And I agree. 

Offline samsung

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2006, 09:33:00 AM »
It may not have been any different, but that is dreaming of a situation that is not given to us.  Extrapolating a much easier and happier existence for them.  What they do have are "separate and difficult lives."  And I can't help but believe that that difficulty and separation made them fight even harder to regain what they had lost and want it even more.  JMO.

I agree with this, and think it explains how the relationship lasted as long as it did.  Highly doubtful such an arrangement would be tolerated by anyone today.  But it is precisely because Jack had expended so much energy and effort (to say nothing of expense) over so long to keep this love going, nurturing all along his goal of building a life with Ennis, that the frustration at the end was so bitter, and final.  He had just had enough.

Offline Lisbeth

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2006, 09:41:57 AM »
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?"

I have a different take on it. I think that it was in part because they weren't together all the time that their passion stayed strong.

I agree completely.  That factor in their relationship is often sidetracked in this discussion.  It is precisely because they had to struggle to keep it going that made their meetings so much sweeter.

That's what I think, too. The fact that they only saw each other a few times a year made their meetings so dramatically intense and it would have been different had they lived a day-to-day life.
In my opinion, Annie Proulx says it all with her "nothing begun, nothing resolved, nothing ended", I wish we could ask her what was in her mind after she wrote those lines. Of course, I don't know, but for me the relationship of the two men was frozen into what they had over the 20 years. Jack did not let go of Ennis because he couldn't. (I wish I knew how to quit you.....). He doesn't know how to quit Ennis because of the love they share. And I think Jack has an understanding for Ennis. He knows that Ennis is suffering and can't help himself and bears with him. Also, in my opinion the "I wish I knew how to quit you..." was only said out of frustration but was not actually meant that way. Of course, Jack was looking for other men and probably spent time with other men but I don't think he would ever have quit Ennis.
But that's not how the story ended.....Jack died and left a devastated Ennis. And that's all we know for sure.

Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2006, 11:03:03 AM »
Lisbeth,

you firmly hit the nail on the head!
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Offline kaboyz

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2006, 11:30:45 AM »
Hmmmm....interesting stuff in here!  Do we ever find a love as true as our first love?  If given the chance to always keep your first love on the side in your life would you be able to?
You son of a whoreson bitch

Offline pauline

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2006, 09:45:11 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.



Yes! Ennis kind of love was profound and rewarding, the way he treated Jack because of his extreme fear was not acceptable, but Jack understood why that was, and that's why he put up with it. In essence the closeness they had, and the love that they had together, the sort of love most people long for, was worth all the aggravation. Real understanding, and a oneness of spirit is not damaging to self esteem. In fact the sort of love and care one can give is beneficial in that way, particularly when one knows how much one is really loved. Surely, Jack only had to look into Ennis's eyes to know how much he was loved. If that was not true why was Ennis so destroyed by Jack's death. One does not have to be able to say "I love you" to feel that love.
  I agree, however, Ennis was destroyed years before when they were on Brokeback Mountain.  Ennis didn't want to leave the mountain because he was in love with Jack, just as much as Jack was in love with him.  He did not want the summer to end.  This is why he struck out at Jack and why he was physically sick when they left the mountian.  This man was in love and it destroyed him knowing that what they had was no more.  He had found true love but now it was gone.  All one has to do is watch their reunion scene to see that never ending love that we all long for in our lives.  Their love was real.  They could not tell each other about this love but they felt it, they knew. 

Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2006, 03:38:09 AM »
Absolutely, a lot has been made here of Ennis not knowing he was in love with Jack until after Jack died. Ennis could not really admit to himself, in his rational thinking  mind, that he was in love, the extreme terror inculcated in his mind by his father and the Earl and Rich situation made sure of that. But, his whole body was wracked with love for Jack, vomiting in a barn, feeling as if "your guts were being pulled out hand over hand, a yard at a time" because the love of your life has just driven away, and you are so scared of your feelings you couldn't even tell him how you felt, so you punched him instead.
The utter joy on Ennis's face at the reunion, the love and lust and desire of that time.
There was what Ennis knew, and what he tried to believe...........................

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Offline 64 Zoo Lane

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2006, 04:11:31 AM »
My contention would be NO. John Twist's phrase (and twist is right, as in twist the knife)  that Ennis del Mar  "I'm goin' a bring him up here one a these days, and we'll lick this damn ranch into shape" followed by, "then this spring he's got another one's goin' a come up here with him" etc etc. shows not that Randall (who of course was not named in the book) was going to go to Lightning Flat, He like Ennis had probably never heard of this idea, but that in the few days after Jack and Ennis's row, he had replaced Ennis in Jack's fantasy.
Poor Jack!

New to this thread, and still reading, but I just had to say a resounding YES! to this point, cos that's exactly how I it feels to me.

Also, Janjo, could you tell me where you found that quote from Jake Gyllenhaal saying Jack dies when Ennis drives off after their row?

EDIT: I've caught up now, and would just like to add my two cents' worth.

I watched the DVD with some friends who were new to the film last night, and one of them found the thought of Jack moving on to Randall, and said "that makes me not like [Jack] anymore".

For me, it's all about what you mean by 'quit'. I accept that in practical terms Jack may be very ready to try and build up a life for himself with Randall. Plus Ennis pretty much asks him to do something when he breaks down and says he can't stand it anymore. Jack has always had to take the practical lead in their relationship - do the contacting, the driving - and maybe he feels now it's time to free Ennis from his torture.

