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Author Topic: Did Jack Quit Ennis?  (Read 435542 times)

Offline chrislynfl

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2006, 08:33:31 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?

Response posted on this thread:    http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=265.msg273734#msg273734

Offline samsung

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2006, 08:57:48 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!

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.


Janjo, your argument that "Randall probably never heard of this idea" is based on what, exactly?  How do you know?  It may serve your need to believe Jack would never leave Ennis, but has no foundation in the story.  John's relation of this account is straightforward, it hits Ennis hard, and I think it's at this point that Jack's mom's intervention, pointing him to the upstairs bedroom and the shirts, is a kind of rescue.  He learns that indeed Ennis was loved, could not be replaced in that way, but it is his realization that Jack had changed, had made other plans, that forces Ennis to face the fact that he had driven Jack away, that the love they shared had to be fought for, not just relied upon.  This is a key point.

Here's my problem with the argument that Jack leaving Ennis is "neither here nor there."  If we convert BM into a simple love story, about a love eternal that transcends all obstacles, then we diminish and ultimately discount the key theme of destructive homophobia.  Jack and Ennis become essentially indistinguishablel from Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, and on and on.  I don't believe Annie wrote this story for this purpose.  She wrote it, and has reaffirmed this, that she wanted to show how homophobia in the mid-century rural West destroyed human beings, crushed their spirit, and often left them either dead or wounded for life.  BM is a chronicle of the suffering and pain associated with enforced repression of one's nature.  The J&E relationship, and its collapse, serves this purpose.  It is not merely the story of two men's love. 

Ennis not only must face the consequences of surrendering to his fear.  He must also consider the possibility that by driving Jack away, he may have had a role in his death.  This will torment him forever, as we learn in the story, and serves to magnify and drive home the injustice of a violently antigay society.  It's entirely possible -- we'll never know -- that Ennis and Jack would have reconciled.  Certainly, had they done so, it would have been on Jack's terms, not Ennis's.  The POINT, however, is that the time and place they were condemned to live in forever prevented what, for the vast majority, is always possible.  This is what makes this story, first and foremost, a gay tragedy.

Certainly, anyone has the right to cast BM any way they wish, and if violent homophobia and its consequences are not that big a question, while belief in a universal romantic ideal is, then go ahead.  But I believe in doing so you destroy what makes BM the groundbreaking literature it is.

Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2006, 09:14:56 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!

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.


Janjo, your argument that "Randall probably never heard of this idea" is based on what, exactly?  How do you know?  It may serve your need to believe Jack would never leave Ennis, but has no foundation in the story.  John's relation of this account is straightforward, it hits Ennis hard, and I think it's at this point that Jack's mom's intervention, pointing him to the upstairs bedroom and the shirts, is a kind of rescue.  He learns that indeed Ennis was loved, could not be replaced in that way, but it is his realization that Jack had changed, had made other plans, that forces Ennis to face the fact that he had driven Jack away, that the love they shared had to be fought for, not just relied upon.  This is a key point.

Here's my problem with the argument that Jack leaving Ennis is "neither here nor there."  If we convert BM into a simple love story, about a love eternal that transcends all obstacles, then we diminish and ultimately discount the key theme of destructive homophobia.  Jack and Ennis become essentially indistinguishablel from Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, and on and on.  I don't believe Annie wrote this story for this purpose.  She wrote it, and has reaffirmed this, that she wanted to show how homophobia in the mid-century rural West destroyed human beings, crushed their spirit, and often left them either dead or wounded for life.  BM is a chronicle of the suffering and pain associated with enforced repression of one's nature.  The J&E relationship, and its collapse, serves this purpose.  It is not merely the story of two men's love. 

Ennis not only must face the consequences of surrendering to his fear.  He must also consider the possibility that by driving Jack away, he may have had a role in his death.  This will torment him forever, as we learn in the story, and serves to magnify and drive home the injustice of a violently antigay society.  It's entirely possible -- we'll never know -- that Ennis and Jack would have reconciled.  Certainly, had they done so, it would have been on Jack's terms, not Ennis's.  The POINT, however, is that the time and place they were condemned to live in forever prevented what, for the vast majority, is always possible.  This is what makes this story, first and foremost, a gay tragedy.

Certainly, anyone has the right to cast BM any way they wish, and if violent homophobia and its consequences are not that big a question, while belief in a universal romantic ideal is, then go ahead.  But I believe in doing so you destroy what makes BM the groundbreaking literature it is.

