Author Topic: Your age and your favourite cowboy  (Read 15588 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #60 on: May 22, 2006, 02:46:03 am »
OK, Rayn! You're right, everyone sees it in his or her own way. To clarify, I don't mean to suggest that Ennis' decision was "wrong" in some larger moral sense of right and wrong -- only in the sense that it was wrong for him and Jack, however well-intentioned, because it led to unhappiness. To me, it's not a matter of "allowing them to make their own choices." I really don't have any say in it either way. But if I were able to scream at the screen and have them hear me and respond, I would have suggested taking a different course.

And yes, in my view also Jack's death and the subsequent snuffing out of hope is certainly a big element in that "central tragedy" concept. But I can't say that I was as optimistic as you sound in the time leading up to that terrible news -- seemed like things were going downhill for a while. Though I would also like to think they would have improved without the death.

And I totally agree with this:

Quote
I don't think it was a black and white situation for either of them.  There is much room for nuance in the story and for the subtle shades of grey that often make human existence livable.

Offline Rayn

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #61 on: May 22, 2006, 08:23:36 am »
...if I were able to scream at the screen and have them hear me and respond, I would have suggested taking a different course.

I understand about the "wrong/right" now.  I wondered, but I agree now and I agree because if I were one of the two men, I'd be Jack, all the way.   He tried so hard and suffered, really, for his love, while Ennis called most of the shots on where to meet and how etc, because of his fears.

If I were a movie watcher and could scream at the screen and have them hear me, I'd be standing and screaming with you latjoreme!  We'd be screaming so loud for Ennis to live with Jack.   It just crushed me that he couldn't do it, you know?  But there it is;we can't fix it, huh?   

Poor Ennis, poor Jack.

Rayn
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 12:54:53 am by Rayn »

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #62 on: May 22, 2006, 08:27:06 am »
But there it is... we can't fix it... huh?   

Yeah, so I guess we gotta stand it. But I can't! That's probably why I'm here -- trying somehow to fix it.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #63 on: May 22, 2006, 09:10:48 am »
About the issue of the "central tragedy" in the film...  Well, clearly everyone will see this differently, but to me it comes down to lost time. 

By not living together they lost vast amounts of time together and, clearly, once Jack was dead the time is lost permanently.  So, now Ennis's motto, "If you can't fix it, you have to stand it" becomes his "life sentence" so to speak.  The tragedy for me is that they didn't fix it while they could. And in the end  Ennis has to "stand" living without Jack for the rest of his life now that the chance of fixing it has passed him by. 

And, as I posted above, the idea that they went to such efforts to live apart to appease a homophobic society (or even the homophobic society in Ennis's head) is a big component of that central tragedy.  In an ideal world, honoring their love for one another should have taken priority over living fake lives to conform to societal pressures.  Conforming to those pressures compounded the tragedy because it then impacted the women in their lives.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #64 on: May 22, 2006, 09:26:18 am »
The tragedy for me is that they didn't fix it while they could. And in the end  Ennis has to "stand" living without Jack for the rest of his life now that the chance of fixing it has passed him by. 

Well put  :'(.

I think all of the things everybody has said here -- lost time, Jack's death, appeasing homophobes, missing chances, standing rather than fixing -- all are components of the movie's central tragedy. In using the term, I didn't mean to limit it or restrict it at all. The movie is tragic in a lot of different dimensions.

Offline Rayn

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #65 on: May 23, 2006, 01:01:57 am »
I can't help but imagine Ennis goin' a while on his own then meeting someone similar to Jack and goin' for it the next time, especially since his daughters will be married soon, but it's just my optimistic, wishful imagination and love of the character that makes me want that.   I just can't bare the thought of Ennis being without someone.  He's really a great guy.

Rayn

moremojo

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #66 on: May 23, 2006, 05:48:41 pm »
 I just can't bare the thought of Ennis being without someone.  He's really a great guy.

Rayn
I feel so similarly to you here. I love Ennis, and want to imagine him finding some measure of happiness in the remainder of his life. I am sure that Jack would wish the same for his beloved cowboy.

But though you, I, and Jack realize that Ennis is a great guy, I'm not sure that Ennis would see himself this way. I feel he probably is filled with self-reproach over his lost opportunity with Jack, and this, compounded for his undying love and loyalty to Jack, might impede his ability to reach out to someone else in a truly intimate way. One can always hope, though...
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 05:55:57 pm by moremojo »

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #67 on: May 23, 2006, 06:53:50 pm »
I feel so similarly to you here. I love Ennis, and want to imagine him finding some measure of happiness in the remainder of his life. I am sure that Jack would wish the same for his beloved cowboy.

But though you, I, and Jack realize that Ennis is a great guy, I'm not sure that Ennis would see himself this way. I feel he probably is filled with self-reproach over his lost opportunity with Jack, and this, compounded for his undying love and loyalty to Jack, might impede his ability to reach out to someone else in a truly intimate way. One can always hope, though...

Or not. Oh, not that we don't want him to have a fulfilling life. Of course, we do. But it's not that difficult or tragic to live with your memories. I've been doing it for going on seven years. As time passes, the bad memories fade and the happy memories come to predominate, and surely Ennis and Jack had some happy times together in nearly 20 years (Annie Proulx tells us that he doesn't always wake up with the pillow wet; sometimes it's the sheets  ;) ). As the film ends we see Ennis beginning to open up more to his daughter, so presumably he will grow closer to Alma, Jr., if not to both daughters. Perhaps in time there will be grandchildren--maybe he will get a grandson in place of the son he never had. But it's perfectly possible to have a good life without someone to console yourself for the loss of the love of your life.
"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 serious crayons

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #68 on: May 23, 2006, 08:16:29 pm »
I bet Ennis does have a lot of wonderful memories -- too bad the film doesn't show us more of their good times, so we can share them -- and I would hope they would be some consolation.

But I'd say it would be harder for him to recover from losing the love of his life than it would be for most people. For one thing, he's no doubt full of guilt and what-ifs and self-blame. For another, he has no one with whom he can grieve, or even to whom he can mention his loss. He already felt like nothin and nowhere when Jack was still alive. He doesn't seem to have any other friends, or the ability to get close to anyone else, outside of his daughter(s?). He doesn't appear attracted to any other men or, if he is, he doesn't act on it, so dating's probably out. And he lives in a trailer out in the middle of nowhere.

 :'(

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Your age and your favourite cowboy
« Reply #69 on: May 23, 2006, 08:30:08 pm »
moremojo, it seems very likely to me that Ennis's sense of loyalty to Jack would keep him from dating other guys.  I would hope he'd find a way to make a life for himself though.  I agree, that I don't think Jack would want to see Ennis living alone for the rest of his life (probably a long life since he's only 40-ish at the end of the movie).  It worries me tremendously to see Ennis close his closet door at the end of the movie.  He's learned sooo much and seems to have come to a totally new emotional plain (so to speak) by the end.  It seems a waste to keep it all bottled up and hidden still.  Again, I don't think Jack would want that for him.  Ennis's upbeat little comment "they can find themselves a new cowboy" gives me a glimmer of hope... maybe someday he'll translate that into "I can find myself a new cowboy."  I bet it would take some other guy making the first move again though.  He doesn't seem too resistent once a first move is made... even in the Cassie situation.  I'm sure he'd never find another love of his life, but that doesn't mean he couldn't move on with someone I hope.
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie