Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 129533 times)

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #220 on: August 12, 2006, 11:10:44 am »
.  You can sleep on the couch.  When I get the girls home we can talk about this.  How could anyone have known that 2 men were in the house together.  Why was he so scared.  Other than the obvious.

 
Jack understood well that Ennis did not wnt to have his time with his girls compromised, and Ennis knew he did.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 11:40:42 am by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #221 on: August 12, 2006, 11:24:36 am »
Does he see himself as gay?  Ö NO WAY! His love for Jack is an anomaly. He doesnít understand it or why it happened. It just did. IMO, he struggles with that internally. How could he love a man when, in Ennisí mind, loving a man is a bad thing? Ennis spends years trying to deal with this emotional tug-of-war. Ultimately, he breaks down into Jackís arms because he can no longer pretend to be someone/ something that he isnít.

I beg to differ. I think in the end Ennis does know he's queer. He asks at a antecendent meetig (years before the lake scene) "Lureen. You and her. It's normal and all?", "And she don't ever suspect?" and "You ever get the feeling [...] someone looks at you, suspicious...like he knows..." This is very close to admitting they are queer. Why should he ask these questions if he still thought everything is 'normal' whith him (and Jack), except for "this thing"? Why should not everything be normal between Jack and Lureen when Jack is not queer? Why should other people suspect? And what should they suspect? In asking about other people suspecting something, he admits that there indeed is something, of which people could be suspicious for.

Why is Ennis so reluctant to Cassie? She's a pretty, likable and appealing woman and her interest in him is very clear. But he knows it won't work. He is passive and dragged by Cassie: first into dancing, then into a relationship. Why does he stay so indifferent towards her over years? Because it does not work for him.

At the lake scene, Ennis knows Mexico is THE place. He knows what they got in Mexico "for boys like you". He knows what "kind of boy" Jack is. And if Jack is queer, so is Ennis. Ennis may be big in denying, but he is not dumb.
I personally believe that it must have begun to dawn to Ennis's mind after the reunion. For book-Ennis even before: during the four years between Brokeback and reunion. "wringing it out thinking about Jack" and "sitting up here all the time trying to figure out if I was ---?" What? If he was what? 'Queer' is the word, what else! He continues "I know I ain't", but the thought had been coming to his mind this early.

At Brokeback, it was a one-shot-thing. "One-shot-thing, not queer" was their deal at Brokeback. But the one-shot-thing ended when they came down the mountain.

Over the years, Ennis must have been thinking about it many times. Especially after his divorce. I don't know when exactly it occurred to him but I'm sure it must have been some years before the lake scene. And I doubt there was an exact point, I guess over the years he got more and more used to the thought of being queer. But admitting it to another person, even to Jack, is a whole other thing.

I'd even go further: what if Jack had said it out loud? At the evening before the lake scene argument? What if Jack had said more, after he got no answer from Ennis for his "Truth is,..." statement? What if he had continued "Tell you another thing. Truth is also that we're both queer and we both know it" or something along this line?
I figure that either he would not have gotten any answer again or a grumbling, only half-hearted denying. And then a shut-up, don't wanna discuss this, have told you before (something on this note). But somehow I believe Ennis would not have blown up at this point.
Maybe they were both tired of all the lies. They lied to each other about their love-life with women and they both knew it. And they both knew that the other one knows. They pretended not to, but only halfhearted (Ennis comment about Cassie was pretty resigned).

Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #222 on: August 12, 2006, 11:37:28 am »
When Ennis breaks down at the lake scene, it is not only because his two inner worlds - loving queer but living straight - collide (in fact, I think this is a minor issue at this point, see my answer to Diane), and not only because of the menace of loosing Jack terrifies him, but it's also or even mostly because he is just as drained as Jack is (I'm nothing, I'm nowhere). But for 20 years he was better in hiding it. When Jack says "Truth is, sometime I miss you so much..." the evening before, Ennis knows exactly what he means not only because he knows Jack so well, but because for him it's the same . Although Lee left out the sentence from the 2003 screenplay where Ennis says "I know the feeling", we can see it. Look at his face.
Ennis misses Jack just as much as vice versa and he longed for that sweet life just as much.

Now it's MY turn to agree 100 percent. People have different people levels of need for socializing -- some people thrive on alone time, others get strength from being around other people. As Amanda suggested, Jack was definitely one of the latter, Ennis the former. And I also think Ennis was more disciplined about not needing to be with Jack and determined to "stand it."

But I don't think meeting twice a year was enough for Ennis. I agree with Chrissi that the strain their arrangement is putting on him is one of the reasons for his lakeside breakdown. That's why he says he can't stand it no more. Part of it, as Chrissi said, is having to deal with the conflict between his two lives. But I think mainly what he's saying is a parallel to what Jack has just finished saying -- that twice a year isn't enough, that it's getting harder and harder, that it's worn him down over 20 years.

