Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 210589 times)

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #250 on: June 20, 2007, 08:40:46 am »
    As I see it, people "do the best they can with what they got."  People love often despite that the fact that there is much in the post modern world that stands in the way of expressing love, openly, honestly, freely.  And more often than people like to see or admit, we place so many things in the way of love and good healthy relationships: money,  ambition, tradition, social conditioning, conventions, religion, politics, nationality, race, sex, power and control... 

                    ...the list could go on, but what some don't see is that there is likely nothing more satisfying and fullfilling in life than to love and be loved within a relationship that places respect, dignity and trust at the center.  Those are conditions and states of being that a healthy love require, but they are also things which many fail to practice and accomplish, the true values of life.  Ennis let so much get in the way of a full experience of love, and the tragedy for him was, he realized it too late to share, not with others still around him, but with Jack who deserved a fuller love more than anyone.

                                                  "Jack, I swear....  I just didn't understand."


By the way loneleeb3, I really like your quote ""The biggest obstacle to most of us achieving our dreams isn't reality, it's our own fear".   Who is it from?


« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 12:29:39 pm by Rayn »

Offline loneleeb3

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #251 on: June 20, 2007, 09:17:00 am »
Quote
"Jack, I swear....  I just didn't understand."

I think that makes the most sense of any that I have heard!

I don't know who said that quote originally.
It really applies to my life though.



    As I see it, people "do the best they can with what they got."  People love often despite that the fact that there is much in the post modern world that stands in the way of expressing love, openly, honestly, freely.  And more often than people like to see or admit, we place so many things in the way of love and good healthy relationships: money,  ambition, tradition, social conditioning, conventions, religion, poitics, nationality, race, sex, power and control... 

                    ...the list could go on, but what some don't see is that there is likely nothing more satisfying and fullfilling in life than to love and be loved within a relationship that places respect, dignity and trust at the center.  Those are conditions and states of being that a healthy love require, but they are also things which many fail to practice and accomplish, the true values of life.  Ennis let so much get in the way of a full experience of love, and the tragedy for him was, he realized it too late to share, not with others still around him, but with Jack who deserved a fuller love more than anyone.

                                                  "Jack, I swear....  I just didn't understand."


By the way loneleeb3, I really like your quote ""The biggest obstacle to most of us achieving our dreams isn't reality, it's our own fear".   Who is it from?
"The biggest obstacle to most of us achieving our dreams isn't reality, it's our own fear"

"Saint Paul had his Epiphany on the road to Damascus, Mine was on Brokeback Mountain"

moremojo

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #252 on: August 03, 2007, 02:45:31 pm »
It is remarkable  though that they had a love for each other for 20 or more years under those limited conditions.
They were soulmates. My mother thought the film illustrated how things don't always work out, or are even meant to work out, between soulmates.

moremojo

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #253 on: August 03, 2007, 04:29:19 pm »
We see that he makes a few adjustments (snaps and straightens), mutters, "Jack, I swear...." and then straightens the post card which was crooked.  He couldn't stand it crooked, so he fixed it.
Another aspect of this gesture is that Ennis is treating the postcard as a totem of the old mountain and everything it represents. It is not unlike a Christian kissing a crucifix, or any other gesture invested with spiritual significance for the person performing it.

Also, by touching the card, he is reaching for something that is now intangible, a lost moment that can only be recaptured through memory and dream. While the gesture may be futile, it affirms Ennis's humanity and deep emotion. I imagine he would go on to straighten the card innumerable times.

Offline brokeplex

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #254 on: August 18, 2007, 12:40:07 pm »
Another aspect of this gesture is that Ennis is treating the postcard as a totem of the old mountain and everything it represents. It is not unlike a Christian kissing a crucifix, or any other gesture invested with spiritual significance for the person performing it.

