Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 212725 times)

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #140 on: July 23, 2006, 06:56:46 pm »


 When Ennis appeard with the shirts, Jack's mom took a paper bag and carefully placed the shirts inside. Perhaps she had put Jack's ashes in the bag. The, "Jack, I swear..." could therefore also mean that Ennis, whilst touching the postcard of Brokeback Mountain swears that he will return the ashes to the mountain as was Jack's wish.


Yeah, I thought he meant he'd do all he could to get Jack's ashes on BBM too, but I don't think Mary Twist put his ashes in the bag.  If you watch the scene where that might happened, you can see the bag has nothing but the shirts in it when Ennis leaves.   There could be a way to get the ashes later, how, I don't know, but Mrs Twist, nice as she is, is too scared of her husband to try anything like putting the ashes in the bag in front of him.  The look on her face when she invited Ennis to come back and see them again is clearly one of fear. 

Rayn

Offline nakymaton

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #141 on: July 24, 2006, 12:19:19 pm »
Andrew -- wow. Wonderful post. It helps put the power of the silences and things that aren't said into a context that helps me understand a little about why they move me so much.

Somehow, breaking out all these elements seems to demean the one powerful effect, like picking off one by one the individual members of the emotional army who are jabbing at me before and behind.

In a way, yes. But... well, for me, the emotional army is so overwhelming if I take them on all at once all the time. I start to shut down and crawl into a little corner of myself. (In fact, I tended to do that every time I saw the movie for the two months it was in theaters... I didn't get into public internet discussions in part, I think, because it was just too overwhelming at the time.) Breaking down the elements that contribute to the emotional power is important for me, I think, because otherwise I simply can't respond to whatever is moving me so much.

So, anyway, thank you. :)
Watch out. That poster has a low startle point.

Offline Andrew

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #142 on: July 24, 2006, 09:06:44 pm »
Thank you for telling me you appreciated my effort, Amanda and nakymaton (Mel?)  You know, you can spend the better part of a day thinking about, researching and rewriting a single post.  And putting all the books you dug through back on the shelves.  So it's always nice to know that somebody had the time to ponder it and measure it against their own experience.  Occasionally the random nature of electronic communication comes to the fore, and an elaborate post rolls off because all the individuals it might fit are elsewhere.  And you can't help feeling a little sad because the Internet magic hasn't worked this time.

Taking one converse of this - I'll try to make sure I let people know a little more often when I feel enriched by what they wrote.   Especially when the flower seems to be in danger of being 'born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air'!


Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #143 on: September 02, 2006, 05:21:57 am »
I haven't been around the site for a good while.  I went on vacation to Canada though and the more I saw of it the more I wanted to see.  I swear, Alberta is a mountain-lovers paradise and I will go back to see more of it. I love the mountains, I may even move there. 

It's good to see that people are still responding to this thread.   So many people have had great things to say and discuss.  And yes, thanks for the wonderful post Andrew!  Great work!

Rayn
« Last Edit: September 02, 2006, 05:23:37 am by Rayn »

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #144 on: October 22, 2006, 01:00:50 pm »
Just checking in....  Been away a while, but am back.  Maybe some new members will respond if I get this thread to the front page?   Worth a try to keep it going, I guess.

Rayn

Marge_Innavera

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #145 on: October 22, 2006, 05:05:53 pm »
in Macbeth's last scene in his castle, Act 5 scene 3, when we get the effect of the king's world crashing slowly to broken phrases, sentences that don't need to be finished because the reality they address may not be around much longer, the retainers who should listen all deserted.  Macbeth is overtaken by a great fatigue that can't remember the original point he meant to make with his sentence, or with his life ambition for that matter

Interesting, one other exchange from Macbeth that I often recall in discussions of this scene:

When Macduff learns that Macbeth has had his wife and children murdered, he initially collapses in grief.  "Dispute it [i.e., "take it"] like a man", an aide admonishes him.

"I shall do so," Macduff answers.  "But first I must feel it like a man."


