Author Topic: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?  (Read 11418 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2008, 10:06:10 pm »
I agree, however there is a revealing sentence in the story that I think indicates Ennis has been giving some thought,albeit abstract to how the 2 of them could be together.In the motel scene Ennis says "I goddamn hate it that your'e going to drive away in the mornin and I"m goin back to work.-----"shit I have been lookin at people on the street.This happen a other people? What the hell do they do?"Is he looking to Jack as the more experienced to provide him with the answer?

It seems that Ennis must have some inkling,no matter how primitive or buried within his psyche that others have experienced what he and Jack have.He must have come at least partly to terms with his own feelings,otherwise why does he ponder what other people do. Interesting too is the fact that he has been thinking of this in the 4 years before he meets up with Jack again.
Equally revealing is jack"s reply ,'I don't know what they do,maybe go to Denver.'and I don't give a flying fuck"So if Ennis was hoping for some solution from Jack he is gravely disappointed,Equally puzzling to me is why jack mentions to ennis that he thinks they may have been seen that summer.Hardly the way to quash any fears inherent in the deep recesses of the mind of Ennis.
I think for Jack the place is irrelevant,he just has a pipe dream of some utopia where they can be together,period. Ennis has obviously given some thought as to how others manage it.A point which seemessd at odds with his normal laconic self.Maybe the same can be applied to him as his daughter,he does not say much ,but what he does sure is telling.
I think one of the most poignant sentences in the book is when Ennis reveals to Jack that after they come down from the mountain and he was sick,"took me about a year a figure out it was that I shouldn,t a let you out a my sights.Too late then by a long,long while"So he had been searching for answers for a year!!

My interpretation then is that Ennis gave up when he realised why he had been sick,and yet could not silence the nagging doubts as to if it happened to others ,what did they do about it,Jack of course is flippant in his "go to Denver" What puzzles me is when Ennis is for once being painfully honest and revealing his innermost thoughts,why does Jack not jump at the opportunity.Is it that he is still processing what Ennis said about it being too late by a long long time?

Well those are my thoughts and feel free to disagree,I think Texas is maybe as throwaway as Denver.Fundamentally I feel they both realise the ship has long since sailed.Having realised that ,all the frustrations of the years erupt.

Sorry if I have digressed a little,I just thought the motel scene in the book maybe casts some light on the film scene.




Hey Bud!

Great post!  Well, things certainly become more complex once the story is added to the interpretive mix here.  It's interesting to try to imagine where and how the filmmakers and screenplay writers displaced some of the conversations and details from the story into the film at various places.  I think it's pretty clear that a lot of the details that we learn in the long "motel scene" in the story provide material for different scenes in the film.  And, I think it's interesting to compare how story-Ennis seems compared to film-Ennis when this comes up.  I think you're totally right that story-Ennis was quite self-aware by the time of the motel scene compared to film-Ennis in the movie version of the motel scene.  Yes, I think in the story motel scene Ennis is quite open in explaining his feelings (without saying the word love, of course).  I think film-Ennis has a much slower evolution emotionally.  I think film-Ennis is in love with Jack by the time of the motel scene in the movie... but he may not be totally conscious of it yet (maybe).

So, I can certainly see how this later "maybe Texas" film scene could be a displacement of the conversation you highlight in your post.  That makes sense to me.

And it is really striking the similarities in Jack's language... in the story it's "maybe go to Denver."  And in the film it's "maybe Texas".  These are great observations optom3! 

But, I do think in the film that Jack is still really truly hoping that Ennis might be convinced at least to move closer.  In this "maybe Texas" scene I think he's hoping that he's realized that maybe he can use Ennis's fear in a way that could maybe, finally, bring them closer together.  I don't think Texas is a "throw away" answer at all.  I think this is meant to demonstrate Jack's persistent hope.  I think Jack gets so upset at the end of the scene because Ennis squashes down his hope again.

And, about the Denver answer... LOL... I love that answer in the story.  It's one of the rare sort of light moments.  I'm not sure that it's flippant... I think it's sort of realistic.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Fran

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2008, 10:51:10 pm »
  But, also Ennis is now worried about "people on the pavement" looking at him "suspicious" like "they know."  I do think Ennis is worried that folks are somehow able to figure him out by the way he looks (or something like that).

