Author Topic: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?  (Read 35612 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #120 on: December 05, 2007, 11:55:15 pm »
If we return to the original story, it is interesting to speculate on how Ennis would have fared staying with his married daughter (not specifically named, but very likely Junior) and son-in-law after his eviction from the ranch. Specifically, I'm wondering how he would have handled the transfer of the shirts-and-postcard shrine to his temporary new domicile (though I seem to recall his trailer going with him, he would not necessarily be staying in it while relying on his child's hospitality). The shrine in the story hangs upon the trailer wall, and anyone who investigated it would probably have some curiosity about how it came to be there and what it meant. Any encounter with the shrine on Junior's part would have had to bolster any speculations she might have had concerning her father's private life.

Actually, it's a horse trailer mentioned in the story. The point is made that it might be bad out on the highway with the horse trailer because of the wind that is blowing sand against the trailer where Ennis is living when he awakes. The story also speaks of Ennis needing to be packed and away, so I assume he's leaving the residence trailer behind, but, of course, he's taking his horses with him.

As for the shrine, does this assume she knows why her father has two old shirts on a hanger on a nail, or that in fact they aren't both his shirts, just two old shirts? What if she doesn't know this? What if she just thinks that, inexplicably, her father left these two ratty old dirty shirts hanging on a hanger?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #121 on: December 06, 2007, 12:03:20 am »

As for the shrine, does this assume she knows why her father has two old shirts on a hanger on a nail, or that in fact they aren't both his shirts, just two old shirts? What if she doesn't know this? What if she just thinks that, inexplicably, her father left these two ratty old dirty shirts hanging on a hanger?


I think it's reasonable to suspect that she would have noticed the "shrine" in such a small space with few objects to distract attention.  It would really be very easy for her to stumble across the shirts and postcard (when you think about it).  And, given that Junior at least seems to be observant (we're shown Alma *watching* a lot in the film... in various circumstances) it seems likely that she would find the "shrine" significant... perhaps odd... and perhaps meaningful.  But, again, it's hard to imagine that she would be able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together to understand the specific details of Ennis's situation.  I would think, though, that the "shrine" would be one more element to add to the "hunch" that I think Junior has about her father.

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Marge_Innavera

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #122 on: December 06, 2007, 10:45:09 am »
I have to disagree.  Do you remember at the final lake scene when Jack asks, "All this time, you ain't found no one else to marry?"  He's basically doing the same thing Alma is: checking out where Ennis' heart is at . . .  how he's doing.

Around when my father died & we were all dealing with it, my brother-in-law would ask, "how's your head and your heart?" Basically the same question. Very direct, and also too touchy-feely for the period (and especially to someone like Ennis). Jack and Alma's question to Ennis is basically another way of asking that. (It's obviously not literal; they of all people would be the most shocked if Ennis were to remarry.)

Sorry, can't buy that.  The closeup of her at the dinner table suggests that she resents the hell out of his being there to begin with, which is understandable. But IMO the question is much more likely a reference to a conversation with her daughters, and she knows damn well that a question about remarrying is going to throw him off-balance. I didn't read concern for head and heart into her actions, just manipulation and unresolved anger.

Quote
It's when Ennis says "once burned". The flow of Alma's activities in the kitchen stops, her face freezes, and her demeanor changes. That was the final straw.

Yes, 'once burned' does make her angry. But on the other hand, she was married to this man for 12 years and presumably knew him for a year or two before that.  And she doesn't know how inarticulate and clumsy with words he is? Hello? 

She would still have a right to be angry about that remark but give me a break -- this is a classic fight between a divorced couple with unresolved issues, and neither of them give a damn, at least for the moment, about the people in the next room. There isn't any 'victim' in this scene.

