Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 129274 times)

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #190 on: August 10, 2006, 02:02:25 pm »
.

I think he would, or could, still have quit Ennis even so. Because his reason for quitting IMO mainly is love and concern for Ennis (and himself); - their relationship is "killing them" - their spirit, their love, their lives if not their excistence. Jack's wish to be with someone else would be entirely secondary to a perceived need to set Ennis free for Ennis's own sake. If so, whether or not he could be certain that Randall was willing to commit to anything more than what they previously had would not be an important deciding factor for Jack. And Jack could in this scenario still go on about the ranch neighbour to his parents immediately after having seen Ennis, to convince himself he could manage the quitting.  :( :-\

 
I am close to agreeing that *Ennis* was ready to try to change - that the scene in the cafe shows some sort of epiphany.... Less certain about his ability to change. And we would have known, if not for........  :'(



 

I don't think Jack would or could quit Ennis. He was just frustrated that they may not ever have a life together. it was that Ennis could not meet in Aug that strated the argument, not about ranching up.
I feel Ennis honored, treasured and did his best to protect the relasionship. Wy was not a safe place to then and maybe not even now. With the gril grown up I'm sure he would have at least been able to spend more time with Jack.
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline nakymaton

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #191 on: August 10, 2006, 02:08:19 pm »
...the question of whether or not Jack would quit Ennis, (I think of it as try to quit Ennis) does not hinge on whether or not he could lure Randall to LF.  I don’t think Jack necessarily even wants to live at LF, but it will be his inheritance eventually, I expect.  And he would go there if it was something that would suit Ennis.  I do believe Jack was going to try and quit Ennis, but he was doing this, the hardest thing he ever would have to do, for Ennis’ and his own emotional wellbeing, not because he could snag another guy.

I don't think the question of whether Jack was trying to quit Ennis hinges on whether he could snag another guy. The question of whether he could succeed, though... if Randall wasn't willing or able to give Jack what he needed, what would Jack do when faced by one of Ennis's postcards? It's one thing to say "I wish I knew how to quit you" in the heat of an argument, or to tell OMT a story about this other guy while feeling particularly bitter. It's another thing to have had that aching emptiness in his gut for several months and then hold one of those postcards, written in Ennis's handwriting, saying the usual things, and simply throw it away without answering.

Some people do it. Could Jack? I don't know. It would take a particular kind of strength, a different strength than Jack had, I think.

(Of course, Jack's way may have been to get depressed and  become careless about changing tires, or about revealing his sexual orientation to hostile people...)
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Offline dly64

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2006, 02:08:45 pm »
Concerning whether or not J&E ever discussed a life together after the "cow and calf operation" talk, I've been wondering about what, if anything, was said when they met a month after the disastrous post-divorce scene. Would they both have pretended that nothing happened? Would they have just let be, let be without comment? Would they have talked through what happened, - at all? At least touched upon Jack's hopes and Ennis's fears? Would Ennis pretend that he thought Jack'd come up to be with him for a weekend or so, which was impossible because of the girls? Well, "pretend" is not the right word here, I know, that's doing Ennis an injustice  - it's more that Ennis uses his "the girls" mantra (and the "child support" one as well) when he doesn't really know what else to *say* - however deeply he feels - when he just can't find the words. So let me rephrase: If they talked about that post-divorce disaster at all, did Ennis continue to explain his behaviour with having to take care of the girls?  

I think the post-divorce scene was a turning point for Jack. Before that, although we have no additional dialogue on the subject, Jack was hopeful that if Ennis divorced, they would have a life together. But Jack comes to the painful realization, after driving 14 hours to see Ennis only to be turned away, that it (the “sweet life” that Jack craved) would never happen. At that moment, Jack’s hopes and dreams died. IMO, neither one ever brought it up again …. none of it (the divorce fiasco, the hope for a life together, etc.) This is evidenced by the conversation at the lake scene. Jack asks Ennis, “after all this time, you ain’t find nobody else to marry?” Jack has resigned the fact that Ennis is too paranoid and homophobic to ever publicly acknowledge their relationship. I think Jack knew that Ennis used the girls as an excuse …. a way to put Jack off.

