Author Topic: The Laundry Room  (Read 60827 times)

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2008, 02:46:56 pm »
I've skimmed through the article K linked. I found it a fascinating read, but was too impatient to read it thoroughly right now. Anyway, two quotes from it:

In television commercials for laundry detergent, the housewife sensually presses her face into a soft, warm, fragrant, fluffy towel which, along with a tidy bowl, signifies her success as a wife and mother, as a woman, her love for her family. Laundry signifies love."

Yup, we've all seen this image countless times in different variations. This is exactly what Ennis does with Alma Junior's sweater after she left. The way he cares tenderly about a piece of clothing shows his love for its owner. The fact that it's not freshly washed, but still carries her scent, makes it even more poignant, IMO.


"When the ritual [of doing the laundry] is over, our clothes are clean and folded, and a kind of lesser order is restored. Dirt is gone; life starts anew. The bodies we put into these fresh clothes may do something different this time around."

I think this is a very interesting thought. New chances. We haven't discussed this aspect of doing laundry yet. When Jack does the laundry naked after TS1, something new starts. Before they had been friends, but now they are also lovers, a new part of their relationship begins.


Yeah Chrissi!  These are great quotations!  I completely agree with the idea that laundry is a really intimate act.  And, I know this is repeating things said before... but to see both Jack and Alma doing Ennis's laundry just seems so important in terms of their status as rivals for Ennis's affection/attention/commitment.  I think in the scene where we see Alma at the clothes line and Ennis's truck is seen driving towards the ranch in the distance... I think that brown and blue plaid shirt is the shirt he was wearing during TS1.  And, of course, the force of the wind here combined with the laundry is huge.  And, in the scene where Jack nude, washing Ennis's shirt in the stream... it just seems so important that that's one of the paired shirts at the end. 

I wonder why we never see Ennis doing laundry?  I mean, we see him doing other domestic things (both on Brokeback and at home with Alma... even helping wash dishes at Monroe's house), but never specifically the laundry.  But, he is certainly apparently super sensitive to clothing the scent of clothing, etc. (both Alma Jr.'s sweater and the paired shirts)... so maybe he's meant to be viewed as the recipient of love... if laundry is meant to be a symbol of love/devotion... in this particular context.

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Offline elomelo

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #71 on: March 13, 2008, 12:33:30 pm »
Yeah Chrissi!  These are great quotations!  I completely agree with the idea that laundry is a really intimate act.  And, I know this is repeating things said before... but to see both Jack and Alma doing Ennis's laundry just seems so important in terms of their status as rivals for Ennis's affection/attention/commitment.  I think in the scene where we see Alma at the clothes line and Ennis's truck is seen driving towards the ranch in the distance... I think that brown and blue plaid shirt is the shirt he was wearing during TS1.  And, of course, the force of the wind here combined with the laundry is huge.  And, in the scene where Jack nude, washing Ennis's shirt in the stream... it just seems so important that that's one of the paired shirts at the end. 

I wonder why we never see Ennis doing laundry?  I mean, we see him doing other domestic things (both on Brokeback and at home with Alma... even helping wash dishes at Monroe's house), but never specifically the laundry.  But, he is certainly apparently super sensitive to clothing the scent of clothing, etc. (both Alma Jr.'s sweater and the paired shirts)... so maybe he's meant to be viewed as the recipient of love... if laundry is meant to be a symbol of love/devotion... in this particular context.



\ :o  I never noticed that Jack was washing Ennis's clothes in the river too! Good observation!

And actually, when he's washing the shirt after their first sexual encounter, maybe the washing signifies cleansing and forgiveness like water has throughout various religions and stories. As in, Jack is forigiving Ennis for the denial that is soon to come and cleansing both their shirt signifies a new beginning for them, in terms of their friendship and newfound relationship which starts off as sexual tension and release, then develops into something transceding merely sex.

And Ennis as the recepient of love? Brilliant. :) Maybe...hmm, not sure if this makes much sense, but in claiming something that he has lost. Losing Jack and Alma Jr. impacts him, and their clothing is the remnants of the different loves in his life.

- another thought, though I don't know if it's relevant; Jack is shirtless the second night in the tent. You'd assume it's warm but then we see Ennis rubbing his hands in front of the fire...? Lack of shirt = lack of a barrier? So he's showing Ennis that he's just as vulnerable without that protection of the shirt, and that he's "forgiven" Ennis. Hm..thoughts, anyone? :D

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #72 on: March 13, 2008, 01:03:51 pm »
Great post, Elomelo. The idea of the shirt-washing as a sort of cleansing ritual is really interesting. Especially because water is so prevalent throughout their relationship and seems to usually indicate love, or progress in their relationship.

As for Jack being shirtless in the tent, I agree with your interpretation. I've noticed that fewer layers of clothing often suggests more vulnerability or openness. And more layers means being more closed off or resistant. Their second night together, they're both wearing one less layer of clothing than they were the first night. At the reunion, Ennis is just wearing a shirt, though Jack is wearing a vest (hedging his bets, in case Ennis wasn't ready to get back into it again?). And later, camping by the lake, Ennis wears just a shirt (am I remembering this correctly? I haven't seen it since last May, and my memory of some of these details is getting foggy!  ::)) until Jack mentions the sweet life and Ennis is resistant -- then he puts on a jacket and hat.