I beg to differ. I think in the end Ennis does know he's queer. He asks at a antecendent meetig (years before the lake scene) "Lureen. You and her. It's normal and all?", "And she don't ever suspect?" and "You ever get the feeling [...] someone looks at you, suspicious...like he knows..." This is very close to admitting they are queer.

I agree with this about 90 percent. By the end, Ennis definitely knows, and Chrissi, you offer good evidence of that above and in his reaction to Cassie and to Jack's Mexico trips, etc.

But I believe he knows from the beginning of their relationship. In fact, I think he knew when he was nine. (This applies to Movie Ennis, anyway. I don't really understand Story Ennis as well on this issue.) He has repressed it and found ways to deny it to himself. So in part, their relationship is the story of Ennis gradually letting himself face it and, in the end, coming to a certain degree of peace with it.

Quote
We've come a long way with our obsession.

Um, and that's a good thing ... right?  :laugh:

Offline welliwont

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #223 on: August 12, 2006, 11:44:58 am »
uhmm ok, now you guys are taking this to another level, and are very busily agreeing with one another, and in some cases I think you are taking this too far IMO.  For example:


Once more, I agree. Hunderd percent.
{snip}
Ennis misses Jack just as much as vice versa and he longed for that sweet life just as much.


I'm not sure that Ennis longed for the sweet life just as much as Jack, I did not see any evidence that he longed for it.  On the contrary, by not doing whatever it takes to be able to meet up with Jack in August, that tells me that his longing to be with Jack is not as strong as his, uhmm, fear?  Or if he did long for it he sure had a funny way of showing it, meeting up less instead of more.



We keep going back to this, but since it keeps coming up I always feel I have to throw in my 2 cents. I think Ennis did acknowlege and accept that he loved a man, even if he didn't use that word. He would have moved in with Jack in a Laramie heartbeat if nobody else were around.
{snip}
So yeah, he was homophobic, but that wasn't what kept him from accepting Jack's offer. Nor was it purely fear of meeting the same fate as Earl. It was something a little more complicated. I think a lot of it was what Amanda said a ways back:


Ennis likes to follow rules (when he can)... when he breaks the rules (almost any rule) it causes him anxiety or at the very least he complains about it... or tries to break the rules only a little bit (i.e. killing an elk is breaking the rules a bit because it's poaching, but it's not as bad as killing a sheep). 

The rules said, don't live with a man. In fact, the rules said don't even love a man. So Ennis already WAS breaking that rule, which caused him stress. Living with Jack would have been a sheep -- way off limits. Never seeing Jack at all would have been beans. Meeting once in a while in the middle of nowhere was Ennis' elk.


Again I would like to reiterate the following quote from the mouth of Ennis, to me this is Ennis knowing that he is queer, that is what the "know"ing is all about here, IMO:

  • "You ever get the feelin', I don't know, when you're in town, and someone looks at you, suspicious...like he knows.  and then you get out on the pavement, and everyone, lookin' at you, and maybe they all know too?"

I thought we all agreed that Ennis did not acknowlege that he loved a man, that was part of the problem?!  That he did not realize that it was love until it was too late to do anything about it?!!

.... and didn't you guys come down all over me about the Earl situation, that it was that horrible incident that put fear in Ennis, that was responsible for Ennis' emotional paralysis for the rest of the time we know him?  WTF?  Am I crazy?   ;)




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?



I started to respond to this passage a couple of days ago, but then changed my mind, but now since I am writing again, I would like to suggest that this is cicular logic, IMO.  One cannot compare bad outcomes to the outcome of death, everyone dies sooner or later, to me this does not form part of the equation.

I think all my arguments are valid so I am interested in your views of this....

Jane

Further Edit:


Katherine you posted while I was composing, and now you have just added something else for me to question:


But I don't think meeting twice a year was enough for Ennis. I agree with Chrissi that the strain their arrangement is putting on him is one of the reasons for his lakeside breakdown. That's why he says he can't stand it no more. Part of it, as Chrissi said, is having to deal with the conflict between his two lives. But I think mainly what he's saying is a parallel to what Jack has just finished saying -- that twice a year isn't enough, that it's getting harder and harder, that it's worn him down over 20 years.


If this were true that twice a year is not enough for Ennis, then why TF has he just put the kybosh on the next fishing trip in August?  And that is partially the reason for his own breakdown ten minutes later?  If twice a year isn't enough for Ennis, why is he the reason for it?