Also, by touching the card, he is reaching for something that is now intangible, a lost moment that can only be recaptured through memory and dream. While the gesture may be futile, it affirms Ennis's humanity and deep emotion. I imagine he would go on to straighten the card innumerable times.

yes, and after straightening the card he would close the closet door once again on his love and his true nature. That to me is the big tear jerking moment. The image of Ennis serving his life sentence in his prison, closing the cell door, and locking himself in. I sometimes wonder, but for the grace of God, accident of birth, time of birth.....could that have been my life?

Offline heath4oscar

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #255 on: September 08, 2007, 09:35:07 am »
I can only go on my gut reaction the first time I saw the movie......

I took "I swear" to mean that, before he discovered the hidden shirts, Ennis had no idea just how much in love with him Jack had been.

He is in effect saying: "I swear, I had no idea how much you loved me."

As a consequence, he is probably thinking he had no idea how much he loved Jack either.

[You don't know how much you've got 'til it's gone, Put up a parking lot, etc etc!]
"I don't get you Ennis del Mar!"

Marge_Innavera

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #256 on: September 08, 2007, 10:09:08 am »
yes, and after straightening the card he would close the closet door once again on his love and his true nature. That to me is the big tear jerking moment. The image of Ennis serving his life sentence in his prison, closing the cell door, and locking himself in.

That's the interpretation many people have; I really can't see that.

Put it this way: if, earlier in the story, Ennis had some kind of momento of Jack, where would he be likely to keep it? IMO, it would be not only in his closet but in the back of the closet. And if it was an item of clothing, it probably wouldn't even be hung up -- it'd be in the bottom of a cardboard box under a pile of old towels or such.

Yes, the shirts are hidden in the closet, but just barely. They're on the inside of the closet door, out of sight but just barely, and visible if the door is opened even halfway.  IMO, that's a parallel to his agreeing to attend Alma Junior's wedding, where of course he's going to have to interact with Alma at least on a superficial level. For that matter, he'll have to say a few words to Monroe too, and after the Thanksgiving confrontation it's not likely that Monroe knows nothing about it.

That's no small thing for a man as repressed and self-loathing as Ennis, and to me it comprises an ending that suggests he might make some progress after that. No guarantees, but I'd have been disappointed in the film if there was anything more definite at that point; people just don't make lasting changes very fast, even people much more flexible and self-confident than Ennis.

Would have loved to have watched that wedding scene, though....   ;D

Marge_Innavera

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #257 on: September 08, 2007, 10:12:12 am »
I can only go on my gut reaction the first time I saw the movie......

I took "I swear" to mean that, before he discovered the hidden shirts, Ennis had no idea just how much in love with him Jack had been.

He is in effect saying: "I swear, I had no idea how much you loved me."

As a consequence, he is probably thinking he had no idea how much he loved Jack either.

Yes, and that "this thing" wasn't something that was just physical. IMO, on some level he knew that all along, and at this point "I swear...." is the closest he can come to saying that out loud.

Offline Brokeback_Dev

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #258 on: September 08, 2007, 11:09:05 am »
The shirts hanging in the closet one inside another is Ennis secret sexual orientation.  I believe Ennis was saying Jack I swear I love you, finally realizing he was in love with another man, but not too late.  Does Ennis come out of the closet and live?  Or does he live out a lonely life in a trailer a billion miles from nowhere?  It leaves you in the learch and very very heart broken for Ennis.    First the "I wish I knew how to Quit you argument"  then Jack's death/murder, and finally Ennis' lonely life.  I wish the best for Ennis. Although he will always love Jack, he's got to move on. 

moremojo

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #259 on: September 08, 2007, 11:18:08 am »
Does Ennis come out of the closet and live?
It's possible that Ennis has come out to himself (the most essential step of any coming-out process) but may never go any further than that. The original short story strongly suggests this will be how his life will play out (the film ends on a distinctly more hopeful note). And I think back on the old man who was Proulx's original inspiration, staring at the young men playing pool in the bar, perhaps searching for traces of his own lost Jack, maybe wistfully reflecting on his own vanished youth. For Ennis to even look at other men in this way would be a major step forward for him, however tinged with melancholy and frustration the action might be.