Offline elomelo

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #73 on: March 13, 2008, 01:15:33 pm »
Great post, Elomelo. The idea of the shirt-washing as a sort of cleansing ritual is really interesting. Especially because water is so prevalent throughout their relationship and seems to usually indicate love, or progress in their relationship.

As for Jack being shirtless in the tent, I agree with your interpretation. I've noticed that fewer layers of clothing often suggests more vulnerability or openness. And more layers means being more closed off or resistant. For example, at the reunion, Ennis is just wearing a shirt, though Jack is wearing a vest (hedging his bets, in case Ennis wasn't ready to get back into it again?). And later, camping by the lake, Ennis wears just a shirt until Jack mentions the sweet life and Ennis is resistant -- then he puts on a jacket and hat.



Yeah, Ennis does tend to increase the amount of clothing as the years go by, like the denim jacket when he recieves the last postcard. He's also wearing a jacket in his trailer when Junior comes to see him, once again building the defense, though Junior takes off her own jacket showing she bears no hostility towards him and comes in peace.

And in the end, they both are wearing many layers, hat included though there's no sun, during the argument but this time, "the walls fall down" as they clutch each other and Ennis sobs, truly allowing his emotions to be shown so nakedly. Despite the layers, he's so vulnerable and Jack's layers are a sanctuary to him.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #74 on: March 13, 2008, 01:35:07 pm »
Plus, when they're leaving the mountain, they're in shirts, but by the time they're parting in Signal -- where presumably it would be warmer -- they're wearing jackets, maintaining distance.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #75 on: March 13, 2008, 01:53:19 pm »
Lack of shirt = lack of a barrier? So he's showing Ennis that he's just as vulnerable without that protection of the shirt, and that he's "forgiven" Ennis. Hm..thoughts, anyone? :D
I'd say you're right, elomelo, especially since Jack says to Ennis, "s'alright, s'alright."

In the story, Ennis wears the same clothes winter and summer, he's quite numb to the weather and the passage of time. Jack gets more duded up as time goes by, wears more flamboyant colors, and needs protection from the cold, because he's more sensitive and open to life in general.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2008, 03:23:13 pm »
Thinking of Ennis and his jackets... and the layers they wear upon coming down from Brokeback... Where did he get that yellow raincoat?  He's wearing it when Aguirre is counting the sheep and says "ranch stiffs ain't never no good."

Did Aguirre supply him with the yellow raincoat?  It can't possibly have fit in Ennis's little brown paper bag.
 ???

<img src="http://www.divshare.com/img/3121106-7ba.jpg" border="0" />


« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 10:53:19 pm by atz75 »
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #77 on: March 14, 2008, 10:30:39 am »
Did Aguirre supply him with the yellow raincoat?  It can't possibly have fit in Ennis's little brown paper bag.
 ???


Yes, I think the rain coat is supplied by Aguirre. Ennis wore it earlier, in the scene where Jack's mare crow-hopped only a little and he said "No more beans" before leaving.






And later, camping by the lake, Ennis wears just a shirt (am I remembering this correctly? I haven't seen it since last May, and my memory of some of these details is getting foggy!  ::)) until Jack mentions the sweet life and Ennis is resistant -- then he puts on a jacket and hat.

Nope, Ennis wears his corduroy jacket before Jack mentions the sweet life. After Jack's comment he sits up and puts his hat on.


Offline optom3

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2008, 12:16:23 pm »
I'd say you're right, elomelo, especially since Jack says to Ennis, "s'alright, s'alright."

In the story, Ennis wears the same clothes winter and summer, he's quite numb to the weather and the passage of time. Jack gets more duded up as time goes by, wears more flamboyant colors, and needs protection from the cold, because he's more sensitive and open to life in general.

It has always struck me that the 2 times we see both of them without any clothes,are after the 4 year break.They have the totally uninhibited reunion kiss and then we see them without clothes in the motel.It seems for the 1st time they are both on an equal footing.The joy of the reunion and to some extent acceptance by both of their love is signalled by no clothes and complete vulnerability of them both.Each giving of each other freely.
Also interesting, in the script as soon as Jack says he has redlined it all the way there,what about you,The script is for Enis to pull on his shirt.As in barrier up again its getting awqward.
The only other time we see them both minus clothes, (the subject of what Ennis witnessed has yet to be discussed.)Is when the 2 of them ,in one of the films few moments of uninhibited joy,jump off the cliff into the lake.
At that point in the film I almost thought they might have a chance.They were both so in synch with each other.The fabulous reunion,followed by a few days together.
It seemed vaguely possible that Jack might persuade Ennis round.
Wrong of course as it is followed by Enis childhood revelation.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The laundry
« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2008, 12:21:16 pm »

Yes, I think the rain coat is supplied by Aguirre. Ennis wore it earlier, in the scene where Jack's mare crow-hopped only a little and he said "No more beans" before leaving.



Nope, Ennis wears his corduroy jacket before Jack mentions the sweet life. After Jack's comment he sits up and puts his hat on.



Thanks Chrissi!

I'd forgotten about Ennis wearing that yellow jacket earlier.

Also, now looking at this pic:


<img src="http://www.divshare.com/img/3121106-7ba.jpg" border="0" />


It occurs to me that Jack is also wearing an unusual jacket.  It's not his normal green coat with the fuzzy collar.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie