Author Topic: You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault  (Read 85881 times)

Offline welliwont

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hahahahahaha

Barb and Ruthie:

Now yur both making me blush!!   I'm not an Ennis-wanna-be, I'm a Twister through 'n through!!   ;D

_____________________

OMG!  Hark!   A revelation!  A moment of clarity just ten short minutes ago!

Now I have to confess that reading your posts at stinky old work a few hours ago, I did not grasp that the new suggestion was
the Brokeism "You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault."   I thought it was
"a day (or two) late and a dollar short" because all I read was:

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Well, a day (or two) late and a dollar short, the perfect name for this thread

(I have to admit that I am a dunce) and of course the Brokeism is the better name, gotta go with the Brokeism!

If it's not too late, I vote for the Brokeism.  If I had read the post properly, I would never have written my other post in the first place.

Sorry for the bad chi Ruthie and Barb...

Jane


Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfafa."

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Now I have to confess that reading your posts at stinky old work a few hours ago, I did not grasp that the new suggestion was
the Brokeism "You shut up about Ennis - this ain't (all) his fault."   I thought it was
"a day (or two) late and a dollar short" because all I read was:

Well, a day (or two) late and a dollar short, the perfect name for this thread

(I have to admit that I am a dunce) and of course the Brokeism is the better name, gotta go with the Brokeism!





Now wait a minute, JakeTwist.  You thought I would change the name of the post to "A Day (or Two) Late and a Dollar Short?"

 :laugh:      :laugh:      :laugh:


I'm gonna have to throw you that same glance that Ennis threw to Jack right after Jack said "The hell we are..." at the "yee-haw" scene.

Offline dly64

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I want to bring up the whole agruement at the lake. I have heard a few different points of view and I would like to hear all of your opinions.

When Jack says, "I did once" .... when I first saw the film, I thought Jack meant that he did  have a better idea by going to Mexico, having sex with a prostitute and not having any emotional baggage. Someone else said that when Jack said, "I did once" he was referring to having a life with Ennis. Ennis didn't want to hear the same old thing, so he picked a fight about Mexico ... i.e. putting the issue back on Jack. It ended up backfiring because all this other stuff came out and Jack brought up the subject of a life together anyway. Honestly, at this point I don't know what I think.

I bring this up in this thread because we have hinted at this issue before. We have established that the whole arguement was not about jealousy. IMO, however, Ennis felt completely betrayed. It was okay for either one of them to have sex with women. It was not okay, in Ennis' mind, to have sex with another man. Ennis was faithful to Jack. He expected Jack to do the same. Then he hears Jack say he has had sex with another man and that their infrequent couplings were not enough.

After Jack says, "I wish I knew how to quit you .." and Ennis replies, "Why don't you? Why don't you let me be? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this ..." IMO, Ennis did not see himself as gay. In Ennis' mind, it was Jack's fault that he loved a man. Then, the man he loved betrayed him by having an "affair".

None of what was said was news. But, having said it outloud was hurtful to both. The screenplay and book state the following:

After Jack says, "I wish I knew how to quit you." 

Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter, the years of things unsaid and now unsayable -- admissions, declarations, shames guilts, fears -- rise around them.

After Ennis collapses in Jacks arms ...

And then .... they hug one another, a fierce desparate embrace -- managing to torque things almost to where they had been, for what they've just said is no news: as always, nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved.

Then it goes into the dozy embrace, which is a different issue altogether. I won't open that can of worms at this moment.

Getting back to the whole "I did once" issue ... Was Jack trying to quit Ennis? Was Ennis trying to quit Jack? Did Jack want to hurt Ennis as he had been hurt?

I see Jack and Ennis' reunion and the lake scene as bookends. In the mountains .... the whole discussion of how often they can see each other is brought up:
Ennis: "If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it."
Jack: "For how long?"
Ennis: For as long as we can ride it ... there ain't no reins on this one."

At the lake ....
Jack: "I'll tell you what .... the truth is ..... sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

Then when Ennis collapses in Jack's arms:
Ennis: "I can't stand this anymore, Jack.