Please explain??   :D

« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 11:53:46 am by JakeTwist »
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Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #224 on: August 12, 2006, 11:48:04 am »
I think to both Jack and Ennis the word queer meant effeminate, which neither clearly were. Ennis relationship with Cassie failed because he knew he loved Jack. It wasn't so much that they were gay, that they were in love with  eachother.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 11:54:50 am by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #225 on: August 12, 2006, 11:59:17 am »


I'm not sure that Ennis longed for the sweet life just as much as Jack, I did not see any evidence that he longed for it.  On the contrary, by not doing whatever it takes to be able to meet up with Jack in August, that tells me that his longing to be with Jack is not as strong as his, uhmm, fear?  Or if he did long for it he sure had a funny way of showing it, meeting up less instead of more.

 
That sad fact is that WY was not and may still not be a safe place to be out. Ennis fears were not without reason. He did long for the sweet life with Jasck but he knew it wasnt possable.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 01:42:07 pm by jpwagoneer1964 »
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 #226 on: August 12, 2006, 12:09:36 pm »
I'm not sure that Ennis longed for the sweet life just as much as Jack, I did not see any evidence that he longed for it.  On the contrary, by not doing whatever it takes to be able to meet up with Jack in August, that tells me that his longing to be with Jack is not as strong as his, uhmm, fear?

I think it's possible he gets more paranoid as he goes along. I have always taken his work excuse pretty much at face value: he had to work, and didn't think he could get out of it, and he's a stickler for following rules and being responsible. But maybe the strain is making him pull away ... I don't know. To be honest, I've never totally understood that.

But as far as evidence for Ennis longing for the sweet life, I'll point again to his happiness on the mountain. Alone in the middle of nowhere, he seems to have no problem at all loving a man. Look at the way he is in the happy tussle. He's even the one who starts it! And look at how devastated he is when he hears their summer is ending prematurely.

So no, Ennis doesn't long for the sweet life under the circumstances that Jack suggests it -- which would mean, essentially, coming out. But to the extent he allows himself to fantasize about the impossible (and he may not do this often, because it would make his self-discipline more difficult), he would love them to be together, in an ideal world ("See you tomorrow"!).

Quote
Again I would like to reiterate the following quote from the mouth of Ennis, to me this is Ennis knowing that he is queer, that is what the "know"ing is all about here, IMO:

  • "You ever get the feelin', I don't know, when you're in town, and someone looks at you, suspicious...like he knows.  and then you get out on the pavement, and everyone, lookin' at you, and maybe they all know too?"

I thought we all agreed that Ennis did not acknowlege that he loved a man, that was part of the problem?!  That he did not realize that it was love until it was too late to do anything about it?!!

.... and didn't you guys come down all over me about the Earl situation, that it was that horrible incident that put fear in Ennis, that was responsible for Ennis' emotional paralysis for the rest of the time we know him?  WTF?  Am I crazy?   ;)

Jane, I don't quite follow you here. Are you saying Ennis did acknowledge he's "queer" but didn't acknowledge he loved a man, or what?

Anyway, I do think he acknowledged both, however reluctantly. He knew he loved a man. He knew he was gay. I also think he knew what he felt for Jack was something like love, even if he didn't give it that name. What happened too late was him realizing he shouldn't have put his fears ahead of his love.

As far as his emotional paralysis over his childhood (again, I stress that it wasn't only the Earl incident that messed him up -- that was the tip of the iceberg, the apotheosis of living with a terrifying father), that's the reason he was so fearful.

Quote
I would like to suggest that this is cicular logic, IMO.  One cannot compare bad outcomes to the outcome of death, everyone dies sooner or later, to me this does not form part of the equation.

I don't quite get you here, either. My point was simply that Ennis would not be happy without Jack. We see at the end that he is not. So I don't think Jack would be doing him any favors by quitting him.

Offline welliwont

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #227 on: August 12, 2006, 01:35:03 pm »
I think it's possible he gets more paranoid as he goes along. I have always taken his work excuse pretty much at face value: he had to work, and didn't think he could get out of it, and he's a stickler for following rules and being responsible. But maybe the strain is making him pull away ... I don't know. To be honest, I've never totally understood that.

But as far as evidence for Ennis longing for the sweet life, I'll point again to his happiness on the mountain. Alone in the middle of nowhere, he seems to have no problem at all loving a man. Look at the way he is in the happy tussle. He's even the one who starts it! And look at how devastated he is when he hears their summer is ending prematurely.

So no, Ennis doesn't long for the sweet life under the circumstances that Jack suggests it -- which would mean, essentially, coming out. But to the extent he allows himself to fantasize about the impossible (and he may not do this often, because it would make his self-discipline more difficult), he would love them to be together, in an ideal world ("See you tomorrow"!).

Jane, I don't quite follow you here. Are you saying Ennis did acknowledge he's "queer" but didn't acknowledge he loved a man, or what?

