Author Topic: Broken in Two  (Read 56511 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2008, 03:34:54 pm »
Sorry for my random musings    :laugh:

Don't apologize, Sandy! Your random musings are always worth reading.  :)


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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2008, 03:54:49 pm »
In this case probably a coincidence. But that story is so well constructed---even the punctuation matters, very little IS coincidence. You got me very curious when you asked if it was a coincidence, VERY curious... I'm goin to ask about it.

Yes, do! Here is something AP said in an interview one time:

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Geography, geology, climate, weather, the deep past, immediate events, shape the characters and partly determine what happens to them, although the random event counts for much, as it does in life. I long ago fell into the habit of seeing the world in terms of shifting circumstances overlaid upon natural surroundings. I try to define periods when regional society and culture, rooted in location and natural resources, start to experience the erosion of traditional ways, and attempt to master contemporary, large-world values. The characters in my novels pick their way through the chaos of change. The present is always pasted on layers of the past.
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Offline brokebackjack

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2008, 07:30:27 am »
I've never seen that quote before and it explains a great deal
"I couldn't stand it no more so i fixed it"

Offline optom3

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2008, 03:10:05 pm »
For me, the name also carries a suggestion of a failed effort. You break your back trying futiley to accomplish something; that is, you are destroyed by the struggle. Brokeback was the idyllic place that Jack and Ennis could never make it back to, much as they (both!) might have wanted it, and eventually the struggle destroyed them. Does that make sense?


I agree so completely with you.Both men eventually become "broken" by the apparant initial  idyll of their time on the mountain.Ennis's virginity is literally broken there.Their hearts are broken,portrayed so graphically ,by The wretching scene when Ennis leaves Jack, and so subtely by Jack and his silent pauses as he awaits confirmation that Ennis may return next year.

In the story Ennis admits that he knows what he has lost when he comes down from the mountain,so in effect they both inherently were broken by the summer.They try to recapture a fragment of what they once had in those glorious days,with their infrequent meetings,but never fully succeed.Only fragments of the carefree days are ever regained.They can never go back to what they once had,it is lost forever.

They never go "back" to broke back, and they never go "back" to those carefree times.Jack longs,in the book to go back to that time of the silent embrace,the memory of which still haunts him.When Ennis held him from behind.
In the end they like us they cannot turn back the clock.They grasp at straws in a vain attempt to salvage some vestige of what they once had,but end up broken by the whole experience.
Jack is literally physically broken,and Ennis becomes a broken shell of a man.

Maybe that is why both the film and story resonate so deeply with so many of us.We have been broken in so many different ways,and oh, how some of us wish we could rewind back the hands of the clock.

They remain forever broken by a love that will  never reach its full and glorious potential, no matter how hard they try. and neither can I.mores the pity.This is I believe the genius of Proulxs' writing,there is something for all of us.That is unless you have been living in  an emotional vacuum,in which case,you probably would not have either read the story,or viewed the film.
If I could have one wish,it would not be for fortune or fame,it would be to go back and change my actions,to mend my broken heart!!!!!

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2008, 10:25:53 am »
Another instance of brokenness that occurs early in the story. Jack and Ennis sit around the campfire talking about the loss of the submarine Thresher and what it must have been like in those last doomed moments. Here's some info about the event.

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the USS Thresher (SSN-593), the first of the new Thresher-class 3700-ton nuclear-powered attack submarines. Commissioned in August 1961, she underwent extensive sea trials during ‘61 and ‘62. On April 10, 1963, after completion of a re-fit, she began post-overhaul trials. Accompanied by the submarine rescue ship Skylark (ASR-20), she transited to an area some 220 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and started deep-diving tests.

At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark (a surface vessel assigned to assist Thresher) received a signal, via underwater telephone, indicating that the submarine was experiencing “minor difficulties, have positive up-angle, attempting to blow.”

Shortly afterward, the Skylark received a series of garbled, undecipherable message fragments from the Thresher. At 9:18 a.m., the Skylark’s sonar picked up the sounds of the submarine breaking apart. All 129 hands were lost—112 military and 17 civilian technicians.

The submarine community, the Navy and the nation were stunned. Thresher was the best of the newest. The ship was built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine and was the first of a new class of submarine, designed for optimum performance of sonar and weapons systems
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2008, 11:04:00 am »
Thanks for that Lee.  I've always thought that the Thresher detail was something that could be "researched" in greater depth to try to figure out why that very specific (and somewhat odd or seemingly out of place) detail is so prominently mentioned in the story.

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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2008, 11:43:03 am »
Thanks for that Lee.  I've always thought that the Thresher detail was something that could be "researched" in greater depth to try to figure out why that very specific (and somewhat odd or seemingly out of place) detail is so prominently mentioned in the story.

From the story:

"They had a high-time supper by the fire, [...], talking horses and rodeo [...] the submarine Thresher lost two months earlier with all hands and how it must have been in the last doomed minutes, [...]."


This is one hell of a run-on sentence. It's a whole paragraph's length. It covers much ground: what they did, what they ate, how they sat and what they talked about (daily talk about ususal things as well as personal stuff!). It says so much about their relationship with each other, their growing intimacy, without explicit naming it.

Back to the Thresher: the mentioning of the Thresher and especially the wording of how it must have been in those last doomed minutes leads my thoughts into a quite unpleasant direction. It makes me think of Jack and how it must have been for him in those last doomed minutes (whichever way it was).
:(

Also is the Thresher one of surprisingingly many marine referrences. Surprising for a story set in Wyoming. FRont-Ranger opened a thread about it.
What brings me to a remark by Marcia (or was it Mouk?), that the Thresher was not named after the agricultural device, but after the Thresher Shark. And we do find a "real estate shark" in the prolog of the story.

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2008, 11:51:36 am »
Wow, you remember that old thread? I think I found it on page four here!

It is The Hidden Ocean.

Thanks, Chrissi!!

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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2008, 11:57:08 am »
Oh, one more thing: the mention of the Thresher lets us know when this conversation took place: it was in June, since the Thresher sunk in April and it was "two months ago".
It was the day after they traded jobs, but a while before they became lovers.




Wow, you remember that old thread? I think I found it on page four here!

It is The Hidden Ocean.

Thanks, Chrissi!!

Yup, I do remember  :) Will reread it later. Thanks for the link.

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Re: Broken in Two
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2008, 11:56:11 pm »
A good point, Chrissi.

Here is something that ProwlAmongUs wrote on another thread in the Open Forum:

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As a farm boy (who listened endlessly to my dad and granddad) the analogy of reaping and threshing is ominous. A reaper was a machine that was used to cut grain, that is, to mow/cut it down. Later, technology expanded to include a "drop reaper" - a machine that combined the functions of cutting the grain and binding the bundles with twine/rope to be picked up later and taken to the "threshing machine." This is where the grain was separated from the hulls or chaff, literally by being pounded and pummeled. Of course, by 1963 all these functions were integrated into a "combine" - one machine that does it all from cutting to separating the grain. A variation of "thresh" is "thrash."  "Thrashed to within an inch of his life..."  For Jack, a gloomy instance of foreshadowing.
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