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Author Topic: Did Jack Quit Ennis?  (Read 458751 times)

Offline doggedstrength

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #60 on: June 01, 2006, 03:43:38 PM »
i have one question:  after their final confrontation, what does that look on jack's face mean as he watches ennis drive off?  i see grimness, deep sadness and, regrettably, determination.  it edges beyond, "my god, what should i do about this man in my life?" over to "i know now what i have to do, much as it will pain me to do it.

i emphatically don't mean that jack thinks moving on from ennis will be easy, or that he will have completely put ennis behind him, or, most definitely, that randall is in any sense a replacement for ennis. 

but it's precisely because john twist sr. says that "this spring" jack talked about a "ranch neighbor of his from down in texas" who was coming up to lightning flat with jack -- it's because john twist, of all people, mentions it that the storytellers want us to know that it's real, an actual alternative. 

jack may have half-consciously mulled it for some time.  as i've posted before, randall is no godsend. but he's there for jack in a way that ennis can't be. 

that final look on jack's face is enigmatic, i agree, but clearly jack is not happy.  i can't see how one can interpret that look as meaning things look good for ennis in jack's mind.  jack is hurting, so is ennis.  too much?  maybe jack thinks so.  and is looking for a way out.  i agree that he could never quit ennis in a single, decisive slam of the door. 

but move on?  yes, i think so.  and i think ennis senses that awful possibility as he soaks up the sting from john twist's ugly sneer. 

to me, that stunned look on heath's face, the frightened flare of his nostrils, says, "oh my god, i lost him.  just before he died, i lost him."  and maybe that's what gives ennis' final "jack, i swear" some of its power.  "if i'd known how close i was to losing you, jack, i swear . . . i'd have overcome my fears."  alas, it's too late.  that's my sad take.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 08:08:59 AM by doggedstrength »
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Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2006, 04:03:33 PM »
Maybe the look on Jack's face as Ennis drives off says this is ghastly, I don't know how I'm going to stand this, I  will try, but I don't know how.
As for John Twist, perhaps he was just a miserable old bugger who enjoyed twisting the knife. He despised his son, and he despises his boyfriend too!
i don't expect to convert you though!
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Offline Lance

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #62 on: June 01, 2006, 04:23:55 PM »
but it's precisely because john twist sr. says that "this spring" jack talked about a "ranch neighbor of his from down in texas" who was coming up to lightning flat with jack -- it's because john twist, of all people, mentions it that the storytellers want us to know that it's real, an actual alternative. 

''it's because john twist, of all people, mentions it that the storytellers want us to know that it's real, an actual alternative. ''

I have to question the conceptual logic of that statement. Partly because it is reversed for cause and effect, but more importantly because it makes a definite statement of what the storytellers wanted, which we don't really know for certain; it's speculation.



'' that it's real, an actual alternative.''

It may be real as an alternative, but it is only speculative as a fixed intent on Jack's part [and of course as an action since there was never a chance for it to be put into effect.]
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Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #63 on: June 01, 2006, 05:01:40 PM »
Thank you Lance for all your efforts on my behalf today!
I suspect that I have said most of what I have to say on this subject, and so many people will never take our point of view no matter what we say anyway, as is their right of course.
Just one small point, I am not sure that the quit/no quit camps are as far apart as is sometimes thought. I have never denied that Jack and Randall were probably having some sort of affair, my contention is just that I don't feel he was ever going up to Lightning Flat, he was any sort of replacement for Ennis, or that Jack could have quit Ennis even if he had tried.
Of course Ennis was upset when John Twist told him about "another one's goin' to come up here etc", because Ennis realised he had thrown Jack into the arms of another man by his neglect, and had therefore contributed to Jack's death.
That is not saying that Jack was going to quit Ennis though, I remain firmly in the "no quit" camp, and I will try to shut up about it now!
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Offline ConstantReader

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #64 on: June 01, 2006, 06:09:31 PM »
I'm in the no-quit camp too.

During their last trip together, Jack tells Ennis Sometimes, I miss you so much I can't stand it..  [Annie uses different words in her story.]

Ennis threatens Jack and Jack not only faces it but hands back some pretty nasty words himself.

The words themselves: I wish I knew how to quit you.   [Jack doesn't know how to quit Ennis]

What does Jack do when he sees Ennis's reaction to his declaration?  He walks over and tries to comfort him, is rebuffed, persists.  [It'a alright, it's alright.  Damn you, Ennis.]