Anyway, I do think he acknowledged both, however reluctantly. He knew he loved a man. He knew he was gay. I also think he knew what he felt for Jack was something like love, even if he didn't give it that name. What happened too late was him realizing he shouldn't have put his fears ahead of his love.

As far as his emotional paralysis over his childhood (again, I stress that it wasn't only the Earl incident that messed him up -- that was the tip of the iceberg, the apotheosis of living with a terrifying father), that's the reason he was so fearful.

I don't quite get you here, either. My point was simply that Ennis would not be happy without Jack. We see at the end that he is not. So I don't think Jack would be doing him any favors by quitting him.



hahaha Katherine, I think I am gonna have to give up this ride!  when you say something one way I can (what's another word for refute?), but then you say it a different way and I cannot disagree with you the second time...   ??? ???

Why is it that I never get any responses like:

"Wow Jane, I agree completely with ever'thing you just wrote!"

"You are hunnerd percent right"

"exactly what I was gonna say, you took the words right off my computer screen!  Damn you JT!"

 ??? ;D ;D

PS:  I still stand by ever word I wrote... not sure why you guys can't see this logic like I do.   ???



Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfafa."

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #228 on: August 12, 2006, 01:47:53 pm »
I'm not sure that Ennis longed for the sweet life just as much as Jack, I did not see any evidence that he longed for it.  On the contrary, by not doing whatever it takes to be able to meet up with Jack in August, that tells me that his longing to be with Jack is not as strong as his, uhmm, fear? 


I think it's possible he gets more paranoid as he goes along. I have always taken his work excuse pretty much at face value: he had to work, and didn't think he could get out of it, and he's a stickler for following rules and being responsible. But maybe the strain is making him pull away ... I don't know. To be honest, I've never totally understood that.

I think the story gives us more evidence on this question, talking specifically about the cancelled trip in August:

"Let me tell you, I can't quit this one. And I can't get the time off. It was tough enough gettin this time - some a them late heifers is still calvin. You don't leave then. You don't. Stoutamire is a hell-raiser and he raised hell about me takin the week. I don't blame him. He probably ain't got a night's sleep since I left. The trade-off was August." (Underlining for emphasis mine)

As Katherine said: Ennis is a stickler to rules. And he is responsable, reliable and loyal. But he lets Stoutamire down in May for their trip. This is not Ennis-like, but he does it anyway, to be able to see Jack. He can't do it again any time soon, and a four months time span is soon.
And when Ennis says he can't quit this one (this job), I just believe him. As an explanation, why he can't quit this one, we have child support and Ennis getting older (and therefore it's getting harder to find a new job). I don't think this are elusions. It's a fact.
Plus, on his postcard to Jack (the "deceased" one) he writes, that November still looks like the next possibility to see each other. So Ennis must have tried once more to find a possibility for an earlier meeting.


Over the years they saw each other two or three times at average. So for this very year, it would be two times. Their normal schedule. But the cancellation of the August trip is not the reason for their argument anyway. It is only the last straw.


Quote
What happened too late was him realizing he shouldn't have put his fears ahead of his love.
*deep sigh*  :'(

Quote
Um, and that's a good thing ... right? 
You bet.  :)





« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 01:50:23 pm by Penthesilea »

Offline welliwont

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #229 on: August 12, 2006, 02:33:21 pm »

hahaha Katherine, I think I am gonna have to give up this ride!  when you say something one way I can (what's another word for refute?), but then you say it a different way and I cannot disagree with you the second time...   ??? ???


Sorry, you asked questions there, so I guess I should answer them,


Jane, I don't quite follow you here. Are you saying Ennis did acknowledge he's "queer" but didn't acknowledge he loved a man, or what?

yes, and yes.

A) I am saying that the movie says (words coming from Ennis' mouth) that Ennis acknowleges that he is queer.  BTW, this scene comes before the 1978 Benefit Dance in Childress, so that is how long ago Ennis acknowledged that he *knows* that he is queer.  I believe Ennis knows he is queer then, I believe the movie shows that.  I am taking all of it literally, I don't know how this can be refuted.

B)  I also tend to believe that Ennis did not acknowledge or even realize that it was love until it was too late.  The movie kind of implies that he first gets an inkling of it in the Greyhound bus station, that is when the idea first entered his mind.  I believe he came to know it when he found the shirts. (I think this anyway, although I could probably be swayed into thinking that he thought of it sooner.)


I don't quite get you here, either. My point was simply that Ennis would not be happy without Jack. We see at the end that he is not. So I don't think Jack would be doing him any favors by quitting him.

Maybe what has happened is that I have taken your one or two sentences very literally and then I have argued them, and maybe you had a slightly different meaning than what I interpreted.

One way to describe me is "VERY literral"

Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfafa."