Author Topic: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault  (Read 86163 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #140 on: February 12, 2014, 09:27:48 pm »
wow, that really is cool K!  I miss the old days of long, endless analysis.  At this point is really is mostly nostalgia for that phase of Brokiedom.
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Offline BBM_victim

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #141 on: February 09, 2017, 03:10:47 am »
Hi there! I would like to join this thread, because its initial post is just incredibly insightful! Thank you for this, Ruthless - if you're still out there... If you are, i would love to discuss with you, but i assume everybody left and moved on already...

Anyway, so i'll try to add some comments on some points in this thread. Just a way of dealing with the movie for me  ;).

First of all, i think the initial questions which were discussed here were just great!
To me, itís all about their love for each other.  When did each fall in love with the other, when did each realize that he had fallen in love with the other, and when did each realize that the other had fallen in love with him?  These are the key questions.
That's almost exactly the same i asked myself during my first viewing of the movie. The slight difference was that i could not understand why these two guys actually ended up having sex with each other. Given the fact that this should be a love story instead of a story of some strong sexual fantasies and desires, i first had quite difficult time with explaining myself what led them to love each other in a way lovers do as opposed to just best friends.
Upon my first viewing it was not obvious at all and the FNIT looked like a rape, sorry. So, i tried hard to trace the clues. In case of Ennis there were some given: he was having quite a lonely life where first his parents died and then his brother and sister left to have their own lives and he ended up alone, not much talking to any living being for a whole year(!).. And then his actions and face during second tent encounter - it all made sense why he was needing Jack so badly. But as for Jack - i did not have any explanation... Especially because it was him who actually took Ennis' hand (literally! :)) and led him to this new kind of relationship.

But I think with Ennis it was a love attraction that was growing based on what he did for Jack, and I think with Jack it was more of a sex attraction.
Really? Jack's motive was sex? I don't know about that.... Sure, Jack was more open in that respect, but i strongly doubt he was just looking for some random d* to "enter" him. He was pictured as very caring right from the start, with Ennis he was tender and loving, during the FNIT he was eating Ennis up with his eyes (my personal perception), same as during SNIT - he loved Ennis and wanted to be with him really-really close, wanted to feel him really close. Now, how come??

In the second tent scene, Ennis absolutely melted into Jackís arms.  For him, not only had this great guy become his friend, but also his lover.  This is where I believe that Ennis fell in love with Jack.
...
And when did Jack realize that he had fallen in love with Ennis?  I believe at the dozy embrace.
Yes and - YES! Agree completely. But...

I believe the dozy embrace took place after they untangled the Chilean sheep and immediately before Ennis spent the night in the pup tent, waking up to the snow.
Here - i don't think so. Sure, we can just speculate about when it actually took place because there are not many hints on this in the story. My personal theory is - i LIKE to think - that the dozy embrace took place right before the FNIT. Maybe same day in the morning. I read somewhere (which just supported my idea) that the dozy embrace was shot right after the water walking Jesus scene - which would be also totally in line with the story. Because in the movie the next scene after water walking Jesus and that sinner talk is the one in the evening, Ennis drunk and saying he will sleep in the camp - which is then followed by FNIT.

So, as we observe the boys during their time in the mountains (before FNIT) they get more and more talkative and comfortable with each other, right? Ennis, who was so rejecting any contact - not to speak of physical contact! - at Aguirre's trailer became more and more accustomed with touching each other, right? I mean the problem with physical contact should be that of Ennis not of Jack, right? So, Ennis was actually the "nut to crack" - i think we all agree. And i think Ennis liked Jack very very much for the sake of Jack's can opener. For somebody who was very lonely and who did not have any contact with human beings for long time i imagine it must have been really freeing to open oneself to this extend especially in the view of the fact that his counterpart was not judging at all, was neither making fun of him nor patronizing him, accepted him wholly as he is and therefore, he could TRUST him with opening himself. Which i think he also craved to do, lonely people usually tend to wanting to share just everything with the right person or generally others.