It's as if their "ride" is almost over. Each one can hardly handle this secret and intense love.

As an additional note, the first time Jack brings up having a  life together is after their reunion. Jack brings it up again at the lake ... knowing that it will never happen. Again, bookends to their life together post BBM.

I'd like to hear your thoughts!
Diane

"We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em."

Offline welliwont

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I'm gonna have to throw you that same glance that Ennis threw to Jack right after Jack said "The hell we are..." at the "yee-haw" scene.

I was thinking more along the lines of the look Ennis gives when Jack says "better git unless you wannna be standing around tying knots all day!"     :laugh: :laugh:

On my way home during my 2 hour commute (yes, I really do commute 4 hours a day -  well it's more like 3 - 3.5 ta be honest   :-\ ::)) I was thinking about what I'd written.  huh?  A day late and a dollar short, what the hell !!   ??? ???  what has that got to do with the topic??  That's ridiculous, LOL!!  Maybe there's a reason why most of my posts don't get much response?  LOLOL.  ::) ??? :laugh: :laugh:

Did my brain suffer a power surge or something?  Naw that ain't it.  It's because I was at work, I took my lunch a half an hpur later than I told you I would, I was dealing with a casting emergency with the performance, I even went so far as to put a client on hold so I could complete a BetterMost post (I  work in a Call Centre)  oh, I better not tell you that!  That's not why they pay me the big bucks, to play at BetterMost during the slow periods!

Anyway I think it's funny. couldn't wait to get home and post this, I'm not surprised you picked up on it Ruthie, I was wondering if I would be the first one to laugh at myself before anyone else.  Anyway, I'm off to work on the performance and read fanfic, ttyl,

Jane
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ruthlesslyunsentimental

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I was thinking more along the lines of the look Ennis gives when Jack says "better git unless you wannna be standing around tying knots all day!"     :laugh: :laugh:

This one works for me, too!      :laugh:


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I was wondering if I would be the first one to laugh at myself before anyone else.

S'alright... s'alright.

ruthlesslyunsentimental

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I want to bring up the whole agruement at the lake. I have heard a few different points of view and I would like to hear all of your opinions.

You probably know mine already, so I hope you don’t mind if I weigh in here … just to keep the discussion moving …


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When Jack says, "I did once" .... when I first saw the film, I thought Jack meant that he did  have a better idea by going to Mexico, having sex with a prostitute and not having any emotional baggage. Someone else said that when Jack said, "I did once" he was referring to having a life with Ennis. Ennis didn't want to hear the same old thing, so he picked a fight about Mexico ... i.e. putting the issue back on Jack. It ended up backfiring because all this other stuff came out and Jack brought up the subject of a life together anyway. Honestly, at this point I don't know what I think.

Well, let’s see if I can sway you over.    ;)   (When you said “someone else” above, I think you’re referring to me.  I’ve always said this.)

Since the first time I saw the film I’ve changed my mind on a number of points, but I have always thought, and most likely will continue to think, that Jack meant “live together.”  Couple of reasons: That's what Jack always says – reunion river scene, cow-and-calf operation, sweet life – post-divorce scene, “I thought…” with his sideways glance – move to Texas scene , move to Texas – final lake scene, same old Jack… “I did once.”  Ennis always goes back to fear; Jack always goes back to living together.

Second, put yourself in Jack’s boots… he heard Ennis ask him whether he’d had a better idea… what’s the first thing that will come to his mind?  Mexico or live together?  When Jack hears the words “BETTER idea,” what will come to his mind?  Mexico or live together?  The reason Ennis asked his question at this time is because he was trying to throw out “fun” bait for Jack to assuage Jack concerning missing August.  Hunt, elk, cabin… “we had a good time that year.”  But Jack is unmoved and responds that this is a “goddamn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation.”  In other words, “We’ve got a dilemma here, Ennis.”  So Ennis, who has thrown out his bait asks Jack whether he has a better idea.  Remember, he’s not asking Jack if Jack has a better idea about how to handle their relationship.  He’s asking Jack if he has a better idea about the fact that they’re missing out on August.  It’s about time.  Jack just said “Never enough time, never enough.”  Meaning?  Meaning "We never have enough time together and we would have all the time in the world together if we were actually together."  So Ennis is asking Jack about how they can handle this time problem.  This is Ennis’ big mistake – because he knows Jack well enough to know that Jack is going to come back with “live together,” as always.  And so Jack responds that he “did once” have a better idea about how the two of them can handle their time dilemma – live together.  Not Mexico.  How does Jack going to Mexico fix their time problem?  Regardless how one views the back-and-forth in this part of the scene, would Jack EVER believe that Mexico was a better idea?