Maybe Ennis is worried about the "people on the pavement" because, at that point of the story, not only does Alma know his secret but Monroe, too.  (Even if Alma had never uttered a word of her suspicions about Ennis to Monroe before that time, Monroe would have known what was what on Thanksgiving.)  Monroe works at the grocery store and probably knows lots of people.  After that Thanksgiving, Ennis couldn't help but wonder what people were saying about him behind his back.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2008, 10:55:24 pm »
Maybe Ennis is worried about the "people on the pavement" because, at that point of the story, not only does Alma know his secret but Monroe, too.  (Even if Alma had never uttered a word of her suspicions about Ennis to Monroe before that time, Monroe would have known what was what on Thanksgiving.)  Monroe works at the grocery store and probably knows lots of people.  After that Thanksgiving, Ennis couldn't help but wonder what people were saying about him behind his back.

Yes, I'm sure he's a little worried about Alma having told Monroe... and now of course he's probably wary of her capability of telling other folks if she feels like it.  Of course, Alma doesn't (or at least it seems like she doesn't from what we know of the situation).  So, that's a nice thing about Alma.

Ennis is also aware that Jack asked "about 10 different people" where Ennis had moved following the divorce.  So, I think a lot of things add up to making Ennis feel very worried about random people knowing his secret.


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Offline brokeplex

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2008, 11:08:12 pm »

Ennis is also aware that Jack asked "about 10 different people" where Ennis had moved following the divorce.  So, I think a lot of things add up to making Ennis feel very worried about random people knowing his secret.


yes, I had never considered that, that probably made Ennis nervous when Jack told him that.

Offline optom3

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2008, 11:28:09 pm »

Hey Bud!

Great post!  Well, things certainly become more complex once the story is added to the interpretive mix here.  It's interesting to try to imagine where and how the filmmakers and screenplay writers displaced some of the conversations and details from the story into the film at various places.  I think it's pretty clear that a lot of the details that we learn in the long "motel scene" in the story provide material for different scenes in the film.  And, I think it's interesting to compare how story-Ennis seems compared to film-Ennis when this comes up.  I think you're totally right that story-Ennis was quite self-aware by the time of the motel scene compared to film-Ennis in the movie version of the motel scene.  Yes, I think in the story motel scene Ennis is quite open in explaining his feelings (without saying the word love, of course).  I think film-Ennis has a much slower evolution emotionally.  I think film-Ennis is in love with Jack by the time of the motel scene in the movie... but he may not be totally conscious of it yet (maybe).

So, I can certainly see how this later "maybe Texas" film scene could be a displacement of the conversation you highlight in your post.  That makes sense to me.

And it is really striking the similarities in Jack's language... in the story it's "maybe go to Denver."  And in the film it's "maybe Texas".  These are great observations optom3! 

But, I do think in the film that Jack is still really truly hoping that Ennis might be convinced at least to move closer.  In this "maybe Texas" scene I think he's hoping that he's realized that maybe he can use Ennis's fear in a way that could maybe, finally, bring them closer together.  I don't think Texas is a "throw away" answer at all.  I think this is meant to demonstrate Jack's persistent hope.  I think Jack gets so upset at the end of the scene because Ennis squashes down his hope again.

And, about the Denver answer... LOL... I love that answer in the story.  It's one of the rare sort of light moments.  I'm not sure that it's flippant... I think it's sort of realistic.


I do  to some extent agree that Jack still retains some vestige of hope. What concerns me is the conundrum in rhe story (motel scene)when he tells Ennis he thinks they may have been seen.If Ennis then concludes (and who knows) that even in their idyllic summer when they felt so carefree,they were being observed,what hope elsewhere.I just wish Jack had really listened to the ,what do other people do.Reading between the lines I suspect he was so desperate just to have some more time with Ennis once they left the motel that he missed completely the significance of that simple statement.
Having missed out on that he continues to nurture his dream of a life together and would seem to take every opportunity,to yet again broach the subject.

I find it so full of pathos that no matter how many times he is rebuffed he continues to bounce back for more.However as the film progresses,to me at least there seems to an inexorable desperation in his suggestions.It is almost as if he knows the answer,but will still use any excuse to introduce the idea.maybe even he has come to the realisation that it is not to be.

I keep comming back to the same conclusion in both story and film .that the whole premise hinges on the bittersweet regret of lost opportunities,whilst simultaneously wishing that at least in the story Jack had listened more closely to the sub text.Still got to love him for perseverance against all odds.The other thing that puzzles me is when he spends so much time travelling to meet Ennis.No distance seems too great,as witness the visit ,post divorce note,why does he suggest Texas which would involve Ennis doing the travelling.has he finally had enough of the effort all seeming to be one way.