One of Ennis' failings in the story is that while he has emotions, he doesn't always consent to feel them, if that makes sense.  There seems to be quite a sea change in that sense, not only in the last scene but in the two preceding it. In the Macbeth scene, "man" is used in two different senses: masculinity and humanity. Ennis in the last scene appears to be on the verge of coming to terms with both.

Yeah, I know this is off in the ozone....  :o

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #146 on: October 23, 2006, 02:43:47 am »
Interesting, one other exchange from Macbeth that I often recall in discussions of this scene:

When Macduff learns that Macbeth has had his wife and children murdered, he initially collapses in grief.  "Dispute it [i.e., "take it"] like a man", an aide admonishes him.

"I shall do so," Macduff answers.  "But first I must feel it like a man."


One of Ennis' failings in the story is that while he has emotions, he doesn't always consent to feel them, if that makes sense.  There seems to be quite a sea change in that sense, not only in the last scene but in the two preceding it. In the Macbeth scene, "man" is used in two different senses: masculinity and humanity. Ennis in the last scene appears to be on the verge of coming to terms with both.

Yeah, I know this is off in the ozone....  :o

Hey, no way Marge... you're not out in the Ozone (what's left of it!); what you've said is very true about Ennis.   Not to blame him, because I feel Ennis wants to express more, but hasn't had the chance to learn how!  Also, Ennis is a man "of present means and ways", of necessity due to his background and life situation. 

He wasn't able to "dream" like Jack.  His main focus was on providing for himself and his family after he was married and then there was, Jack, the other "focus" of his life.  He was really torn in two, trying to be true to both his family and the true love of his life.

Ennis is also a man enslaved by conventions and fear.  He knew what he was taught as a boy: how things ought to be and what can happen if one goes against the way things ought to be.  His fear of what could happen, "Two guys livin' together, no way!" was part of the tragedy of his life and, of Jack's life too.

Social conditioning and fear play a large part in most human lives.  On the other hand, Jack was more imaginative and perhaps a bit more intelligent too.  He had vision, could "see" a way to be with Ennis...."We could've had a damn good life together, but you didn't want it!  So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain!"  The contest of wills and the strong need and attraction they had between them is what makes the tension, the drama so unforgettable.   

But you've also hit upon this "Masculinity and Humanity" issue in men too!  How often have we heard, "Take it like a man!" when what is meant is "Don't be (weak) like a woman"?!   What a crock!  There are strong women and weak men, and men, when they can express their humanity fully, can express sadness, grief and loss with tears.   Big Boys Do Cry! 

It's a very good point, Marge.

Thanks,
Rayn

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #147 on: October 27, 2006, 07:45:11 pm »
I think Ennis is as deep and insightful as Jack; maybe more. In fact, i find that people who are more outwardly expressive tend to be less inner-thinking and analytical about their feelings. I believe Ennis pondered his feelings and knew what was in his heart to a very high degree. The morning after their first night together, he is deeply engrossed in turmoil, sulking up to BBM and symbolically witnessing the gutted sheep as some sort of punishment.

When Ennis said "....that's more than I've said in two years..." he admits his extremely inward sense of being while at the same time clearly shows he has thought about his life and who he is. In my experience, the non-verbal communicators are often people who know themselves best.

Also, when Jack said "....sometimes, I miss you so much I can hardly stand it..." Ennis says nothing, but his demeanor reeks of expression and yearning to respond.

The "I swear..." to me is Ennis swearing to never lose the moment or the man. I believe Ennis is placing time on hold for the rest of his life.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #148 on: October 27, 2006, 07:49:02 pm »
HerrKaiser, this is the third post I've seen of yours and responded with "Very well put!" I feel like I'm following you around the boards going, "Yep!" to everything you say. I haven't seen you around before, so welcome to BetterMost.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #149 on: October 27, 2006, 08:01:41 pm »
thank you latjoreme. Your comments are most appreciated and kindly accepted. I am brand new as of today...I'd previously been semi active on the Cullen board during the first 3 months of the year, and when I found out about this site, I joined today!