Now Ennis knows what Jack meant.  How does he respond?  He puts Jack on the defensive.  “You been to Mexico?”  Jack doesn’t correct him here because Jack knows what Ennis is doing – Jack knows Ennis very well – and because Jack sees this as an opportunity for some truth to jump into their pool of lies.  So he goes with the Mexico bit for Ennis’ sake.  But immediately when it’s over, he goes back to his better idea – live together – but Ennis didn’t want it.

I can kind of see how one might think it’s about Mexico at first, but doesn’t it throw up a red flag asking “What?  Jack thinks that Mexico was a better idea?  That doesn’t make sense.  All Jack ever wants to do is live with Ennis.”

As I’ve said, I have changed my mind on a number of issues from the film, but I’ve never heard anyone put forth a good argument that Jack really believed that Mexico was a BETTER idea.


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It was not okay, in Ennis' mind, to have sex with another man. Ennis was faithful to Jack. He expected Jack to do the same.

Agreed.  But WHY does Ennis feel this way?  Back to his fears – always back to his fears.  They are his prime motivators.  If Jack has been with other men, then Jack is gay, and that breaks their “we’re not queer” pact, and that makes Ennis “queer” and that just won’t fit into his reality.


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Then he hears Jack say he has had sex with another man and that their infrequent couplings were not enough.

Jack starts speaking the brutal truth.  This begins Ennis’ breakdown.  His worlds are colliding -- his “I like to have sex with Jack” world and his “I’m not queer” world.


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After Jack says, "I wish I knew how to quit you .." and Ennis replies, "Why don't you? Why don't you let me be? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this ..." IMO, Ennis did not see himself as gay.

Yes!


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In Ennis' mind, it was Jack's fault that he loved a man. Then, the man he loved betrayed him by having an "affair".

But again, why does this hurt/confuse Ennis?  Because it challenges his self-concept.  He’s been fighting this battle within himself for twenty years now.


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None of what was said was news. But, having said it outloud was hurtful to both.

No doubt!


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Then it goes into the dozy embrace, which is a different issue altogether. I won't open that can of worms at this moment.

Oh, but what a beautiful can of worms the dozy embrace is!


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Getting back to the whole "I did once" issue ... Was Jack trying to quit Ennis? Was Ennis trying to quit Jack? Did Jack want to hurt Ennis as he had been hurt?

I’d LOVE to discuss this.  But I can’t until you let me know how you define “quit.”


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I see Jack and Ennis' reunion and the lake scene as bookends.

Exactly.


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It's as if their "ride" is almost over. Each one can hardly handle this secret and intense love.

Yes, to the first sentence.  Second sentence – Ennis can hardly handle his heart and his mind ripping him in two pieces; Jack can hardly stand the two of them being ripped in two pieces.


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I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Well, unlike Ennis, I always deliver.  I’ll bet you meant you want to hear other people’s thoughts besides mine all the time.  And I agree 100%.  I’d love to have more thoughts on this from others.  But we’re doing o.k., huh?

Offline serious crayons

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We have established that the whole arguement was not about jealousy. IMO, however, Ennis felt completely betrayed. It was okay for either one of them to have sex with women. It was not okay, in Ennis' mind, to have sex with another man. Ennis was faithful to Jack. He expected Jack to do the same. Then he hears Jack say he has had sex with another man and that their infrequent couplings were not enough.