I just watched that water walking Jesus scene this morning again. Ennis' saying his "You may be a sinner, but I ain't yet had the opportunity" and then actually being a tiny bit ashamed of what he had just said (maybe thinking "uuh, did i say too much?") because of its ambiguity and that undertone, you know, implying something very personal and private about himself and his counterpart. It's quite interesting that this kind of touching the sexual aspect was firstly articulated by Ennis, not by Jack. And Jack's reaction was again very accepting one, so Ennis' shame and fear were blown away once more, just ensuring him that there was actually nothing to fear in opening himself further to Jack. As mentioned above this experience must have been like flying to Ennis. He was free of all his shame and fear and the reason was Jack. Therefore, i imagine he must really really like him, care for him and treasure him. That's why i think that the dozy embrace happened when he had to ride out to the sheep at THAT morning, when his last fear was blown away. So, he hugged Jack - his DEAR friend - and hummed to him and then went off. But the impact this embrace had on Jack was profound. I think as much as Jack was the more talkative and frank of them two, he would still not dare to get THIS physically close to Ennis at that stage of their friendship. We all know from the short story what the dozy embrace meant for Jack - it was his holy grail, pure happiness, satisfaction of a "shared and sexless hunger". I think it shook him up and gave him the idea or the reassurance that he could be closer to Ennis than before, that there could be more between them. Probably he had the same feelings as Ennis - just to treasure this very dear friend who had just touched the most hidden part of this heart.

Phew, all this said, in the tent - Jack takes Ennis hand (sure, no objection here, they should be OK with this already), pulls Ennis over him (sure, same as the embrace, right?) and lets Ennis touch him *you-know-where*, which is now something new, so Ennis is surprised first and probably his fears are back again, but (with booze and all in mind) i think his revelation of trust in Jack is so fresh and Jack is so wanting him, so his fears don't take over and FNIT happens.
As somebody said here or elsewhere(?), whenever Ennis opens the door just a tiny bit Jack rushes fully in! ;)

By the way, regarding that short discussion on description of dozy embrace in the short story, i have to agree with those who said, that it does not make sense what Annie Proux wrote there. "Nothing mars this moment for Jack, even though he knows that Ennis does not embrace him face to face because he does not want to see or feel that it is Jack he holds Ö. ď The second part of the sentence feels very much out of place and also forced into there. I get the feeling that Annie really wanted to focus on that homophobia / Ennis' denial wherever she could for the sake of some "drama", but it just does not make sense there... Doesn't matter when the dozy embrace took place - it took place on the mountain! And this is where both of them should have felt free from any fears or shame, so it absolutely does not fit...

Anyway, so that's my take on the development of their love. Ruthless' further analysis of what happened after they get Aguirre's notice to go down is just brilliant, i agree with it wholeheartedly! And i also agree on the timings of when each of them realized that the other one was loving him (Jack at the lake scene and Ennis over several scenes Cassie-Lureen-Old Twist-finding shirts).


Now i have to say two more things. The first one about those debates on being "gay" - whether or not they were gay and which one of them was more gay and etc... I'm sorry, but, honestly, i don't get these discussions. For me it's - who the f cares?? Sure, the fear of being publicly together with a man is a major subject in this story, but for me it's all about their love and longing for each other against the background of some childhood trauma, not about their sexual inclinations (or whatever). I don't think either of them was gay. Ennis had never find any other men attractive apart from Jack and for Jack those visits to Mexico and Randall were just substitutes in his strong longing for Ennis. I just can't understand why people would say this makes Jack gay... But i think it's probably just me, i don't know.
Really, i don't understand why we have to label these two human beings for loving each other. And with regard to sex - because this seems like the turning point for everybody (are two men having sex with each other? -> they are gay; are two men not having sex with each other? -> not gay) - i think for Ennis and Jack that was just the ultimate state of loving, caring and feeling each other, and especially in view of their quite seldom meetings (never enough time...) it was maybe what they did most during those times, but does it make them more gay? Sorry, that's all totally ridiculous!...
YaadPyar said it on June 3rd, 2006 - "Does it matter..." - Exactly...