In my heart i want to believe Jack didn't quit Ennis. But in my latest post on this topic i concluded the following:

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.
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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2006, 09:37:43 AM »
Certainly, anyone has the right to cast BM any way they wish, and if violent homophobia and its consequences are not that big a question, while belief in a universal romantic ideal is, then go ahead.  But I believe in doing so you destroy what makes BM the groundbreaking literature it is.
I want to thank you for reminding us that the unique aspect of this story is homophobia.  It is easy to forget that and focus on the love they had together.  But I differ in that I don't think the quit/no quit debate affects that unique aspect.  I think they attained a "universal romantic ideal" that would prevent Jack from ever quitting Ennis.  The tragedy is that homophobia kept them apart.  If Jack after many years of separation and frustration does quit Ennis then homophobia wins.  If Jack does not quit Ennis then the fight against homophobia is sustained, to be fought by others certainly, but never abandoned.

Offline heavysigh

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2006, 09:51:31 AM »


Janjo, your argument that "Randall probably never heard of this idea" is based on what, exactly?  How do you know?  It may serve your need to believe Jack would never leave Ennis, but has no foundation in the story.  John's relation of this account is straightforward, it hits Ennis hard, and I think it's at this point that Jack's mom's intervention, pointing him to the upstairs bedroom and the shirts, is a kind of rescue.  He learns that indeed Ennis was loved, could not be replaced in that way, but it is his realization that Jack had changed, had made other plans, that forces Ennis to face the fact that he had driven Jack away, that the love they shared had to be fought for, not just relied upon.  This is a key point.
Quote

I'm not Janjo, but I also believe that Randall probably didn't know about Jack's plans. I justify that by the fact that Ennis had no idea that Jack had been talking to his parents about bringing him to the ranch to live - why would Randall be any different? I'm not saying that he definitely didn't know, but it's certainly a possibility and it fits to me.
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Offline 64 Zoo Lane

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #50 on: June 01, 2006, 09:56:57 AM »
I'm not Janjo, but I also believe that Randall probably didn't know about Jack's plans. I justify that by the fact that Ennis had no idea that Jack had been talking to his parents about bringing him to the ranch to live - why would Randall be any different? I'm not saying that he definitely didn't know, but it's certainly a possibility and it fits to me.

The other indicator is the fact that it looks like he mentioned it to his father right after his final trip with Ennis, because Twist Sr. says 'last spring'.

As Jack and Ennis are getting into their trucks, Jack says he'll head on to Lightning Flat. It seems reasonable to assume that is the visit during which he mentioned taking 'another fellow' up to his parents' ranch. And it is certainly harder to believe that he would have planned to take Randall there before the argument with Ennis.
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Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #51 on: June 01, 2006, 10:12:28 AM »
Well I am Janjo, and thank you for the support guys! My feeling is that probably Randall didn't know anything about it, because for 20 years Ennis hadn't known anything about it, and that seems consistent. Of course I can't prove it! What good would that do anyway?
I am sure in my mind that Jack was having an affair with Randall, but to me it is a something and nothing sexual affair that is going nowhere because Jack is still in love with Ennis. It is enough to get Jack killed however!
He went straight up to Lightening Flat, in an absolutely bitter and emotional state, and told his father he had someone else coming up there with him. He had no time to make any plans with Randall, he hadn't even seen him!
Destructive homophobia killed Jack, destryed Ennis, and probably didn't do Randall any good either.
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Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2006, 10:40:06 AM »
Janjo, your argument that "Randall probably never heard of this idea" is based on what, exactly?  How do you know?  It may serve your need to believe Jack would never leave Ennis, but has no foundation in the story.  John's relation of this account is straightforward, it hits Ennis hard, and I think it's at this point that Jack's mom's intervention, pointing him to the upstairs bedroom and the shirts, is a kind of rescue.  He learns that indeed Ennis was loved, could not be replaced in that way, but it is his realization that Jack had changed, had made other plans, that forces Ennis to face the fact that he had driven Jack away, that the love they shared had to be fought for, not just relied upon.  This is a key point.

Here's my problem with the argument that Jack leaving Ennis is "neither here nor there."  If we convert BM into a simple love story, about a love eternal that transcends all obstacles, then we diminish and ultimately discount the key theme of destructive homophobia.  Jack and Ennis become essentially indistinguishablel from Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, and on and on.  I don't believe Annie wrote this story for this purpose.  She wrote it, and has reaffirmed this, that she wanted to show how homophobia in the mid-century rural West destroyed human beings, crushed their spirit, and often left them either dead or wounded for life.  BM is a chronicle of the suffering and pain associated with enforced repression of one's nature.  The J&E relationship, and its collapse, serves this purpose.  It is not merely the story of two men's love. 

Ennis not only must face the consequences of surrendering to his fear.  He must also consider the possibility that by driving Jack away, he may have had a role in his death.  This will torment him forever, as we learn in the story, and serves to magnify and drive home the injustice of a violently antigay society.  It's entirely possible -- we'll never know -- that Ennis and Jack would have reconciled.  Certainly, had they done so, it would have been on Jack's terms, not Ennis's.  The POINT, however, is that the time and place they were condemned to live in forever prevented what, for the vast majority, is always possible.  This is what makes this story, first and foremost, a gay tragedy.

Certainly, anyone has the right to cast BM any way they wish, and if violent homophobia and its consequences are not that big a question, while belief in a universal romantic ideal is, then go ahead.  But I believe in doing so you destroy what makes BM the groundbreaking literature it is.

''It may serve your need to believe Jack would never leave Ennis, but has no foundation in the story.  John's relation of this account is straightforward..''
It can be said as straightforwardly as one could wish and in plain English and still not represent the truth accurately; we do not even know if Jack truly wished to bring someone other than Ennis to the Twist farm, and certainly not whether he would have ever done so. Janjo's interpretation of John Twist's statements has as much validity as your own; there is no proof one way or another because the evidence is insufficient for proof or even to show an undeniable leaning in one direction or another.

''If we convert BM into a simple love story, about a love eternal that transcends all obstacles,''
Where does that happen? It does not happen in the book, nor the movie, nor in janjo's explanation of janjo's opinion. Love endures in the story of Jack and Ennis, but it does not overcome all obstacles, it merely survives in the surviving partner. Janjo does not argue for its eternity. You are creating a ''straw man'' argument out of nothing in order to put it down with your own statements, but nothing of the sort was said to begin with.

I agree entirely that the story is primarily about the destructive effects of homophobia. It destroys the happiness of all the people involved, in this specific fictional case, it hurt Ennis, Jack, their parents, their wives, their children. Even their in-laws. The one thing it does not destroy is the love itself within each lover. But the love does not overcome the homophobia, it endures in suffering.

Without both the intense enduring love and the homophobia in the same story, the tale would have lacked the power and drama that affected us so deeply.
For that reason, the love is of equal importance to the homophobia and is not inferior to it.

''Certainly, anyone has the right to cast BM any way they wish, and if violent homophobia and its consequences are not that big a question, while belief in a universal romantic ideal is, then go ahead.''

This is sarcasm and condescension, in which the latter part of the statement negates the first section. It basically says that ^you can believe whatever you want about this story but if you don't agree with my opinion that the love is essentially unimportant compared to the homophobia, then you are a person of no vision and perception and are a lesser being than I am.^ You do have a point to make, and you had already stated it despite the distraction of the made-up argument, but to cast the final thought in the form chosen is insulting.

And in the service of what? Your own personal opinion against someone else's personal opinion. All parties have a right to their own opinion but not the right to insult the other for having a different one. Not in this message board; we have a rule against it.

Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #53 on: June 01, 2006, 10:51:24 AM »
Janjo i agree with you but you already know that.

As for the homophobia thing. I don't believe that the fact that some of us here do believe that Jack didn't quit Ennis  reduces in any way the effect that homophobia had on their relationship. Homophobia was there all the time. Homophobia didn't let them  enjoy openly their love at the beginning and all along and it was homophobia again that got Jack killed (or at least in Ennis mind).
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Offline heavysigh

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2006, 11:21:45 AM »
Janjo i agree with you but you already know that.

As for the homophobia thing. I don't believe that the fact that some of us here do believe that Jack didn't quit Ennis  reduces in any way the effect that homophobia had on their relationship. Homophobia was there all the time. Homophobia didn't let them  enjoy openly their love at the beginning and all along and it was homophobia again that got Jack killed (or at least in Ennis mind).

Exactly. I've aruged that this is NOT a universal love story in that most people don't have to live in fear simply because they love someone and without homophobia, this would be a VERY different story, certainly not the tragedy that it is.
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Offline peteinportland

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2006, 11:47:45 AM »
No.

That is my final answer.  ;D

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Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2006, 11:55:14 AM »
No.

That is my final answer.  ;D

Pete

LOL

That's my answer, too, but as always for me, is subject to change upon more evidence or change in outlook.

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2006, 12:11:18 PM »
No.

That is my final answer.  ;D

Pete

No. Period.

And that's my final answer.    ;D

Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #58 on: June 01, 2006, 12:17:56 PM »
No.

That is my final answer.  ;D

Pete

No. Period.

And that's my final answer.    ;D

Noooooooooooo. Did you all hear me or should i shout it louder? ;D
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Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #59 on: June 01, 2006, 03:16:59 PM »
Note to those whose posts were deleted:
Please stay on topic.

and if someone makes an offtopic post, please do not respond to it, or it is highly likely that your own post will be removed also since it refers to a post that won't exist to be responded to, and therefore your remarks would make no sense out of their intended context.