Author Topic: Jack's first summer on Brokeback.  (Read 1558 times)

Offline chowhound

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Jack's first summer on Brokeback.
« on: March 27, 2012, 03:45:37 pm »
In the short story we learn that the summer with Ennis "would be Jack Twist's second summer on the mountain, Ennis's first". In the movie script this gets enlarged both by Aguirre's allusion to the sheep he lost from predators the previous summer and by Jack telling Ennis about a lightning storm that killed forty two of the sheep and how "Aguirre got all over my ass like I'm supposed to control the weather".

Is the implication that Jack was on his own the previous summer? I find this difficult to believe - what would have happened in case of an accident, for instance - but certainly no companion is ever mentioned.

Offline Sason

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Re: Jack's first summer on Brokeback.
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 04:11:52 pm »
There are so many other things that aren't mentioned, isn't that Annie Proulx's style of writing?

I don't think a single herder was sent up with the sheep, I'm sure he had a companion.

If the companion was the camp tender, and Jack the herder, it would make sense for him
not to mention his companion when he told Ennis about the 42 sheep. After all they were
the responsibility of the herder, not the camp tender.

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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Jack's first summer on Brokeback.
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 01:52:24 am »
I'm pretty sure Jack was alone the first summer.

Aguirre's words:
"Bad predator loss, nobody near lookin after em at night.
[...]but the HERDER [...] sleep with the sheep, hunderd percent [...]
Got the dogs, your .30-30, sleep there. Last year had goddamn near twenty-five percent loss, I don't want that again."

I don't think there was a herder and a camp-tender the year before. Jack was all in unison, thus didn't sleep with the sheep at night, thus 25% loss.

Once a week someone came up with supplies, I guess it was the same one year earlier. With that, Aguirre would have fullfilled his duty of care. I think in 1963 it was an acceptable duty for a young man to spend a week alone in the wilderness.
Maybe he also sent a second guy for a day or two when the herd needed to be moved between pastures. But other than that, I think Jack was alone up there.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Jack's first summer on Brokeback.
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 10:37:10 am »
Also, there is the line about the Forest Service having designated camp sites, which could be a mile or two from the woolies, this could be a new rule, or one that was just then being enforced. Previously one person could have handled the job but the new rules might have required something different. Aguirre was saying "you roll up your tent, don't leave no trace" he was trying to circumvent those rules.

Later when the elk is killed they worry about Fish and Game finding out, so I think we are seeing a new pressure placed on a changing west.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."