Yay, Diane! We can certainly agree on this. There's not a sentence in that paragraph I would dispute!  :D

But WHY does Ennis feel this way?  Back to his fears – always back to his fears.  They are his prime motivators.  If Jack has been with other men, then Jack is gay, and that breaks their “we’re not queer” pact, and that makes Ennis “queer” and that just won’t fit into his reality.

Well, but then how does that explain all of those people in "real life" who don't struggle with internalized homophobia but who nevertheless get upset when their partners seek out other lovers? Why would Ennis be immune to regular old jealousy?

Not to say Ennis' homophobia is a nonissue. I'm sure the stress juggling two intense and conflicting emotions -- it's bad to be queer; I love Jack -- over two decades plays a part in his breakdown. All this time and he aint found nobody to marry because he knows he wants to be with Jack -- would love, at some level, to take Jack up on his sweet-life plan -- but just honestly can't see how it would work. In his understanding of reality, the idea of two men living together is simply not possible, it's both an idealistic fantasy, and a scary and shameful one as well.

But why wouldn't Ennis be distraught that the man with whom he's been in love and to whom he's been faithful for 20 years has been fooling around with other men?

I was going to say other people -- but caught myself because of course he's not the least bit disturbed by the thought of Jack with women. Is this entirely because that concept doesn't trigger his homophobia? No, in my view, it's because he knows women aren't a threat, just as he assumes Jack doesn't feel threatened by his relationship with Cassie (or, in them earlier days, Alma). That's why, when he describes his relationship with Cassie, he does so in that shrugging tone that indicates it's completely inconsequential.


ruthlesslyunsentimental

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Well, but then how does that explain all of those people in "real life" who don't struggle with internalized homophobia but who nevertheless get upset when their partners seek out other lovers? Why would Ennis be immune to regular old jealousy?

This is a good question, but it's probably best answered by what you've said you've observed in the real world.  You've pointed out that there are people who don't struggle with internalized homophobia... and we know that there are people who struggle with it (Ennis, for example – he’s real world, isn’t he?).  Different kinds of people in different kinds of situations with different needs and different agendas.  Ennis just happens to fall into his particular category, into which I'm sure there are still a lot of other people who fall.

In your example, you remove the key factor of Ennis.  Yes, in the real world it is "normal" for people who don't struggle with homophobia to get upset when their partners seek out other lovers.  And this would probably also be true for Ennis -- under "normal" circumstances.  But Ennis has a special circumstance -- internalized homophobia.  And this has been presented to us as his motivating factor.  We can analyze Moby Dick up the yin-yang, but we still have to come back to the prime motivating factor that was laid out for us, the theme the author wanted to convey.  For this film, the theme is the damaging effects of rural homophobia.  We always have to come back to Ennis' fears, because Ennis' also goes back to his fears.


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Not to say Ennis' homophobia is a nonissue. I'm sure the stress juggling two intense and conflicting emotions -- it's bad to be queer; I love Jack -- over two decades plays a part in his breakdown.

I'd have to call this the overwhelmingly overt part of his breakdown.  It's what his story is all about -- his internalized struggle brought on by his internalized homophobia.


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All this time and he aint found nobody to marry because he knows he wants to be with Jack -- would love, at some level, to take Jack up on his sweet-life plan -- but just honestly can't see how it would work. In his understanding of reality, the idea of two men living together is simply not possible, it's both an idealistic fantasy, and a scary and shameful one as well.

Well said.


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But why wouldn't Ennis be distraught that the man with whom he's been in love and to whom he's been faithful for 20 years has been fooling around with other men?

Let's look at it another way.  Ennis and Jack love each other, right?  And they're meant for each other, right? Well then why is Ennis having sex with Cassie?  Simply because Jack won't mind?  Is that faithful?  He won't give himself to Jack the way Jack wants and so he has sex with Cassie.  What if they lived together?  Would he still have sex with Cassie?  No.  What's changed?  Living together.  So why don't they live together?  Ennis' fears.  Without Ennis' fears, Ennis would live with Jack and not have sex with Cassie.  That's faithful.  Jack told Ennis that Jack has been having sex with the neighbor’s wife.  Ennis could care less.  He doesn’t even see it as a contributing factor to the disassociation of their relationship (as opposed to Jack who sees Cassie as just another obstacle that he's going to have to deal with).  What's the difference between a man and a woman?  They both know that each other has been having sex with both sexes.

