Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 211146 times)

Offline Sandy

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #330 on: January 01, 2008, 05:37:40 pm »
This whole scene is absolutely heartbreaking.  When Ennis asks Alma if Kurt loves her, he takes a breath and in typical Ennis style, appears quite unsure of himself.  When she answers him, he gazes out of the window and the emotion on his face is as plain as day.  I agree with many of the other comments that the line “I swear” was prompted by this exchange.  What I find surprising however is the timing of it all.  Ennis folds Alma’s sweater and doesn’t really seem fazed however by the time he has opened the wardrobe and we see his face, his eyes are full to the brim with tears.

I think the delivery of the words is the most telling however.  I don’t think that these words were thought through, to me, it is almost as if they have burst from his mouth.  He tidies the shirts and we see his crying eyes, and it seems to me as if he is trying to stop words escaping.  It’s as if the emotion is spilling over and his heart can’t cope-he needs to speak.  When he says “I swear” though, I sense a little relief? 

I had always sensed regret in those words, but I have read the previous posters and agree that “swearing” in everyday language is to reaffirm one’s honesty (e.g. I swear that this is a true story) or making a formal promise (e.g. taking the oath in Court).  I am therefore more inclined to take the meaning as being about Ennis’ future, either he promises to move on and embrace love, or simply to promise that if Jack was still with him, the sweet life would be theirs. 

I must say that I don’t think Ennis would have been Ennis if he had completed the sentence. 

Sandy (newbie!). 

Offline Artiste

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #331 on: January 01, 2008, 09:49:20 pm »
Thanks Sandy, thanks brokebackjack, thanks Rayn, and thanks to all others!!

Rayn, now, we know that you are a teacher and a writer!! Great!!

Looking forward to more comments by you, by brokebackjack, by Sandy, and by others!!

I wonder, just now, if Ennis could mean by Jack I swear...as I am applauding your love, efforts for me now!! -  What do you think Bettermost pals??

Hugs!! Happy Gay New 2008 Year to you and to all on Earth for more and more understanding, sharing, peace and love!!



Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #332 on: January 02, 2008, 02:44:46 am »
This whole scene is absolutely heartbreaking.  When Ennis asks Alma if Kurt loves her, he takes a breath and in typical Ennis style, appears quite unsure of himself.  When she answers him, he gazes out of the window and the emotion on his face is as plain as day.  I agree with many of the other comments that the line “I swear” was prompted by this exchange.  What I find surprising however is the timing of it all.  Ennis folds Alma’s sweater and doesn’t really seem fazed however by the time he has opened the wardrobe and we see his face, his eyes are full to the brim with tears.

I think the delivery of the words is the most telling however.  I don’t think that these words were thought through, to me, it is almost as if they have burst from his mouth.  He tidies the shirts and we see his crying eyes, and it seems to me as if he is trying to stop words escaping.  It’s as if the emotion is spilling over and his heart can’t cope-he needs to speak.  When he says “I swear” though, I sense a little relief? 

I had always sensed regret in those words, but I have read the previous posters and agree that “swearing” in everyday language is to reaffirm one’s honesty (e.g. I swear that this is a true story) or making a formal promise (e.g. taking the oath in Court).  I am therefore more inclined to take the meaning as being about Ennis’ future, either he promises to move on and embrace love, or simply to promise that  if Jack was still with him, the sweet life would be theirs.

I must say that I don’t think Ennis would have been Ennis if he had completed the sentence. 

Sandy (newbie!). 


Thanks Sandy, and welcome.   The insights in your post have helped me to see Ennis more clearly, especially your last sentence, "I must say that I don't think Ennis would have been Ennis if he had completed the sentence."   brokebackjack used the word "laconic" which certainly describes him well.  He just had a hard time putting his feelings into words.  Some people are that way for all kinds of reasons. 

All your ideas are possible, but I also like " if Jack was still with him, the sweet life would be theirs."  That feeling comes through to me very strongly as if Jack were right there with him. In a way, Jack is with him still.  Why else would Ennis speak directly to him?  This, of course, isn't uncommon with our loved ones who die.  Part of them remains... in us as we continue living.  We can recall their joy and sadness and let go of our attachment to them which sometimes takes a long time.  In the end, even the memories leave us, but what's important to me is the fact that we knew the love of another and did our best to return it.  It's one of life's precious lessons and greatest gifts.

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #333 on: January 02, 2008, 03:27:36 am »

Rayn, now, we know that you are a teacher and a writer!! Great!!

I wonder, just now, if Ennis could mean by Jack I swear...as I am applauding your love, efforts for me now!! -  What do you think Bettermost pals??


That's a fact.   On the "Introduce Yourself Thread", I mentioned this last year months before The Pilgrimage to Alberta, so it's no big secret and I'd have it no other way.  Keeping an open heart with friends and having a clear mind is important to me.   But to keep on topic, your most recent post, Ariste, leaves me kinda like Ennis was 90% of the time, either having a hard time finding anything to say or speechless.    8)
Peace...

Offline Sandy

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #334 on: January 02, 2008, 12:11:53 pm »
Thank you both for your warm welcome and comments!

Rayn, I completely agree that Ennis could not convey his feelings with words, and as such “Jack, I swear” is of such magnitude that I do not think that any of us can actually put into any other words what this line conveys. 

Does Ennis believe that Jack is with him?  I think he does.  When people lose someone, they wish that they had said, “[whatever]” and regret that they did not.  Ennis wants to be sure that Jack now knows exactly how he feels. 

We may not be equipped to understand exactly what Ennis was swearing to, but I would bet my life that Jack would understand perfectly.  In fact, if Jack could see Ennis’ face, Ennis would not even need to speak. And that to me is the beauty of this story.   

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #335 on: January 02, 2008, 01:20:08 pm »
..., or simply to promise that if Jack was still with him, the sweet life would be theirs. 

Sandy (newbie!). 



Hi Sandy,

welcome to BetterMost!
What an insightful post you wrote as your first on BM. I liked it very much.

From all possible interpretations, the above quoted is my personal one (and you worded it so beautiful). That's what I thought immediately when seeing the movie for the first time. "Jack, I swear, ... if I had the chance, I would make it different."


Quote
I must say that I don’t think Ennis would have been Ennis if he had completed the sentence. 

Liked this  :).

Offline Artiste

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #336 on: January 02, 2008, 01:30:53 pm »
Thanks Rayn, thanks Sandy and thanks to all too!!

Rayn  you say Ennis' I sewar: leaves me kinda like Ennis was 90% of the time, either having a hard time finding anything to say or speechless.    
Peace...

.........
Rayn, you puzzled me with that 90 per cent!! So, where is the other percent as 10??

When my pal passed away, he, it seems to mother and I, communicated still... with us!! Proofs to us, were there, especially one!! You want to know that?? I would now swear like Ennis: Wayne (instead of Jack) I swear, you are communicating with me!!
...........

Sandy, you say: I completely agree that Ennis could not convey his feelings with words!!
......
Sandy, you are right about communicating mostly without words!! One can do so with no words. I was surprised (even shocked) once when a lady said that my paintings I created say much and replaces words which can not convey such expressions!! I now think more and more about that!! Since there are other ways to talk: like to create a painting, a drawing, etc.!!

WE, most of us most times, are not accustomed to think nor see another person talk without words. I remember that as a young man, I saw a poet who came to say his poems at an audience of educators but when I wrote about him after his recital, most persons wondered why I wrote that this poet said more by his silence!!

Remember Marcel Marceau!!  You can also see Emmett Kelly playing the poor hobo who was sad and happy too like Ennis; by the way, I have a great condition Willie doll (like his hobo he played), for sale, if anyone is interested, not played with in the box!!

Not only facial expressions are important, since we can also see movements which tell too!! Such is Ennis to me!! To you too and to all??

Hugs, hugs!!  May all words and non-words be important in your lives and ours throughout 2008 to create happiness and peace among all too on Earth!!




Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #337 on: January 03, 2008, 12:13:26 am »
Thank you both for your warm welcome and comments! In fact, if Jack could see Ennis’ face, Ennis would not even need to speak. And that to me is the beauty of this story.  



Yes, you hit it the nail on the head.....  My own parents, old lovers, have been together 65 year!   I've seen them just look across a room, stare at each other, smile, roll their eyes or make some sort of facial expression because each knows what the other is thinking!  They can carry on conversations that would seem strange to anyone who doesn't know them well.  My mother is famous for saying, "I don't have to ask him what he thinks, I know what he thinks."  She may tell you what he thinks too, and sure enough, when you ask her husband what he thinks, she's usually correct. 

Rayn

Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #338 on: January 03, 2008, 12:23:59 am »
Rayn  you say Ennis' I sewar: leaves me kinda like Ennis was 90% of the time, either having a hard time finding anything to say or speechless.    .........Rayn, you puzzled me with that 90 per cent!! So, where is the other percent as 10??

In his back pocket or maybe one of his saddle bags.  Only Ennis could tell ya    ;)

Offline Artiste

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #339 on: January 03, 2008, 01:49:13 pm »
Thanks Rayn!

Ennis says Jack I swear... maybe as: That I now know that you wanted to keep your love in my heart!!

Rayn, I still would like to think about that 10 percent. Could it be some thing? What? Guess more...

Hugs!! In 2008, Ennis and Jack , I swear: that no matter where my life goes, your love forever leads my life!!