Author Topic: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?  (Read 35611 times)

Offline LauraGigs

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2007, 04:40:28 am »
Great posts Katie.

I have to agree with Del; I don't think Jr had the background to just see right through her dad's facade.

Quote
It would be normal for someone her age at that time and place to "see the trees, but be confused by the forest."

Exactly. All the abstract clues are there, but it still requires a huge leap for her to see past some big facts: Daddy is macho, he's been married, and he's her father her model for what manhood and the male role in a heterosexual relationship is.

Some of the clues involve Ennis' excitement around fishing-trip time and comparative indifference to Alma and Cassie. But then again, that's textbook behavior for many straight men of the time: emotionally buttoned-down at home, but stoked to escape all the estrogen and down a few beers with the buds.

Another point is that the film seems pretty tone-deaf on child development. Ennis talks of "taking the girls into town for an ice cream" when at age 1 1/2 and 6 months they couldn't possibly appreciate it. Ditto on the Fireworks Scene ("got 2 little girls here" they're going to understand the bikers and be corrupted?) And why would Bobby need a tutor at the age of 2 or 3?
Ang's direction (in the post-divorce and Cassie scenes) implies that she may be on to her dad. But at age 12 and 15, she just wouldn't be.

I think Junior watching Ennis & Cassie dance echoes Lureen at the Childress dance: she knows something's not right, but has yet to put it all together.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 08:49:27 pm by LauraGigs »

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2007, 10:01:58 am »
Laura,

You're absolutely right that BBM in general seems to treat the behavior of children at various ages very strangely.  I wonder if this has to do with the larger problem of the overall timeline (which itself is a little goofy... as we know).


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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2007, 10:19:18 am »
Laura,

You're absolutely right that BBM in general seems to treat the behavior of children at various ages very strangely.  I wonder if this has to do with the larger problem of the overall timeline (which itself is a little goofy... as we know).


As much as we all love the movie, I think they were a little sloppy on a few details, like this child development issue. It irks me when Alma, Jr. mentions her wedding date ("June 5 at the Methodist Church") because it was a Wednesday.

Everyone's comments about Alma and her dad are great. I keep thinking about it and still haven't made up my mind!

L
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Offline brokeplex

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2007, 11:41:52 am »
Alma, Jr. may have suspected that there was something "special" about her father's "friendship" with Jack. Perhaps Alma might at some point in time "spill the beans". I would hope that over time Alma,Jr. and her dad would have a candid talk. I know that in my own life it surprised me that my sister understood about my "secret" relationship with Chris. Maybe Ennis would be surprised at the number of people who understood and cared.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2007, 01:13:52 pm »
As much as we all love the movie, I think they were a little sloppy on a few details, like this child development issue. It irks me when Alma, Jr. mentions her wedding date ("June 5 at the Methodist Church") because it was a Wednesday.

Tuesday, Honey (June 5, 1984)--as you showed me.  ;D  :-*
"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 MaineWriter

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 01:33:10 pm »
Tuesday, Honey (June 5, 1984)--as you showed me.  ;D  :-*

I was working from memory...because I knew I figured it out for you! Tuesday, Wednesday...it is not a marryin at the church kind a day! LOL

L
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Marge_Innavera

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 01:52:53 pm »
In the kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner,and please excuse my paraphrase, did Alma not say about finding another woman "that me and the girls worry about you." Could this indicate that the town folk of Riverton might be running their gators that Ennis is different. The girls would surely have heard this town gossip and that confirms Ennis's preference?

I don't think they would have been speculating to any extent that was noticeable. After all, even now so many people think of gay men in terms of stereotypes that Ennis doesn't fit. Jack has only been in Riverton twice, and surely if anyone other than Alma saw them kissing that first time Ennis would have known about that by now. As for his not marrying again, this is a guy who's known to be very taciturn and something of a loner, so his not remarrying wouldn't necessarily surprise anybody.

IMO, Alma is partly trolling for information and partly referring to specific conversations she's had with the girls about their dad being alone so much. It's something that might have come up shortly after he was invited to Thanksgiving dinner; and maybe Alma had even promised the girls she'd ask him about it if she could. She wouldn't necessarily have to have only one motive.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 01:57:59 pm »
Yes, I think she knew her dad was gay, but I don't think she was able to put a label to it in her mind. I believe out of all the characters except Jack, she understood Ennis better than anyone. Her quiet understanding and love for her father is apparent to the point of being protective of him when Cassie enters his life. She was progressive in her thinking for her age and for the time period, but again, was probably ignorant of the terms and what those terms entailed. It would be normal for someone her age at that time and place to "see the trees, but be confused by the forest." Hey, when I was her age, I still thought "gay" meant something fun and exciting, and that was a few years after 1963, although not many.

Well, I started  high school (1963) in an era when homosexuality was completely invisible to most straight people. But I'm not sure that even a girl in a small town (small city?) in the late 1970s-early 1980s would have that little information. The power of television to blur certain geographical and cultural edges can't be underestimated.

And I do think Alma Sr.'s religiosity is based on some rather sketchy assumptions. She only refers to church twice, and both times she's referring to a social function -- the church picnic and the church social -- not a religious service. It isn't uncommon in isolated areas for the church to be a center of social events.

June 5th on a Tuesday in '84? I'll have to do some editing, it seems.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 02:33:10 pm »
June 5th on a Tuesday in '84? I'll have to do some editing, it seems.

With thanks to Leslie, who told me about this site when I was writing an AU fanfic about Alma, Jr.,'s wedding:

http://www.timeanddate.com

This will show that June 5, 1984, was a Tuesday.  :)

And FWIW, June 24, 1967, was a Saturday, and September 24, 1967, was a Sunday.
"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 jstephens9

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Re: TOTW 16/07: Did Alma Jr. know Ennis was gay?
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2007, 03:03:42 pm »
The first time I really knew anything about gay people or what the term was again when my sister lived in Atlanta while I was growing up. My parents and I went to Atlanta to see her. I picked up some king of "underground hippie alternative" newspaper called "The Great Speckled Bird" although I believe most people simply called it "The Bird." It had an article or pictures or something of all these "gay" people who were going to have a parade and I wanted to go to it. Of course, I knew that it was not something I should tell my parents about. I remember wishing I could figure out some way to tell the "gay" people to come and get me cause I wanted to be in their parade  :) I also found out that year what those women were doing standing around and on the stationary trolley car in Underground Atlanta  :D Well, kind of, my brother in law told me they were working. I didn't really question what line of work they were in  :laugh: Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand, I imagine Alma Jr. would have been growing up in the 70s and 80s as far as when she would have first started getting an idea of the world. I can't really imagine her having much of a concept of the word gay or how her father would have fit into it especially being that she was from Riverton, Wyoming. And it is questionable whether or not she had travelled anywhere.