Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 210835 times)

Offline Rayn

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"Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« on: March 31, 2006, 04:26:16 pm »
The line is cryptic and open to interpretation.  I thought he meant, "Jack, I declare, life is tough and strange."  But then he touches the postcard of the mountain and I thought maybe he meant, "Jack, I swear I'll get you (Jack's ashes) up there like you wanted."  I realize there may be no way to know exactly what he meant, but I'm very interested in hearing what others think about it.

Thanks,
Rayn

horo04

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2006, 12:38:20 am »
I always wondered that line too.  I think he means that he swears he will never forget Jack or maybe he swears he will never pass up a good thing again or not take situations or life for granted?  Hard to say what he meant...best to ask Proulx that question.

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2006, 01:41:12 am »
I think he means that he swears he will never forget Jack or maybe he swears he will never pass up a good thing again or not take situations or life for granted? 

Those are possible too.  There are a lot of ways to take that line.  I think Annie would say, "It's up to you to determine what you think he meant."  At least that's the feeling I get from what I've read about and by her lately.   It's more or less open ...   I just wanna hear what others say about it, so hey, thanks man.  Take it easy.

Rayn

Offline Aussie Chris

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2006, 07:57:48 am »
Great question, I don't know how many times I've seen "Jack, I swear..." appear in a discussion where it is used as the justifying conclusion to the argument - me included!  Ok, so everyone is going to have their own version of this and every one of them will have credibility.  Most will want it to be the start of a sentence that ends with the words that mean most to them.  Here are a couple of endings along the lines of regret and revelation:

Jack, I swear...  I won't forget you
Jack, I swear...  I always loved you
Jack, I swear...  I won't make the same mistake again
Jack, I swear...  If you didn't die things would've been different


You could also argue that it was a more about the sadness or lonliness:

Jack, I swear...  You really messed me up good
Jack, I swear...  You didn't have to die to quit me


And then there's a slightly abstracted sense (regarding Alma Jr):

Jack, I swear...  As long as he (Kurt) loves her, then it's ok

For me it is all of these because it is only at this point that Ennis is finally redeemed and accepted his love for Jack.

I'd be interested if people have some more lines or contexts that I haven't thought of yet.
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Offline opinionista

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2006, 10:57:38 am »
I like to think that Ennis meant to say: "Jack, I swear I always loved you and I'm so sorry things weren't they way you expected. I'm sorry I let you down again and again. Jack, I swear, I swear I love you so much and always will".
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. -Mark Twain.

Offline Br. Patrick

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2006, 12:43:05 pm »
"Jack, I swear...   I shouldn't a let you out of my sights."

courtesy of Annie Proulx
Lean on me, let our hearts beat in time,
Feel strength from the hands that have held you so long.
Who cares where we go on this rugged old road
In a world that may say that we're wrong.

...Cause I know - A love that will never grow old.

Gustavo Santaolalla & Bernie Taupin

Offline JCinNYC2006

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2006, 12:46:16 pm »
"Jack, I swear...   I shouldn't a let you out of my sights."

courtesy of Annie Proulx
Oh wow, did she really say that?  Where did you read that?  Very interesting.
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Offline Br. Patrick

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2006, 01:11:33 pm »
"Jack, I swear...   I shouldn't a let you out of my sights."

courtesy of Annie Proulx
Oh wow, did she really say that?  Where did you read that?  Very interesting.

It's in the short story, Brokeback Mountain.  Ennis says it to Jack in the motel room.  But, as ever - conflicted, he adds, "Too late then by a long, long while."

The motel scene in the story is my favorite part of Annie's tearjerker.
Lean on me, let our hearts beat in time,
Feel strength from the hands that have held you so long.
Who cares where we go on this rugged old road
In a world that may say that we're wrong.

...Cause I know - A love that will never grow old.

Gustavo Santaolalla & Bernie Taupin

Offline JCinNYC2006

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2006, 03:54:06 pm »
Ohhh I gotcha.  I misread and thought you meant that's what the writer said in an interview.  I forgot that Ennis used that phrase in the motel room.  Thanks.  J
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Offline BBMGrandma

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2006, 04:32:16 pm »
Ahhhh....that emotionally thought provoking sigh....."Jack....I swear....."  To me it's ALWAYS meant......"Jack....I swear....I will always love you and I'd do things SO much more differently....given ONE more chance with you....."    I can't seem to interpret that phrase in any other context.  It haunts me all the time though.  I find myself repeating it over and over again.  Doing the dishes....vacuuming....driving!!  It TRY picturing different endings....but I always come back to regrets....and a great epiphany in Ennis' heart and soul. 

".....around that time Jack began to appear in his dreams...." 
"If we never dream....we'll never have a dream come true"   (me...myself...and I)