But I don't think he can really quit Ennis in the true sense of the word. They cannot quit each other. This story is about endless love marred by impossible odds and unsurmountable practical obstacles. But the love is always there. The shirts are still in their hiding place. They have got so little to go on ("Brokeback Mountan is all we've got"). They are already without most of the extras that come from being in a 'relationship': no companionship, no day-to-day support, no regular sex. They stick at it for twenty years without all that. This is one of the most unconditional depictions of love I have ever encountered, and, to me, whether Jack does or doesn't give up in some practical way on a dream of a life with Ennis, is neither here nor there.

This is my personal view. I'll admit I feel personally invested in this idea of unconditional, everlasting love because it means so much to me, and because it keeps me from totally breaking down about this story. When Ennis is jealous, when Jack admits he doesn't know how to quit Ennis, when Ennis breaks down - this is all very tough stuff, on me as a viewer and on them, but to me it is better than no love at all.

On a Spanish BBM blog someone quoted the words from a song from a Catalan singer-song writer. I won't translate the entire song, but here is some of it:

Now you've got love
You caress the glory
with the tips of your fingers
You are immortal
Be ready
To walk in the dark
To live alone
To sleep out in the open
...
Now you will live
by the side of anguish
and you will walk the way
of crime or goodbye
...
Don't ask for justice
you're the one throwing the dice
Close your eyes
Jump into the abyss
And give up on living
Forever more in peace
...
Now you have love
And its agony
Who would not give everything
To suffer it again
Once more
Once more
Once more
And that's it.

This kind of true love is not for the faint of heart. Love, I said, not relationship. It requires courage because it brings pain.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 05:01:38 AM by 64 Zoo Lane »
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Offline Lisbeth

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2006, 07:26:15 AM »
My contention would be NO. John Twist's phrase (and twist is right, as in twist the knife)  that Ennis del Mar  "I'm goin' a bring him up here one a these days, and we'll lick this damn ranch into shape" followed by, "then this spring he's got another one's goin' a come up here with him" etc etc. shows not that Randall (who of course was not named in the book) was going to go to Lightning Flat, He like Ennis had probably never heard of this idea, but that in the few days after Jack and Ennis's row, he had replaced Ennis in Jack's fantasy.
Poor Jack!

New to this thread, and still reading, but I just had to say a resounding YES! to this point, cos that's exactly how I it feels to me.

Also, Janjo, could you tell me where you found that quote from Jake Gyllenhaal saying Jack dies when Ennis drives off after their row?

EDIT: I've caught up now, and would just like to add my two cents' worth.

I watched the DVD with some friends who were new to the film last night, and one of them found the thought of Jack moving on to Randall, and said "that makes me not like [Jack] anymore".

For me, it's all about what you mean by 'quit'. I accept that in practical terms Jack may be very ready to try and build up a life for himself with Randall. Plus Ennis pretty much asks him to do something when he breaks down and says he can't stand it anymore. Jack has always had to take the practical lead in their relationship - do the contacting, the driving - and maybe he feels now it's time to free Ennis from his torture.

But I don't think he can really quit Ennis in the true sense of the word. They cannot quit each other. This story is about endless love marred by impossible odds and unsurmountable practical obstacles. But the love is always there. The shirts are still in their hiding place. They have got so little to go on ("Brokeback Mountan is all we've got"). They are already without most of the extras that come from being in a 'relationship': no companionship, no day-to-day support, no regular sex. They stick at it for twenty years without all that. This is one of the most unconditional depictions of love I have ever encountered, and, to me, whether Jack does or doesn't give up in some practical way on a dream of a life with Ennis, is neither here nor there.

This is my personal view. I'll admit I feel personally invested in this idea of unconditional, everlasting love because it means so much to me, and because it keeps me from totally breaking down about this story. When Ennis is jealous, when Jack admits he doesn't know how to quit Ennis, when Ennis breaks down - this is all very tough stuff, on me as a viewer and on them, but to me it is better than no love at all.

On a Spanish BBM blog someone quoted the words from a song from a Catalan singer-song writer. I won't translate the entire song, but here is some of it:

Now you've got love
You caress the glory
with the tips of your fingers
You are immortal
Be ready
To walk in the dark
To live alone
To sleep out in the open
...
Now you will live
by the side of anguish
and you will walk the way
of crime or goodbye
...
Don't ask for justice
you're the one throwing the dice
Close your eyes
Jump into the abyss
And give up on living
Forever more in peace
...
Now you have love
And its agony
Who would not give everything
To suffer it again
Once more
Once more
Once more
And that's it.

This kind of true love is not for the faint of heart. Love, I said, not relationship. It requires courage because it brings pain.

This sums it all up. In my opinion nothing needs to be added to the above. Superbly told.
I also believe in endless love and love that endures everything. Thank you!
Lisbeth

Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2006, 07:32:44 AM »
64 Zoo Lane,

I'm sorry I can't tell you where the Jake Gyllenhall quote came from, I think I read it on this site somewhere, but I can't remember where. I certainly didn't invent it though! Perhaps someone else can enlighten us.
Like your friend I don't like the idea of Jack having an affair with Randall, and for reasons I've stated elsewhere on this thread, I don't think he was ever a serious contender to replace Ennis. He was a man that Jack had to be seeing in Texas, or otherwise Jack would never have been beaten to death, or Ennis could not have imagined that as a distinct possibility.
In some respects it doesn't matter if they were having a serious affair or not, what we need to know is that whatever they had, something or nothing, Ennis was the love of Jack's life and always would be whatever transpired. Otherwise, I'm seeing a ranch foremans.... wife?.... down in Texas, but I miss you so much I can hardly stand it, means nothing.
So I'm staying firmly in the NO QUIT camp.
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"Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"
Ballad in plain D: Bob Dylan