In a roundabout way this sort of goes to the part of your question on Ennis being faithful to Jack for twenty years.  And, as I have said before, Ennis has not made the connection in his mind yet that it is love between them.

So, to be ruthlessly unsentimental    ;)  , I'd have to restate your question as: But why wouldn't Ennis be distraught that the man with whom he doesn't realize he's been in love and to whom he hasn't given himself completely for 20 years has been fooling around with other men?  And then the answer somehow becomes obvious.


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I was going to say other people -- but caught myself because of course he's not the least bit disturbed by the thought of Jack with women. Is this entirely because that concept doesn't trigger his homophobia? No, in my view, it's because he knows women aren't a threat, just as he assumes Jack doesn't feel threatened by his relationship with Cassie (or, in them earlier days, Alma).

Or, maybe he knows that women in the relationship, something they can both accept as "normal," will help ensure that the life together never happens?  Self-fulfilling prophecy.


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That's why, when he describes his relationship with Cassie, he does so in that shrugging tone that indicates it's completely inconsequential.

Or because he's starting to realize that his worlds are not meshing well.  In fact, the next morning they'll spiral into each other for a head-on collision.

Ah, poor Ennis....

Offline dly64

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Since the first time I saw the film I’ve changed my mind on a number of points, but I have always thought, and most likely will continue to think, that Jack meant “live together.”  Couple of reasons: That's what Jack always says – reunion river scene, cow-and-calf operation, sweet life – post-divorce scene, “I thought…” with his sideways glance – move to Texas scene, move to Texas – final lake scene, same old Jack… “I did once.”  Ennis always goes back to fear; Jack always goes back to living together.

Second, put yourself in Jack’s boots… he heard Ennis ask him whether he’d had a better idea… what’s the first thing that will come to his mind?  Mexico or live together?  When Jack hears the words “BETTER idea,” what will come to his mind?  Mexico or live together?  The reason Ennis asked his question at this time is because he was trying to throw out “fun” bait for Jack to assuage Jack concerning missing August.  Hunt, elk, cabin… “we had a good time that year.”  But Jack is unmoved and responds that this is a “goddamn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation.”  In other words, “We’ve got a dilemma here, Ennis.”  So Ennis, who has thrown out his bait asks Jack whether he has a better idea.  Remember, he’s not asking Jack if Jack has a better idea about how to handle their relationship.  He’s asking Jack if he has a better idea about the fact that they’re missing out on August.  It’s about time.  Jack just said “Never enough time, never enough.”  Meaning?  Meaning "We never have enough time together and we would have all the time in the world together if we were actually together."  So Ennis is asking Jack about how they can handle this time problem.  This is Ennis’ big mistake – because he knows Jack well enough to know that Jack is going to come back with “live together,” as always.  And so Jack responds that he “did once” have a better idea about how the two of them can handle their time dilemma – live together.  Not Mexico.  How does Jack going to Mexico fix their time problem?  Regardless how one views the back-and-forth in this part of the scene, would Jack EVER believe that Mexico was a better idea?

I can agree with the idea that when Jack said, "I did once" he meant living together and that Ennis wanted to deflect the conversation from him back to Jack. However, I see the line, "Never enough time, never enough ...", as Jack's way to express that time was passing them by. All of those years they could have had a life together. Instead, they spent their lives separate and alone. They were desperate to be together. However, the elephant in the room (i.e. Ennis' memory of Earl) was always there. Ennis was unable to give himself to Jack fully because he was too afraid of retribution. Ennis was also divorced from his feelings for Jack, until, IMO, the lake scene when he realized that this whole time it was love he was feeling. (Is that why the song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" was playing on the jukebox when he was with Cassie and Alma, Jr?? Just a thought.  ;))

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I’d LOVE to discuss this.  But I can’t until you let me know how you define “quit.”

