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Author Topic: Alma & Lureen  (Read 224317 times)

Offline B.W.

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #600 on: July 07, 2013, 03:31:28 AM »
I felt sorry for Alma and Lureen.   What was Alma's maiden name? Beers or something like that?  Alma was a working mother and seemed to lead such a stereotypical " June Cleever" kind of life although I am sure Barbara Billingsley can testify that naming a child "Beaver" isn't exactly something an ideal mother would do. LOL! Lureen was a workaholic, once a rodeo girl.  She had to become more serious when she became a mother. She has to help L.D. Newsome run the business.  Her mother , well we don't know anything about her.  She seems nice enough.  L.D. was just a mean old ass.  He constantly treated Jack like shit until Jack stood up to him during the Thanksgiving scene. Well that old tub of lard needed to be put in his place.  Alma seems to be attracted to Monroe from the time he first makes his appearance in the film.  Before Alma even heard of Jack.  I could tell right off the bat in 2005 that they would end up getting together, Monroe and Alma.  How do we really know she didn't ever cheat on Ennis with Monroe? We don't.  She does seem to work alot to take her mind off her anger over Ennis' love affair with Jack.   Alma seems to like city life compared to the rural area they once lived in.  Ennis prefers rural life because he was raised on ranches as stated in the film.  Jack was just into being a rodeo-clown.  I though Jake looked on riding that bull. He got tossed on his ass but he hung in there for a good few seconds ! LOL!  Bobby, we don't know much about him except he has trouble in school, academically and is fascinated with watching sports on TV. Alma Jr, very quiet. Jenny? Almost nothing, except she has asthma and loves her father very much. 

Offline B.W.

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #601 on: October 25, 2018, 08:52:32 PM »
I think that Alma was in love with Ennis, but I don't think that he was in love with her.  I think Ennis may have loved her as a person, but that is it.  I think he married her probably because he though she would make a good wife and she probably showed a romantic interest in him and to remain single might have aroused suspicion and could have made Ennis feel paranoid.  We don't know if he ever felt romantic and/or sexual attraction to another man before meeting Jack, I kind of doubt that he did.  Did Jack ever have a romantic and/or sexual interest in another man before meeting Ennis, we don't know.  Even though Jack and Ennis are both the same gender, they both have very different personalities, they are almost like the exact opposites of each other and a romantic and sexual relationship developing between them seems almost highly unlikely if you think about it.






Alma wanted her marriage to Ennis be more satisfying, but it did not turn out that way.  I can imagine her thinking that she was going to have a very happy life with him when they were engaged and probably dreamed of that when they were dating.  Ennis grew up in poverty and wasn't very well-educating, so it would have been a challenge for him to provide financially for Alma and their two daughters.  Jack, he married a pretty young woman from a well-to-do family.  No doubt, Jack grew up in poverty and to marry into a family and find a job that helped him move up the economic ladder was a welcome change I imagine for him.



 I think he probably thought Lureen seemed nice , was pretty and would make a decent wife.  Lureen is a university graduate and seems to have been a talented rodeo queen.  She joined her father's business and seemed to throw herself into her work.  Her father cannot stand Jack, so leaving his marriage with Lureen probably would have had an upside by getting away from L.D., although what future prospects for a good job would he have had if he left Lureen? If Jack studied to get his G.E.D. and then went to college, then his chances might have been better for having a good career if he decided to leave Lureen.  He also had to think about Bobby, I'm sure Jack loved his son, but it was probably hard for him to be the kind of father that he must have felt Bobby deserved, especially when Jack didn't seem to have such a loving father who seemed to look at his son as a disappointment to a degree, little more than a silly dreamer with his head in the clouds. Ennis, Jack, Alma and Lureen are all pretty much victims of their circumstances and none of them get what they really want.  I think that is one of the things that makes the film so sad.

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #602 on: August 13, 2022, 05:53:08 PM »

Hiya UBF members.

While searching around Google, I found a site that poses 8 questions.  The site seems to be geared toward the short story, but I see no reason that they can't be applied to the movie as well.

I'll post one question at a time, to keep the posts focused on it.

When I post the 8th question, I'll post the link to the website, and edit the prior posts to add the site link to give it the proper credit.

Not sure if these topics have been discussed before.   Perhaps these will be new topics.


2.  Why does Ennis's marriage end and Jack's doesn't, even though both wives clearly know about their husbands' sexuality?

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #603 on: August 13, 2022, 06:03:00 PM »
2.  Why does Ennis's marriage end and Jack's doesn't, even though both wives clearly know about their husbands' sexuality?

I'm not sure how others may feel, but I was never convinced that Lureen knew about Jack's sexuality, until the phone call.  That's when I thought she learned about Jack's relationship with Ennis.