And the second issue is with what happened to Jack "quitting" Ennis. ... Eehh, that's a tough one  :(...
To be honest, i have a slight problem here because i keep questioning myself whether Jack told his parents about Randall before or after his last meeting with Ennis. [PLEASE somebody share your thoughts on this!!!] Because the way Jack is at their last trip is ..... it's like he's dead already  :'( :'(. The way he says "All this time and you ain't found nobody else to marry?" and "The truth is... Sometimes I miss you so much, I can hardly stand it" - there is so much pain in it, he is totally numb of it all  :'( :'( :'(. He moves slowly, talks slowly, he's so crushed by an incredible weight, you can hardly call him still "alive". And he is also not able to enjoy his time with Ennis anymore, because all he thinks about is the repeated parting. And the subsequent longing hell again. There is absolutely no escape for him anymore, nothing can make him happy anymore  :'(.
Then i happen to think about his rodeo conversation in the motel upon the reunion. He says "That rodeo ain't what it was in my daddy's day's... I got out while I could still walk". As so much in this movie i wonder whether this is again some kind of foreshadowing of what will happen at the end.

So - did he try to "get out" already before the last trip? He tells Ennis about his affair and i think everybody seems to agree that he has been seeing Randall for some time already. Therefore, is it possible that he told his parents about Randall before the last trip and the lake scene? Because that would change the situation just a tinny little bit... Because during their argument at the lake he says "i wished i knew how to quit you" and then after Ennis' breakdown he just can't help comforting him again - and he himself realizes it, too and then says "Damn you, Ennis". So, there is basically no way for him to stop loving Ennis, no way! So, i thought / hope(d) that maybe he tried to get away from Ennis and all that pain while he "could still walk" and had this plan with Randall which he told his parents, and after the lake scene he was basically back to square one, angry, but confused. Maybe he was now certain that he could not quit Ennis by the plan he had with Randall.

Ahhhh.... But then, suddenly i had this little voice saying that he would probably still go ahead with his plan - not for himself, but for Ennis! That he loved him so much and seeing Ennis suffering so much ("i'm nothing, i'm nowhere"  :'() that he would stop seeing Ennis just in order to stop that misery in his life  :'( :'(. I didn't want to pay attention to this voice, because this idea would be SOOO devastating  :'(. But now Ruthless here also has the same suspect/opinion:

Until Ennis finally broke down at the final lake scene and told Jack that he was nothing, he was nowhere, and itís because of Jack.  Jack finally understood what Ennisí love for Jack had done to Ennis all these years.
After Jack saw, vis-ŗ-vis Ennis' breakdown, the toll that their relationship and Ennis' inability to cope with it had taken on Ennis, it would have been utterly cruel of Jack to continue their relationship.  It is not love to see the person you love in utter despair and turmoil and then to say "Oh, well, at least I can get a couple of high-altitude fucks out of the guy every year." ...  But, it is precisely because Jack loved Ennis so much that Jack had to let Ennis go.
This is killing me....  :'( :'( :'(
Because Ennis sent the final postcard, I believe that Jack had not yet gotten around to closing things up with Ennis, and Iím not sure how he would have done it.  But I am sure of one thing.  Jack would have had to have gotten a final, definite answer from Ennis one way or the other.  And if Ennis' answer was the same as always, Jack would have had to have let him go.  He loved him that much.
But - as gut-wrenching as this is - i am afraid this is EXACTLY how it was going to happen!
And yes - we can speculate about whether Ennis' answer would be different after his scene with Cassie, but we will NEVER know. As the story unfolds it is true as Ruthless said - "But, his epiphany, if ever complete, was not completed until at least the "love" conversation with Jr. -- too late." Meaning, Jack's death was necessary for Ennis' to fully understand and finally start to change things, that's the tragedy.

In this context,
Sheís 19, the same age as he was when he met Jack, and heís making sure that she knows that Kurt loves her so that she wonít have to go through the next twenty years without understanding, as he did.
That's a nice point of view. Yes, maybe. However, for me it felt as if he talked to himself. I felt that he wanted the word "love" to be articulated in SOME, ANY way because he was not able to do so himself directly. So, he has this conversation with Jr. where he says - to himself - "Does he [read "Jack"] love you [read "me"]?" - and gets an answer from Jr. "Yes, he [read "Jack"] loves me [read "you"]". This followed by his distant look out of the window repressing tears. That's how this scene felt for me from the first viewing on. That being his final resolution on his relationship with Jack. Too late for them being together, too late for Ennis to fix it so they can be together. Nevertheless, i believe that his "Jack, i swear..." does mean that he commits himself to some change in order to give Jack's death some meaning. I think he will love and treasure Jack beyond his death and work on himself not to do the same mistakes he did with Jack again. This does not mean that he will have a new partner (never ever) or that he will completely come to terms with himself (deal with his trauma - i doubt this will be possible for him to do it alone) or that he change drastically everything about himself (this is still Ennis! he will do tiny steps, but no drastic changes) or that he will tell everybody that he loved a man / hang the shirts outside the closet (this is a totally private issue and nobody's business). I think he will fight his patterns of rejection and abandonment - in the name of his honoring memory of Jack.