Ironic then that the one (I think) card from Ennis to Jack re the nov. meeting is the harbinger of doom.Well yet again I seem to have asked myself more questions than resolved any issues.
What a great thing this Brokeback is.Never ever have I so analysed and dissected any film or book.It is such a treat to have an author who rather than spoon feeding us every detail,allows us to ponder and reflect on all the various connotations for ourselves.

Offline Artiste

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2008, 11:41:51 pm »
Did Alma talk to anyone about her husband (Ennis) kissing Jack??

Any proof??

Hugs!

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2008, 11:42:56 pm »
I do  to some extent agree that Jack still retains some vestige of hope. What concerns me is the conundrum in rhe story (motel scene)when he tells Ennis he thinks they may have been seen.If Ennis then concludes (and who knows) that even in their idyllic summer when they felt so carefree,they were being observed,what hope elsewhere.I just wish Jack had really listened to the ,what do other people do.Reading between the lines I suspect he was so desperate just to have some more time with Ennis once they left the motel that he missed completely the significance of that simple statement.
Having missed out on that he continues to nurture his dream of a life together and would seem to take every opportunity,to yet again broach the subject.

I find it so full of pathos that no matter how many times he is rebuffed he continues to bounce back for more.However as the film progresses,to me at least there seems to an inexorable desperation in his suggestions.It is almost as if he knows the answer,but will still use any excuse to introduce the idea.maybe even he has come to the realisation that it is not to be.

I keep comming back to the same conclusion in both story and film .that the whole premise hinges on the bittersweet regret of lost opportunities,whilst simultaneously wishing that at least in the story Jack had listened more closely to the sub text.Still got to love him for perseverance against all odds.The other thing that puzzles me is when he spends so much time travelling to meet Ennis.No distance seems too great,as witness the visit ,post divorce note,why does he suggest Texas which would involve Ennis doing the travelling.has he finally had enough of the effort all seeming to be one way.

Ironic then that the one (I think) card from Ennis to Jack re the nov. meeting is the harbinger of doom.Well yet again I seem to have asked myself more questions than resolved any issues.
What a great thing this Brokeback is.Never ever have I so analysed and dissected any film or book.It is such a treat to have an author who rather than spoon feeding us every detail,allows us to ponder and reflect on all the various connotations for ourselves.



It's interesting that film-Jack never is shown to tell Ennis that Aguirre had observed them.  I don't think film-Ennis would have been able to handle that well at all.  Jack was very careful about what he said to Ennis and how he communicated with him once he realized how nervous and afraid Ennis could be (I'm still talking about the film here).  It seems that the "low startle point" horse could really be a metaphor for Ennis.

The whole question of how and how well Jack and Ennis communicate is a pretty important issue for this "Maybe Texas" scene.

And, on Jack and hope... I don't think Jack lost hope until maybe, maybe the moment during the lakeside argument towards the end where he all of a sudden uses the past tense to refer to his "better idea."  When Jack says, "I did once"... this really sets Ennis off because all of a sudden it really seems clear that their relationship may be in jeopardy.

p.s.  I'm still sort of blown away by the "maybe go to Denver" and "maybe Texas" parallel.  I really had never thought of that before.  Such a great observation optom3!

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline nakymaton

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2008, 11:59:23 pm »
One thing in that scene that always gets me: "Jack fuckin' Twist" echoes Ennis at the reunion scene. But the tone is so different.
Watch out. That poster has a low startle point.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2008, 12:02:59 am »
One thing in that scene that always gets me: "Jack fuckin' Twist" echoes Ennis at the reunion scene. But the tone is so different.

Yeah, absolutely.  The evolution of the tone in Ennis's voice with that nickname is very telling... of course reaching peak intensity during the lake argument.  :(

Mel, how do you interpret story-Jack's little quip about Denver?  I've always just thought it was cute, but now that I'm thinking about it in terms of this sort of parallel "maybe Texas" film scene, I wonder if there's more to the Denver line than I had thought before.


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Offline nakymaton

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Re: TOTW 05/08: What do you make of the "Maybe Texas?" scene?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2008, 12:16:34 am »
Mel, how do you interpret story-Jack's little quip about Denver?  I've always just thought it was cute, but now that I'm thinking about it in terms of this sort of parallel "maybe Texas" film scene, I wonder if there's more to the Denver line than I had thought before.

I've always thought of it as a indication of how impossible Jack and Ennis found it, to be simultaneously rural men and to be gay. "Maybe move to Denver" sounds to me like "maybe move to the Moon" - like Denver is completely foreign from their existence. Denver might be part of the West, but a city is no place for a ranch hand.

I've always found the line to be incredibly sad.
Watch out. That poster has a low startle point.