When I refer to "quit" ...  I am thinking of two things:
1) Jack (or Ennis) trying to free himself from the relationship, secrets, and lies.
2) Jack (or Ennis) attempting to eradicate any feelings of love and passion towards the other.

IMO, Jack is referring to both of these things when he says, "I wish I knew how to quit you."

Well, but then how does that explain all of those people in "real life" who don't struggle with internalized homophobia but who nevertheless get upset when their partners seek out other lovers? Why would Ennis be immune to regular old jealousy?

Not to say Ennis' homophobia is a nonissue. I'm sure the stress juggling two intense and conflicting emotions -- it's bad to be queer; I love Jack -- over two decades plays a part in his breakdown. All this time and he aint found nobody to marry because he knows he wants to be with Jack -- would love, at some level, to take Jack up on his sweet-life plan -- but just honestly can't see how it would work. In his understanding of reality, the idea of two men living together is simply not possible, it's both an idealistic fantasy, and a scary and shameful one as well.

I am reading what you are saying and I agree with a lot of it. You and I have had discussions as to when Ennis knew he loved Jack. That is where we differ. In reading your note, however, I think we are saying the same thing, but in a different way. I am not saying that Ennis doesn't love Jack. He began loving Jack on BBM and was devastated when they parted. Ennis could not express his feelings to anyone and he tried to convince himself that those emotions did not exist. IMO, Ennis' speech is a representation of how he copes -- it's as if he is punching out his words. He is trying to hold everything down. When he can't contain himself anymore, he explodes. Anger is the one emotion he can express. IMO, Ennis could not label his feelings for Jack as love (i.e. he did not understand that all of those feelings of passion and longing equated love).

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But why wouldn't Ennis be distraught that the man with whom he's been in love and to whom he's been faithful for 20 years has been fooling around with other men?

I was going to say other people -- but caught myself because of course he's not the least bit disturbed by the thought of Jack with women. Is this entirely because that concept doesn't trigger his homophobia? No, in my view, it's because he knows women aren't a threat, just as he assumes Jack doesn't feel threatened by his relationship with Cassie (or, in them earlier days, Alma). That's why, when he describes his relationship with Cassie, he does so in that shrugging tone that indicates it's completely inconsequential.

I agree completely with what you are saying.

Jack and Ennis never had a spoken agreement that they would be monogamous (in saying that - I mean no affairs with other men), it was implied (after their reunion). I can surmise that Ennis was aware Jack was not loyal. But to hear it out loud ... to hear the bitterness in Jack's voice ....  had to be devastating. I don't think Ennis understood the intensity of Jack's pain, loneliness and need. For Ennis, their infrequent couplings were enough. It gave him satisfaction just being with Jack. For Jack, what he craved was a life together. He was living a lie. He certainly didn't love Lureen. Jack would have given up everything .... his marriage, his child, his money ... had Ennis said "yes, I want to build a life with you." 

OMG! Just thinking of this makes me want to cry.

(OT - I got the CD today ... to help give me a fix while I'm in the car or at work ... and was completely blown away by how much the music moved me. The one song that killed me was, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old". It is the song that is playing in Jack's pickup after he has driven 14 hours only to find out he misunderstood the intent of Ennis' card. The lyrics are incredibly moving. I just started to cry because it exemplified Jack and Ennis' tragic relationship.)
Diane

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ruthlesslyunsentimental

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I see the line, "Never enough time, never enough ...", as Jack's way to express that time was passing them by. All of those years they could have had a life together. Instead, they spent their lives separate and alone. They were desperate to be together. However, the elephant in the room (i.e. Ennis' memory of Earl) was always there. Ennis was unable to give himself to Jack fully because he was too afraid of retribution. Ennis was also divorced from his feelings for Jack, until, IMO, the lake scene when he realized that this whole time it was love he was feeling. (Is that why the song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" was playing on the jukebox when he was with Cassie and Alma, Jr?? Just a thought.  ;))

Absolutely to almost everything you said.  I would say though that Jack was desperate permanently (evidenced by practically everything he said and did after the mountain) and that Ennis was desperate to be together as often as possible (evidenced by his, for all intents and purposes, giving up his marriage, kids, and jobs -- but also by his intransigence in actually living with Jack).