In that era, divorce was not as accepted as it would become, and while I'm sure that Lureen was not happy with Jack, I don't think she was in the frame of mind that divorce was the way to go.

Alma learned of Ennis' sexuality the day of the reunion, when she witnessed the kiss from the door.  Even then, she stayed with Ennis.  Once again, I don't think she felt divorce was an answer for her, until (and some may not agree with this statement) Ennis' disrespect for her became very evident.

The scene that makes me say that is the one of Ennis & Alma about to have sex, before the courtroom scene.  She stops him, mentioning that due to the fact she hasn't been using the birth control pills, she's concerned about getting pregnant.   Ennis is far from understanding, and replies with (paraphrase) "If you don't want no more of my kids, I'll be happy to leave you alone."  She replies with "I'd have 'em if you'd support 'em."   Ennis gets off of her and turns his back to her.

While the delivery of that line may not have been the best, it's a very valid statement.  Ennis is putting the responsibility of raising the family on Alma's shoulders, as his work and pay is not enough to support another child.  When she questions this, he gets offended and backs off of her. 

Given the attitude Ennis displayed, I'm convinced that this was more of a catalyst for the divorce than the relationship with Jack.   The relationship outside of the marriage was the foundation, but Ennis built up on that with other issues that caused the divorce.

Offline royandronnie

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #604 on: August 13, 2022, 07:30:18 PM »
2.  Why does Ennis's marriage end and Jack's doesn't, even though both wives clearly know about their husbands' sexuality?

An interesting question. I don't think this one ever got a look before!

We do know for sure that Alma knew about Ennis, from the Reunion kiss she witnessed. Lureen never saw/heard anything in either story or movie as far as we know--but we do have that somewhat telling line, even in the story, about Jack keeping "most a his friends' addresses in his head." Remember that in the story, Jack says "shit no " about sex with other men during the four years, which the narrator then directly contradicts saying he "had been riding more than bulls, not rolling his own." We do know that in the story--to which I keep referring because that actually provides less information than the movie, so I see it as the baseline--Jack was also going to bring a different man to Lightning Flat. So there was at least one other man Jack at least presumably had sex with, who gave him enough to go on that he could fantasize aloud about a life with him. So I think Lureen did guess. By the late 70s, Jack's lack of interest in her, his trips with Ennis, and the beginnings of a more general awareness of homosexuality in heterosexual culture would have given this smart woman enough information to make an informed guess. Why did she stay with him? Probably partly, as Chuck suggests, because Jack never openly humiliated her as Ennis did Alma--who, after all, did know--and perhaps partly because Lureen had appearances to keep up. While divorce was no longer highly stigmatized, I think we can assume that Lureen considered herself to be the big fish socially in the fairly small pond of Childress, and didn't want the ladies at the hair salon gossiping about her divorce. I could see her divorcing him later on, though, if he'd lived. Maybe once Bobby grew up.
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Offline tfferg

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #605 on: August 14, 2022, 06:52:12 AM »
I wonder what Lureen's father's attitude would have been if she wanted to divorce Jack.

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #606 on: August 14, 2022, 07:32:19 AM »
I wonder what Lureen's father's attitude would have been if she wanted to divorce Jack.


My own opinion, I'm sure he would've been just fine with that.  With his attitude towards Jack, it was clear to me that he felt Jack wasn't good enough for Lureen, so he would've been happy about Lureen getting one, and I'm sure he wouldn't have hid his feelings about it.

Offline fritzkep

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #607 on: August 14, 2022, 08:54:55 AM »
Don't we have Jack saying to Ennis that his father-in-law would pay him to make himself scarce?

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Offline gattaca

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #608 on: August 14, 2022, 12:08:17 PM »
^^^ Yes, that line is (maybe) when they are camping by the river.  Jack does say something along, "Larueen's dad would pay him to leave..."

Offline gattaca

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #609 on: August 14, 2022, 01:37:14 PM »
2.  Why does Ennis's marriage end and Jack's doesn't, even though both wives clearly know about their husbands' sexuality?

"It's all about the $"

a) In Ennis's case, Alma was seeking stability. After seeing the passionate reunion kiss, she needed to provide a stable "family life" for her and her kids.  Elma realized Ennis was not that play - certainly not as a "roaming ranch hand" for-hire. So, what's more stable than an established grocery store owner or manager?  Also, since Alma really knew the truth about Ennis and Jack, we see she only confronted Ennis when they were having dinner at her home with her new husband.  By then Alma and Ennis were already divorced, as we are shown in the court hearing - she'd made her choice for a better, life with a husband who was around, steady and reliable.

b) In Jack's case, I agree.  For Laureen's vantage, her life is all about "appearances" and the family business. The stigma of divorce in a small town during that time would have been scandalous!   After all, we never really got a confirmation that Laureen had solid evidence that Jack was homosexual or in her mind, "maybe bi-sexual" since clearly they'd had sex.  Back then, those sexuality roles/classes were not as "defined" as they are today and I have my doubts that Laureen would have even known what to "call the situation."  Besides, she was too "busy with the business".... Think about it.  She'd lassoed a handsome young man, produced the demanded grandson, and was taking over her father's successful business. 