Diane

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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #193 on: August 10, 2006, 02:42:51 pm »
One of the things that turns this story into an epic tragedy is that, at the time of the lake scene, Ennis was almost ready to accept Jack in his life, and Jack was almost ready to give up on Ennis and move on with his life. In the words of Proulx, each of them got untwisted like a wire hanger is unbent just long enough to unlock a car door, or to see into each other's souls, and then they were torqued back into almost their original positions. So, in the end, they were both hung up on the wire hanger in the closet with no way out. Block that metaphor!!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #194 on: August 10, 2006, 03:10:28 pm »
I think the post-divorce scene was a turning point for Jack. Before that, although we have no additional dialogue on the subject, Jack was hopeful that if Ennis divorced, they would have a life together. But Jack comes to the painful realization, after driving 14 hours to see Ennis only to be turned away, that it (the “sweet life” that Jack craved) would never happen. At that moment, Jack’s hopes and dreams died. IMO, neither one ever brought it up again …. none of it (the divorce fiasco, the hope for a life together, etc.) This is evidenced by the conversation at the lake scene. Jack asks Ennis, “after all this time, you ain’t find nobody else to marry?” Jack has resigned the fact that Ennis is too paranoid and homophobic to ever publicly acknowledge their relationship. I think Jack knew that Ennis used the girls as an excuse …. a way to put Jack off.



Very well expressed, Diane. I agree. (Although, with specific regard to the girls when Jack shows up unannounced and unexpectedly after Ennis's divorce, I've reluctantly felt that Ennis was right to put his children before his lover. It makes me hurt so much for both of them, Ennis and Jack. If only Jack had written first, before showing up unannounced. ...  :'( )
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Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #195 on: August 10, 2006, 03:14:45 pm »
Very well expressed, Diane. I agree. (Although, with specific regard to the girls when Jack shows up unannounced and unexpectedly after Ennis's divorce, I've reluctantly felt that Ennis was right to put his children before his lover. It makes me hurt so much for both of them, Ennis and Jack. If only Jack had written first, before showing up unannounced. ...  :'( )
Your right, all three children should come first.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 03:16:18 pm by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline dly64

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #196 on: August 10, 2006, 03:46:12 pm »
Very well expressed, Diane. I agree. (Although, with specific regard to the girls when Jack shows up unannounced and unexpectedly after Ennis's divorce, I've reluctantly felt that Ennis was right to put his children before his lover. It makes me hurt so much for both of them, Ennis and Jack. If only Jack had written first, before showing up unannounced. ...  :'( )


Your right, all three children should come first.

Hmmmmm ... you guys are right. But, since I am single and a bit jaded, :-\ I often see Ennis as using his daughters as an excuse (i.e. to justify not living together vs. acknowledging his own homophobia and paranoia).
Diane

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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #197 on: August 10, 2006, 04:08:15 pm »

Hmmmmm ... you guys are right. But, since I am single and a bit jaded, :-\ I often see Ennis as using his daughters as an excuse (i.e. to justify not living together vs. acknowledging his own homophobia and paranoia).

Well. ... I'm single and jaded too,  ;D , and I'm not now nor have I ever been (nor will I ever be) a parent. But so often I think human motives or motivations can be very mixed, so I'm not willing to say that Ennis never uses the girls as an excuse or hides behind them, but I must say, I do believe he loves his girls, and we are talking about Wyoming 30 years ago. I'm sure he would have been terrified of losing them, or losing all contact with them, if word got around that he was "queer."
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #198 on: August 10, 2006, 04:11:12 pm »
Well. ... I'm single and jaded too,  ;D , and I'm not now nor have I ever been (nor will I ever be) a parent. But so often I think human motives or motivations can be very mixed, so I'm not willing to say that Ennis never uses the girls as an excuse or hides behind them, but I must say, I do believe he loves his girls, and we are talking about Wyoming 30 years ago. I'm sure he would have been terrified of losing them, or losing all contact with them, if word got around that he was "queer."
Yes and I know he wanted Jack to be a good father to Bobby. Remember how glad, proud he was when Jack told him he had a son at the apartment?
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #199 on: August 10, 2006, 04:21:33 pm »
I don't think Jack would or could quit Ennis. He was just frustrated that they may not ever have a life together.