========

Sorry for this long-long post. Probably nobody ever reads  :P
But thanks for the space!

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #142 on: February 09, 2017, 03:53:17 pm »
Thank you, BBM_victim, for reviving this thread and for your insights! It will take us quite a while to absorb and respond to all you said, but I'd like to touch on some of the points:

Quote
Doesn't matter when the dozy embrace took place - it took place on the mountain! And this is where both of them should have felt free from any fears or shame, so it absolutely does not fit...
I agree with you, the dozy embrace seemed to happen outside of time. It could have been a flashback, a dream, a vision, wishful thinking. But I think it really did happen and the reason so is because of Ennis's reticence, his embrace of Jack from behind. Ennis's homophobia was so deeply ingrained that even on the mountain, he couldn't shake his fears/shame. A glimmer of hope is in Jack's parting words, "See you in the morning" and I think of that morning as the sunrise on a day when all people will learn to accept and embrace the differences that make us human beings.

Quote
...about those debates on being "gay" - whether or not they were gay and which one of them was more gay and etc... I'm sorry, but, honestly, i don't get these discussions. For me it's - who the f cares?? Sure, the fear of being publicly together with a man is a major subject in this story, but for me it's all about their love and longing for each other against the background of some childhood trauma, not about their sexual inclinations (or whatever). I don't think either of them was gay. Ennis had never find any other men attractive apart from Jack and for Jack those visits to Mexico and Randall were just substitutes in his strong longing for Ennis. I just can't understand why people would say this makes Jack gay.

Everybody has to make up their own mind about this and I respect your view. For myself, I believe they both were gay. They were obviously not attracted to women, except in a dalliance kind of way or as beards. They were obviously attracted to each other on several different levels. It's not  necessary to label people one way or the other, but for the purposes of this story set in this place in this time in history, I believe it was necessary in order to understand the characters.
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Offline BBM_victim

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #143 on: February 09, 2017, 09:18:17 pm »
Hi Front-Ranger!
Thanks a lot for reading and talking to me. I really do appreciate it!

Your comment pointed to some inconsistency about my idea of the dozy embrace. True, "See you in the morning" means it's taking place in the evening. So, it's then the evening before the FNIT (for me  :P). I still think the chronological order of events is water-walking-Jesus-sinner-talk -> dozy embrace -> FNIT.

Regarding the "gay" issue - which i actually didn't like to discuss - i guess it also has something to do with my personal point of view / perception of these things. Why would i oppose calling Ennis and Jack gay? Is being gay something bad / repulsive / "nasty"? Asking MYSELF this question - i would say "no". Asking the society would probably (still) result in "yes" or "maybe" to some extent. Unfortunately, i found myself somewhat colored by that. So, i am totally honest with you - i cannot say that being gay does not leave a question mark in my head, but i would never perceive homosexuals as being inferior people. In fact, i can totally consider myself being in love with a woman..... Mmmm... maybe woman+woman and man+man are two different things?...  :-\  ??? I don't know... Honestly, this discussion is a bit too much for me, my head aches.

What i know is that it is such a pitty these kind of private issues like who exactly you are in love with or what exactly you like to do in bed are being pilloried, discussed and judged by the society in the first place. As Jack said, this is really "nobody's business"! Who gave those people the right to comment on what is right and what is wrong, who gave them the right to label things and who said that this is necessary in the first place?! All these discussions lead to nothing more than misunderstandings / miscommunication (in best case), splitting people in categorized groups with certain attributes, which always leads to identity problems, fears, shame etc. There is nothing good coming from this! I don't say it should be a taboo subject, i say everybody should mind his own business and let other people live their lives however they like (unless somebody was harmed by that, of course). Live and let others live, too. Love and respect, people! V (Gosh, how this sounds, i got carried away!  :laugh:)

