Author Topic: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?  (Read 211160 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2006, 04:22:14 pm »
I came out of the movie on the second or third time, looked around at people on the sidewalk, and thought, the world I was just a part of feels more real to me than this one!

I agree that there's an element in "I swear" of promising that he's going to change his ways, as he did with Alma Jr.'s wedding. I felt that, too. But I'm afraid I have a hard time seeing the ending as very upbeat, or visualizing a promising future for Ennis. :'( :'( :'(

texman

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2006, 06:08:17 pm »
Being from Texas, you can hear people out on the ranches and in small towns using the term, "I swear.....". In fact I heard it today. I immediately asked the guy who said it what he meant by that. He said it after his son bought a second pickup truckhe didn't need when he actually could have used the money for something else.

 He responded that "I swear.." is just a actual feeling rather than a meaning. Kinda like a feeling that you don't have control over the situation. But it could be used to describe a who slew of various feelings and situations that you have no control over.

 So in this case the use of "I swear" is used to describe how Ennis feels rather than what he is thinking. So "I swear" means just that and that alone.  There isn't any more.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2006, 11:29:02 am »
Oh, yes, Jack and Chris... There is hope for Ennis.  I don't know about other people, but I for one see that the strength of Jack's love for Ennis and Ennis' final realization of the depth of his own love for Jack has, like nothing else in life could, "saved" Ennis. 

He is able to see what is truly important ... the loved ones around him are; his daughter, for starters is,  because Ennis will start over, has no choice but to start over, but with the knowledge of what love really is and how important it is not to stifle it in life.   His first step toward a new beginning is his decision to attend "Junior's" wedding.   

I don't think anything else could have "saved" Ennis but the real love that the two men continued to share all those years.  Although Jack never had what he wanted exactly, he still had as much of Ennis as Ennis could give and, in the end, what Jack gave Ennis was a true gift.  

Hey Rayn, that was a really lovely post.  It's a nice interpretation.


It's occurred to me recently (in addition to all the comments, possiblities and interpretations we've already talked about)... that this could be a symmetrical moment to Jack's amazing admission.
"Sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

So, Ennis's last moment here could be something like, "Jack, I swear... sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

It's clear that he feels this all the time.  But, it also echos the book since the last line of the book is "If you can't fix it you have to stand it."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 01:18:11 pm by atz75 »
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Offline Aussie Chris

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2006, 12:43:07 pm »
So, Ennis's last moment here could be something like, "Jack, I swear... sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

Oh wow, I'm gobs-macked, that's just perfect!  The best one yet!  Err, IMHO!

This thread is just too cute.  Just when I thought there couldn't be any more gold in thar hills, along comes a gem!
Nothing is as common as the wish to be remarkable - William Shakespeare

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2006, 01:21:05 pm »
Awwww, thanks Aussie Chris.   :D


I thought that was a nice, neat and tidy idea for filling in the blank.  Yeah, the possibilities are endless... and usually very interesting and heartbreaking.

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Offline Rayn

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2006, 08:56:14 am »
So in this case the use of "I swear" is used to describe how Ennis feels rather than what he is thinking. So "I swear" means just that and that alone.  There isn't any more.

Yes, if you read my first post to open this topic, you will find that one of my first possible conclusions is that Ennis just meant something like, "Why, I declare!" , a simple but heartfelt exclamation like texman is pointing too, but the fact is, he is speaking directly to Jack...   "Jack, I swear..." and that is not a simple exclamation, it's unusual; and makes people wonder.  So while I understand what you're pointing to texman, I still feel there's more in the "mysterious statement".  It is clear that he is "talking directly to Jack" as if Jack were there which seems to indicate there's more to it. 

But in the end, the line is open to almost any interpretation and so is what lies ahead for Ennis. 

In another thread that asks us to write the future for Ennis, I wrote something like, He gets help, comes out, moves to Denver, meets a guy similar to Jack, falls for him, struggles, dates, the guy falls for Ennis and they end up living together, not happily ever after, because that isn't real life, but he finds a partner to share his life with... and that's the end, as good an end as any.

It's fiction, anything is possible.

Peace,
Rayn

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2006, 09:38:06 am »
But in the end, the line is open to almost any interpretation and so is what lies ahead for Ennis. 

In another thread that asks us to write the future for Ennis, I wrote something like, He gets help, comes out, moves to Denver, meets a guy similar to Jack, falls for him, struggles, dates, the guy falls for Ennis and they end up living together, not happily ever after, because that isn't real life, but he finds a partner to share his life with... and that's the end, as good an end as any.

You bet. It's kind of like the question of what happens after we die; you have to go with the interpretation that either makes the most sense or makes you feel the most comfortable.

Still, the uncertainty is unsettling ...


Offline ednbarby

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2006, 09:58:40 am »
I like to think of Ennis attending Junior's wedding and proudly walking her down the aisle to this Kurt who really does love her.  Of looking Kurt in the eye as if to say "If you fuck this up, I'm comin' after you."  And I like to think of him getting Alma aside at some point and in his gruff, Ennis-ish way, saying something like "I'm awful sorry about... everything."  And her understanding on a certain level, especially after she asks Ennis if he's seen Jack lately only to hear from him that he has died.  Maybe even forgiving, since the life she now has with Monroe is a happy one, if not one with the love of her life.  And I like to think of Junior having a son with Kurt - maybe two sons.  And naming one of them after their granddaddy.  And of Ennis teaching them how to ride and getting some measure of joy - as much as is possible for him at this point - out of that.  I have to think of something good coming out of his life, or I'd just be wrecked for the rest of my days for him.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2006, 10:00:29 am by ednbarby »
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Offline Toast

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2006, 11:20:54 am »
This is a beautiful thread.
and our hope for a better life for Ennis colors our interpretations.
I agree that Ennis has had a lesson in love since Jack died
but there is one thing that really gets to me
In the scenes at his trailer, with jr and alone, he is wearing a coat that is pretty much a carbon copy of his father's coat, worn in the irrigation ditch scene.

My eyes focus on that coat whenever I watch those scenes, and I wonder what it  might tell me about Ennis' accepting his father's perspective on "rodeo fuckups" and "two men living together".

Do we ever get over what our parents taught us??


Offline jlp1

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Re: "Jack, I swear..." What do you think Ennis meant by that?
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2006, 11:49:56 am »
I agree with Grandma.  I think Ennis wishes he had it all to do over again and would do it differently. 

Reminds me of the quote (from the starbucks cup) from Armistead Maupin: “My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life’s too damn short.”

I came out quite late and feel alot of Ennis' pain...  So few chances at real love in the life and his one is gone by - so much pain and regret...

JLP