Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 211161 times)

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2006, 11:38:09 pm »
Hi All...

Well, the "Jack I swear, I should've never let you out of my sight." said in the motel room is enlightening, but in the book when Ennis says "Jack, I swear.." at the end, Annie also adds word to the effect (not a quote) "....though he never was one to swear, nor did he ever ask Jack to swear anything." and that further adds to the "openness" of the line "Jack, I swear..."   

And of course the book does go beyond the line and on to his dreaming about Jack and the revealing line, "There was some open space between that he believed and what happened, but nothing could be done about that."  And the last line of the book, is that "realist" statement of Ennis's  "And if you can't fix it, you gotta stand it."   It's interesting that the movie didn't go on to Ennis dreaming etc, but uses the "Jack, I swear..." as the end.  It does really leave the ending open and more mysterious.   Anyway, I'm enjoying what others are saying here.  Thanks!

Rayn

Offline bbm_stitchbuffyfan

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2006, 09:06:23 am »
My personal interpretation of the line:

"Jack, I swear... [I will always love you, and I will never forget you.]"

I love how ambiguous that line is; also, that one line is a complete gut-wrencher.

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Offline Fla_Tim

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2006, 09:01:36 am »
It's interesting that the movie didn't go on to Ennis dreaming etc, but uses the "Jack, I swear..." as the end. 

Rayn

The dreams and final scene were nice and important bookends to the story, I thought the dreams in the story placed it morefully in the context of Ennis's mind. It reminded me of the opening to Out Of Africa where Karen Blixen is dreaming at night of the farm and life she had had in Africa.

Offline Impish

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2006, 07:06:56 pm »

Jack, I swear...  You really messed me up good

I've always preferred this sort of take on it: that he wasn't vowing anything, just commenting on how sad he is and how much he misses him.
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Offline opinionista

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2006, 09:28:01 am »
I think when Ennis says Jack, I swear he is expressing his regrets for not allowing himself to be more open and to spend more quality time with Jack when he was alive. What I noticed at that scene, when Ennis is looking at the shirts, was a huge sense of loss in his face, not just because Jack was no longer around but because Ennis had little to remember him for. As Jack said, they spent a few times together in 20 years, and 20 years is a whole life. All Ennis had from the person he loved the most were the shirts and an old postcard of Brokeback Mountain. The real mountain, the real thing, as we can see through the little window at Ennis' trailer, was no longer there, but not because Jack had died but because Ennis himself had killed it. He killed it by spending those 20 years living in fear, keeping Jack away and breaking his heart over and over again.
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Offline silkncense

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2006, 01:02:24 pm »
I agree w/ BBMGrandma  & Opinionista -

The look on Ennis' face clearly shows regret & heartbreak to me.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2006, 04:10:14 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

I love the ambiguity--there's that word that gets used so often about this movie!--of Ennis not completing the thought aloud. As a romantic at heart, I want to think the completion is, "Jack, I swear, I will always love you." However, I'm finding myself thinking more likely it's something like, "Jack, I swear, I will never forget Brokeback Mountain," in this case the mountain really meaning their relationship, because what they had was all founded on Brokeback Mountain.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2006, 05:55:27 pm »

Jack, I swear...  You really messed me up good

I've always preferred this sort of take on it: that he wasn't vowing anything, just commenting on how sad he is and how much he misses him.

I agree 100%.  And to me, that's his way of saying he loves him.  It's not a declaration, just like you said - it's a comment on what he's meant to him.  Kind of like that song:  "Love, look what you've done to me..."
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Offline Aussie Chris

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2006, 09:48:00 pm »
Jack, I swear...  You really messed me up good

I agree 100%.  And to me, that's his way of saying he loves him.  It's not a declaration, just like you said - it's a comment on what he's meant to him.  Kind of like that song:  "Love, look what you've done to me..."

This was always my favourite too.  It's an acknowledgement, but not an admition, and just says Ennis all over for me.  But even in this tiny crack of this half spoken sentence, there is also redemption and I can't help but love Ennis for it, faults and all.  This is why Jack fell so hopelessly in love with him and was just as trapped as Ennis was.
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Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2006, 01:24:33 am »
"But even in this tiny crack of this half spoken sentence, there is also redemption and I can't help but love Ennis for it, faults and all.  This is why Jack fell so hopelessly in love with him and was just as trapped as Ennis was". 

Aussie Chris


Yes, Aussie Chris, I think you've hit the nail on the head... and also Jeff Wrangler and opinionista too.  There is a look of utter loss, but also a glimmer of hope too.  I would so like it if Annie P. wrote a sequel in which Ennis goes on to a happier life, but she said she won't, soooo oh well.

Thanks guys,
Rayn