Going back to BBM, for me it is most important that Ennis and Jack were in love - that's enough for me. Any discussions on their sexual inclinations would be inappropriate and rude, IMO. :D Everybody thinks these are real people here, right? So, why don't we behave ourselves respectfully? And knowing their background, knowing their struggles and pain, why don't we give them a label-free space here, so that they can be together without any fear, shame and pain, hunh?
What Ennis' dad showed him when he was little was unforgivable! It totally wrecked his whole life!  :'( Let this be our all reminder on how to raise our kids so they can be HAPPY and fulfilled in life, not crippled and fearful. Fear is never a good advice / guidepost. And it doesn't matter what his dad showed him exactly. Let's say he showed him a corpse of a person (male / female - doesn't matter) who was tortured and killed because he/she had blue eyes. And it just happens that the person Ennis falls in love with (male / female - doesn't matter) has blue eyes - that would lead to exactly the same state in Ennis' psyche and fate! Really, i don't feel any need to categorize that...

Offline BBM_victim

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #144 on: February 10, 2017, 01:24:04 am »
They were obviously not attracted to women, except in a dalliance kind of way or as beards. They were obviously attracted to each other on several different levels.

Front-Ranger, please allow me to comment on your above statement from my POV. Do we know whether they were attracted to women *before* they met each other? Because all i see in the movie is *after* they fell in love with each other, after their respective (lonely) hearts were touched by the other one. There will be no one else who could do it for them, ever. That's how i see their love. I don't put their love in relation to their other man-man or man-woman relationships. It's just the two of them and there will be never any other person in their hearts. In first instance there is no physical attraction for me (towards anybody), the way i see it they long for each other for that satisfaction of the "shared and sexless hunger" and the physical comes just along with feelings of love.
Anyway that's my perception of "true love" - maybe just wishful thinking!  ::) I hope not...

Offline BradInBlue

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #145 on: February 10, 2017, 02:05:08 am »
There was nothing 'gay' about Jack and Ennis. What those terms mean in 1963 do not describe them nor does AP's story and Ang Lee's movie. And when J & E disavow being queer up with the sheep, it is true. They weren't queer. Or gay. The movie wasn't about queer or gay. It was about two dudes that fell in love.   

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #146 on: February 10, 2017, 02:13:13 am »
Exactly! Thank youBradInBlue!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #147 on: February 11, 2017, 02:07:38 pm »
The question is not whether they could be described by a term that wasn't in widespread use at the time and that Brad now objects to for political reasons.

The question is where they fell on the Kinsey scale. My impression is that they were pretty close to entirely homosexual, but under immense societal pressure to pretend otherwise they "passed" as heterosexual.

Jack had come to terms with his own orientation and would have been completely willing to have hookups or even relationships with other men. But he realized after the bar scene there weren't many prospects for same-sex relationships on the rodeo circuit, so he "settled" for Lureen. But their marriage was mostly sexless -- what Lureen metaphorically meant when she observed that "husbands never want to dance with their wives" -- especially after he reunited with Ennis.

Ennis was scared straight, so to speak, by the childhood trauma of witnessing what happened to Earl and Rich. Note that both of those names signify wealth -- those two were living "the sweet life." But Ennis' father showed him how their society regarded people like that, and it was a powerful lesson. I believe Ennis was probably aware, or becoming aware, around that time of his own sexual orientation, and quickly realized he had to hide it at all costs. To Ennis, attraction to men was so shameful he could never even accept his own. He became a self-hating homophobe, which is why he could never be a fully committed partner to Jack. Like Jack, he did what society expected of him and married Alma and dated Cassie. He could have sex with women, but he wasn't really into it, which is why both relationships fell apart. Yet because that horrific childhood experience stuck with him, Ennis was never able to accept his own feelings or stop fearing what "people on the street" might think.

I'm sure it's perfectly possible for random-gendered couples to fall in love without having previously realized they were attracted to that gender. I have heard of people saying that about themselves, so never say never. But I think most people, from about adolescence on, at least notice their own physical attractions, whether it's entirely for men, entirely for women, or some of both, whether they act on them or not.




Offline CellarDweller

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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #148 on: May 14, 2017, 09:36:46 pm »
great post, Katherine!


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'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
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Re: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault
« Reply #149 on: May 14, 2017, 09:41:32 pm »
I entirely agree, great post!
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