 

 

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #65 on: June 01, 2006, 06:29:35 PM »
Thank you Lance for all your efforts on my behalf today!
I suspect that I have said most of what I have to say on this subject, and so many people will never take our point of view no matter what we say anyway, as is their right of course.
Just one small point, I am not sure that the quit/no quit camps are as far apart as is sometimes thought. I have never denied that Jack and Randall were probably having some sort of affair, my contention is just that I don't feel he was ever going up to Lightning Flat, he was any sort of replacement for Ennis, or that Jack could have quit Ennis even if he had tried.
Of course Ennis was upset when John Twist told him about "another one's goin' to come up here etc", because Ennis realised he had thrown Jack into the arms of another man by his neglect, and had therefore contributed to Jack's death.That is not saying that Jack was going to quit Ennis though, I remain firmly in the "no quit" camp, and I will try to shut up about it now!
Hi, Janjo and Lance; if I may jump in here:

Bingo! Janjo, I think the bolded sentence is the crux of the final tragedy; it explains much, including Ennis' probable descent into almost certain emotional oblivion:
If only he had gone with Jack, Jack might still be alive.
OHHHHH, GOOOOOOOD....................
But, I too, am firmly in the NO QUIT camp, along with ya. I have always felt Randall's proposition led to, at the most, casual, distracting sex; in fact, I think his approach to going fishing was eerily similiar and coded enough to echo the early Jack and Ennis' fishing trips, that we might safely assume that it would never have gone any further than Jack and Ennis went in a practical sense. If J & E were never going to get a cabin in their depths of love, how would J & R ever have gotten one? Was Jack just picking another pale version of Ennis? I think Randall was also deeply in the closet.... Good luck with going thru that all over again...I think-and I think we may agree- much of the Randall inclusion was part of Jack's "pretend place" response to pain, probably learned in early childhood, after much abuse. Consider, too, that he drank alot. That probably led him into la-la land sometimes....Sad little boy inside, trying  his best to be a strong man.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 06:53:40 PM by CANSTANDIT »

Gonzo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #66 on: June 01, 2006, 06:50:42 PM »
But, I too, am firmly in the NO QUIT camp, along with ya. I have always felt Randall's proposition led to, at the most, casual, distracting sex; in fact, I think his approach to going fishing was eerily similiar and coded enough to echo the early Jack and Ennis' fishing trips, that we might safely assume that it would never have gone any further than Jack and Ennis went in a practical sense. If J & E were never going to get a cabin in their depths of love, how would J & R ever have gotten one? Was Jack just picking another pale version of Ennis? I think Randall was also deeply in the closet.... Good luck with going thru that all over again...I think-and I think we may agree- much of the Randall inclusion was part of Jack's "pretend place" response to pain, probably learned in early childhood, after much abuse. Consider, too, that he drank alot. That probably led him into la-la land sometimes....Sad little boy inside, trying  his best to be a strong man.


I agree with this completely.  I believe Jack did have significant coping mechanisms developed by treatment from his father.  I think this shows in his tolerance of Ennis's restrictions on their relationship.  He will do anything to please Ennis and gain and keep his affection.  I also think the rancher comments from John Twist are more examples of Jack still trying to impress and please his abuser.  They are external vocalizations of a reality that only exists in Jack's dream land that he has established to cope with his real life experiences.

Offline Signal63

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #67 on: June 02, 2006, 12:24:27 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.

I think it is very likely that Randall didn't know of these plans anymore than Ennis had known of Jack's plans. But this is more like Jack's dream than an actual plan. The important thing is that for so many years it had been Ennis in this dream and now it was someone else. That's important information for the reader. I do believe what Mr. Twist is telling us is true because there is no indication to think otherwise. Elsewhere in the story the narrator provides us with information to indicate when the truth isn't being said. Ennis certainly believes it.

I don't think anyone here would deny that J&E were in a "once in a lifetime love"—as Proulx calls it. But sometimes in real life that just isn't enough as the sad circumstances of J&E make clear. In this case "settling" for Randall is what many people do all of the time, so it's not unbelievable that Jack would do the same. However that doesn't diminish the love they had for each other, which is what the shirts are all about. So while homophobia destroys all the major sexual relationships in the film, including J&E's, it can't extinguish the love that they found.

Offline Sid401k

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #68 on: June 02, 2006, 12:43:33 AM »
Devil's Advocate, here.

Assuming Jack quit Ennis or Ennis quit Jack, leaving him lonesome (neither of which I believe, but IF), I could see Jack keeping the shirts as a sentimental remembrance of back when.  But I can also see him destroying them, symbolically writing "The End" to the relationship.

Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #69 on: June 02, 2006, 02:58:22 AM »
Ok! I know I said I'd shut up, but Jack did go up to Lightning Flat, he told his father he was thinking of another man, BUT HE DID NOT DESTROY THE SHIRTS, because in his heart he could not move on.

On another tack, if I had Jack's life I think I would drink a lot!

This shutting up is harder than I first thought!
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Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #70 on: June 02, 2006, 06:09:44 AM »
I have always felt Randall's proposition led to, at the most, casual, distracting sex;

And from a practical point of view Randall was there, propably willing to offer Jack casual sex. And considering Jack's words "i can't make it with two highaltitude f****once or twice a year" that was very convenient as to Jack didn't have to drive down to Mexico... Also Randall's words in their 1st meeting point us to this direction. If i recall well he says "we can go down there ....get away a bit you know.."  So this makes me think Randall didn't want s'thing more than meeting  Jack from times to times for a bit of casual sex. So having all these things in my mind (and despite Jack's high sexual drive)  i don't believe Jack would ever quit Ennis for Randall. Jack hadn't developed any enotional bond with Randall because if he had then this fight in their last meeting would have happend much earlier.
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Offline janjo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #71 on: June 02, 2006, 06:59:11 AM »
Making perfect sense again here Gres!
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Offline gres

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #72 on: June 02, 2006, 07:57:45 AM »
Making perfect sense again here Gres!

Thanks  Janjo. It seems we are on the same side here. :)

And where is SID to play Devil's Advocate role.  :D


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Offline Vivy

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #73 on: June 02, 2006, 08:14:57 AM »
Hey guys!

Finally a own thread for this question  :)
Has been talked about a lot in other places.

I need to make my comment on that here as well. Did that somewhere else, but here is the place where it belongs.

Thought a lot about "did Jack quit Ennis?". After the first few viewings of BBM, I feared that Jack after their last meeting decided to move on without Ennis. That was mainly because of his sad expression he had on his face when Ennis drove off.
But I changed my mind soon after.
I´m now clearly on the "no quit"-camp.
Here´s what I posted about that question somewhere else in this forum. Added some things, but
here it goes...

(..) For me now it is absolutely clear that Jack did not waste a single thought on quitting Ennis after their last meeting. Of course there was this argument and at the end when Ennis left, Jack´s sad expression on his face is quite telling. But to me now it´s "just" an expression of disappointment about the fact ,that nothing´s changed so far, but that certainly wasn´t the first time he was sad about that. It has alsways been like that. The only difference was that this time they shouted their disappointment about their situation into each others faces.
Cos "what´s been said was no news", "nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved".
And by the way, this whole discussion about that wouldn´t be necessary if Ennis had been able to make August work. Only because he couldn´t make it, their argument started in the first place. Imagine August would have worked - there wouldn´t have been a reason to quarrel. Of course both Ennis and Jack were anything but happy with their situation, but if Ennis hadn´t come up with August, this argument wouldn´t have taken place. Only the let´s say"normal" sadness about never "having enough time" would´ve been in their hearts and on their faces. At least that´s my opinion.

So, to me there´s absolutely no doubt anymore: Jack would never ever have given up what Ennis and he shared. He definitely would have attended the november meeting to continue their relationship - cos after all and besides all the pain, despair and unfulfilled hopes, he loved Ennis. He was his life no matter the circumstances.



Gonzo

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Re: Did Jack Quit Ennis?
« Reply #74 on: June 02, 2006, 08:32:58 AM »
Thought a lot about "did Jack quit Ennis?". After the first few viewings of BBM, I feared that Jack after their last meeting decided to move on without Ennis. That was mainly because of his sad expression he had on his face when Ennis drove off.
But I changed my mind soon after.
I´m now clearly on the "no quit"-camp.

Ya know, it's kinda funny.  I am a vociferous proponent of the "no-quit" side.  I think the reason is that I never, ever even thought that.  Nothing I ever saw made me think "OMG Jack's gonna leave Ennis!"  The famous look that so many think shows Jack's resolve to quit is simply there to contrast with the look from the dozy embrace just a few seconds prior.  The younger look is sublime and peaceful while the older look is worried and fretting.  What I believe it is meant to show is not resolve to leave Ennis but the toll their relationship has taken on Jack specifically and by inference on Ennis.  I am glad to see that you are now firmly with the "no-quitters".