V.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 05:04:02 AM by gattaca »

Offline tfferg

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #610 on: August 14, 2022, 05:53:53 PM »
Don't we have Jack saying to Ennis that his father-in-law would pay him to make himself scarce?

Ah yes, I'd forgotten that.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #611 on: August 15, 2022, 09:59:13 AM »
Stability is the answer, IMO. Which is akin to Vincent's "all about the money" post. Alma needed it in her partner more than Lureen did. Ennis became less focused on his work when Jack was in the picture; Alma looking for better jobs for him in the newspaper, for example, and then Ennis rebuffing her suggestions, mostly. Her life was hard and she kept trying to better it with Ennis. (And to better Ennis.) Ennis' life was hard, too, but he didn't seem to mind it that much, on the other hand. Lureen didn't have to worry about those monetary things with Jack, because of her father and, frankly, neither did Jack.

Offline frokes

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #612 on: August 20, 2022, 04:19:03 AM »
Thank you for your interesting discussion! I feel that the topic of divorce shows that Ennis and Jack handle their emotions in different ways. And maybe it is even a little foreshadowing of how Ennis will face emotional turmoil(s) later on. Opting for divorce surely was not accepted for many years.
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Offline B.W.

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Re: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #613 on: August 20, 2022, 08:46:37 PM »
Divorce was frowned on in those days.  I think Lureen knew her marriage wasn't going anywhere.  Alma probably knew Ennis enjoyed being with Jack more than her.  I think she may have thought that Jack had "converted" Ennis to homosexuality.  Remember, she seems to be somewhat religious.  She goes to what I suspect is a rather fundamentalist Methodist church.  Divorce may have been frowned on by her congregation.  She most likely was raised to believe that a woman's place should be in the home and that she should want to be the best wife and mother possible.  She also probably believed that it was her "duty" to have as many children as possible.  Ennis was probably raised that it was his "duty" to marry a woman and have as many kids as possible.  Religion may have influenced that belief, but Ennis doesn't seem too fond of Alma's church in Riverton, Wyoming.

Of course, Ennis doesn't have steady employment and doesn't get paid very well. That would make trying to have a large family a not so very good idea.  He also only attended one year of high school.  Lureen doesn't seem to be religious that we know of.  She helps run her father's business and he doesn't approve of Jack as her husband.  She's rather materialistic.  Alma probably thought by marrying Monroe after she divorced Ennis, that since he ran a grocery store, he could probably provide her with some material and financial security and also help look after Jenny and Alma Jr.  Ennis is seemingly satisfied with living very simplistically, at least to an extent.  He's so busy with work.  Jack probably has a bit more free time.  I suppose he does well with his job as a combine salesman. I wonder if he thought that if he earned and saved enough money, he could start his own business, divorce Lureen and buy a ranch of his own where he would live with Ennis?



I don't think Lureen thought Jack was gay before his death, but probably thought it was odd that Ennis never came down to Texas to fish with Jack.  Jack tells her that Ennis' pick-up truck probably wouldn't be able to make it from Wyoming to Texas and wouldn't be able to make it back the other way.  She never met Ennis until the phone call where she confirmed to Ennis that Jack had died.  Alma knew that Ennis and Jack were seeing each other, but she probably could only view their relationship in a sexual nature, it probably never occurred to her that Ennis and Jack were in love.  She would have been raised, most likely, to believe that homosexuality is nothing more than lust-filled sex between "nasty" men.  I think she knew Ennis liked being with Jack more than her, but in her mind, that was probably only because the sex was so good.  I think Ennis did love Alma as a person and as the mother of his children, but I don't think he was ever in love with her.  I think he avoided her for years after the Thanksgiving dinner confrontation scene because he was worried that she might possibly try to reveal his relationship with Jack.



We don't know that she would have or if she wouldn't.  She was so angry over Ennis' relationship with Jack and with working a full-time job to help support her family and having to raise her children, it was all so much; she was under so much stress. Who knows what she may have done?  I think that's why Ennis hauled ass out of Alma and Monroe's house because who knows what she might have said.  I kind of don't think she would have said anything because she knew that the society in which they lived might try to make life miserable for Ennis when he came around.  I don't think Alma would have been that dumb or careless.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2022, 08:58:28 PM by B.W. »