But again, I don't necessarily like Alma any less for that scene.  It keeps her character real.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 10:47:59 am by TOoP/Bruce »

Marge_Innavera

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #123 on: December 06, 2007, 10:49:09 am »

I think it's reasonable to suspect that she would have noticed the "shrine" in such a small space with few objects to distract attention.  It would really be very easy for her to stumble across the shirts and postcard (when you think about it).  And, given that Junior at least seems to be observant (we're shown Alma *watching* a lot in the film... in various circumstances) it seems likely that she would find the "shrine" significant... perhaps odd... and perhaps meaningful.  But, again, it's hard to imagine that she would be able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together to understand the specific details of Ennis's situation.  I would think, though, that the "shrine" would be one more element to add to the "hunch" that I think Junior has about her father.

She does "watch" a lot -- many people who aren't very talkative notice early in life that so many people assume if you're not talking constantly you're also not watching or listening. I'd guess Alma Jr in later life becomes one of those people whose friends and family are regularly surprised by how much they've figured out.

IMO, Alma Jr is putting a lot of pieces together at this point and will eventually figure it out, but it will take some time.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #124 on: December 06, 2007, 10:52:26 am »
Sorry, can't buy that.  The closeup of her at the dinner table suggests that she resents the hell out of his being there to begin with, which is understandable. But IMO it's much more likely that she's recalling a conversation with her daughters, and she knows damn well that a question about remarrying is going to throw him off-balance. I didn't read concern for head and heart into her actions, just manipulation and unresolved anger.

Yes, 'once burned' does make her angry. But on the other hand, she was married to this man for 12 years and presumably knew him for a year or two before that.  And she doesn't know how inarticulate and clumsy with words he is? Hello? 

She would still have a right to be angry about that remark but give me a break -- this is a classic fight between a divorced couple with unresolved issues, and neither of them give a damn, at least for the moment, about the people in the next room. There isn't any 'victim' in this scene.

I agree with you, Marge.  :)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #125 on: December 06, 2007, 11:01:45 am »
Now if I can just figure out who "TOoP/Bruce" is? I could have sworn I edited that post myself.   ???

EDITED TO ADD:  One of our moderators spotted an HTML error and thoughtfully corrected it. Thanks, Bruce!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 01:22:28 pm by Marge_Innavera »

Offline Artiste

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #126 on: December 06, 2007, 05:26:24 pm »
Alma Jr., I just figured out is very much like her father!!


Therefore, she knew that her father was/is a bi or gay man!!

Hugs!!

Offline brokeplex

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #127 on: December 07, 2007, 12:58:46 am »
you lost me there Artiste. I do think that Jr has some of her father's traits. But I don't see that transferring into a position one way of the other about gays.

Offline Artiste

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #128 on: December 07, 2007, 12:54:32 pm »
Thanks brokeplex!

You say: I do think that Jr has some of her father's traits.
...................

May I agree with you about that! Since she has an eye like her father, Alma Jr. saw therefore that her father was happy when he saw Jack; that seems to me true in the movie.  That is one way that she figured out that her father is an bi or gay man, it seems to me. There are other ways too!!

I must re-view the movie to see if Alma Jr. advances her body to view Jack when Jack comes to see her dad after the divorse, but her father tells him that he has to keep the kids and therefore, can not be with Jack that weekend!! Is that how she acts? She must have seen that the hug then between the two was firm, especially by Jack!! ?? Plus, how sad they (Jack and Ennis) became after her father talked to Jack!! ??
Plus, she must have heard the conversation by the two: Ennis and Jack!! Their tones of speech??
What do you think?

Hugs!!
P.S. Concerning your other remarks, I do not dare mention any comment right away, but may I say that she is like her dad, maybe in more ways than one??

Offline cricket99999

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #129 on: December 08, 2007, 08:59:11 pm »
Thanks brokeplex!

She must have seen that the hug then between the two was firm, especially by Jack!! ?? Plus, how sad they (Jack and Ennis) became after her father talked to Jack!! ??
Plus, she must have heard the conversation by the two: Ennis and Jack!! Their tones of speech??
She may have even heard the exact conversation, word-for-word.  For any other listener, it might not arouse suspicion.  But Alma Jr. is consistently portrayed as someone who would take note.  About her father, she is shown to be concerned, quietly observant, and understanding.  Watching Ennis and Jack that day, I believe she began to wonder about their relationship.