Yes to the elephant, yes to retribution, yes to divorced from his feelings; but, as always, I have to put the "realized" part at the shirts scene in Jack's closet because all of the scenes from his breakdown to finding the shirts are giving Ennis clues about Jack's true feelings and this is what allows Ennis to discover his own true feelings.  Once again, Jack led Ennis.


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I am reading what you are saying and I agree with a lot of it. You and I have had discussions as to when Ennis knew he loved Jack. That is where we differ. In reading your note, however, I think we are saying the same thing, but in a different way. I am not saying that Ennis doesn't love Jack. He began loving Jack on BBM and was devastated when they parted. Ennis could not express his feelings to anyone and he tried to convince himself that those emotions did not exist. IMO, Ennis' speech is a representation of how he copes -- it's as if he is punching out his words. He is trying to hold everything down. When he can't contain himself anymore, he explodes. Anger is the one emotion he can express. IMO, Ennis could not label his feelings for Jack as love (i.e. he did not understand that all of those feelings of passion and longing equated love).

Boy you said a mouthful and I agree with every word of it!


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I can surmise that Ennis was aware Jack was not loyal.

When do you think Ennis became aware of this?


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But to hear it out loud ... to hear the bitterness in Jack's voice ....  had to be devastating. I don't think Ennis understood the intensity of Jack's pain, loneliness and need. For Ennis, their infrequent couplings were enough. It gave him satisfaction just being with Jack. For Jack, what he craved was a life together. He was living a lie. He certainly didn't love Lureen. Jack would have given up everything .... his marriage, his child, his money ... had Ennis said "yes, I want to build a life with you."

Again, I agree with just about all of this.  But the part about not loving Lureen -- don’t you think he loved her, but was not in love with her?  That's the way it seemed to me.  He still kissed her goodbye without his blue parka and he rubbed her shoulder after he stood up for her cooking efforts, and she seemed pleased when her husband stood up to the old man.  It seems to me that after the river reunion scene where Ennis gave their marriages as the reason preventing them from living together (he also gave the reason of Earl's untimely death, but Jack didn’t realize the very strong import of this to Ennis' psyche until the post-divorce scene, the white truck), Jack worked at his marriage and family, such as it was.  Sure, he didn’t "dance" with Lureen anymore (or maybe not too often), but he still must have had some positive feelings in his family life... love, but not in love?


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(OT - I got the CD today ... to help give me a fix while I'm in the car or at work ... and was completely blown away by how much the music moved me. The one song that killed me was, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old". It is the song that is playing in Jack's pickup after he has driven 14 hours only to find out he misunderstood the intent of Ennis' card. The lyrics are incredibly moving. I just started to cry because it exemplified Jack and Ennis' tragic relationship.)

Exactly the same here.  I was surprised by how much those songs convey when heard in the fullness of their music and lyrics. 

Someone posted a link somewhere to the 36-tracks of music that was distributed to Academy voters.  I burned those to CD.  It's great to listen to because it's got almost all of the music from the film in order -- especially all the wordless music – it adds the harmonica playing, “Water-Walking Jesus,” the music heard while Ennis looks at the word “deceased,” and the music during Ennis’ time in Jack’s closet and driving home.  It also adds some songs that we only heard snippets of and they pack a wallop when heard in their entirety.  Since it’s very nearly complete and in order, you can play out the film in your head while listening.


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When I refer to "quit" ...  I am thinking of two things:
1) Jack (or Ennis) trying to free himself from the relationship, secrets, and lies.
2) Jack (or Ennis) attempting to eradicate any feelings of love and passion towards the other.

IMO, Jack is referring to both of these things when he says, "I wish I knew how to quit you."

I'd like to discuss this, but your definitions are interesting and much better defined than others I’ve run across.  I'm going to have to sit on my mountain and do a little thinkin', if you don't mind.

Have a safe and happy 4th -- and watch out for redneck bikers at the fireworks!