I don't think the question of whether Jack was trying to quit Ennis hinges on whether he could snag another guy. The question of whether he could succeed, though... if Randall wasn't willing or able to give Jack what he needed, what would Jack do when faced by one of Ennis's postcards? ... It's another thing to ... hold one of those postcards, written in Ennis's handwriting, saying the usual things, and simply throw it away without answering.

I think Jack might have resolved to quit Ennis, but probably would not been able to go through with it. I don't think his decision to quit would necessarily hinge on Randall's willingness to ranch up. Though it would make it easier for Jack to stick to his guns.

But the reason I mentioned that was that I thought maybe people who subscribe to the quitting theory think of Jack's announcement to his dad about the new fella as one of the reasons to believe that Jack had decided to do it. But if the whole Randall thing isn't really viable, that's one less clue -- not the only one, I realize -- in support of the quitting theory.

The other part of the argument, that Jack has to quit to be kind to Ennis, I can't buy. If we all agree that at the end of the movie Ennis will be miserable without Jack, how can either we or Jack think that Ennis would be better off without Jack as long as it's the result of a breakup rather than death?

In any case, if Jack did decide to quit, I don't think he'd be so cruel as to just throw the next postcard away. He'd have to go meet Ennis in person -- not give him the wordless brushoff that Ennis gave Cassie (which was bad enough!). So when they met, who knows? And by that time, I think, it's entirely possible that Ennis would be prepared to make changes.

As for Ennis, he finally realized the feelings that he had for Jack were “love.” ... I do think their relationship was going to head in a different direction …. But it was too late!

Nor do I think that Ennis had a change of intention since the argument. The words “I just can’t stand it no more” just burst out of him in response to Jack’s outburst, I don’t think Ennis had an epiphany and decided to change the course of his life.  IMO.  The lightbulb that presumably went off in his head when Cassie said the line to him about “girls don’t fall in love with fun” was in the movie but not in the story.  I don’t really see that Ennis ever made a decision to change his conduct.

I don't think the words "I can't stand it no more" were carelessly chosen (by the filmmakers, I mean) as just some random phrase for Ennis to blurt out in the heat of the moment. It's no coincidence, IMO, that these words precisely echo what has been Ennis slogan all along -- that if you can't fix it you gotta stand it -- as well as Jack's "I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

But if you can't stand it, what do you gotta do? Try to forget about it? No. The flip side of the slogan is, "If you can't stand it, you gotta fix it." So I think Ennis decides to fix it.

I don't think it's a coincidence that immediately afterward we see Ennis make a significant change: He dumps Cassie.  Since supposedly they've been dating for five f'in years (according to the screwed up timeline), this is a big step. Why would he do that? Because he's thinking about fixing something. Dumping Cassie doesn't directly affect his relationship with Jack. But it implies that a) Ennis has come a little closer to accepting the truth about his sexuality and /or b) he's decided to take action to fix things and is paving the way.

Ennis in the bus station is a picture of misery. He knows he will never be happy except with Jack. Then what Cassie says triggers an epiphany. He has reached some new conclusion regarding their relationship. Why would the film show us this moment, if not to suggest he would respond to the epiphany in some way?

I think all these clues show us that Ennis decided to do something.

But so often I think human motives or motivations can be very mixed, so I'm not willing to say that Ennis never uses the girls as an excuse or hides behind them, but I must say, I do believe he loves his girls, and we are talking about Wyoming 30 years ago. I'm sure he would have been terrified of losing them, or losing all contact with them, if word got around that he was "queer."

In the post-divorce scene, I think the girls are a legitimate reason to turn Jack away. Still, he could have found some other way to reassure Jack, and didn't.

But I do think that if Ennis moved in with Jack he would almost certainly lose contact with his daughters (or at the very least, he would be convinced that would happen). And though that wasn't the only reason he rejected the sweet life, it definitely would have been a factor.