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The Movie & Story => Characters, Quotes & Scenes => Topic started by: bluemountainsky on Oct 05, 2014, 02:30 PM

Title: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: bluemountainsky on Oct 05, 2014, 02:30 PM
I always wondered and tried to do the mental math about how often Ennis and Jack met after their 1967 reunion. The last time they saw each other in May 1983, Jack said to Ennis "You used to come away so easy, now it's like seeing the pope!" This indicates that during the past few years, they had not gone on their trips as often as they had before. Other clues given were how it was May, they had just spent about 6 or 7 days together, and they had previously decided upon their next trip to be in August, and it was going to last 9 or 10 days. However, now Ennis had to work and he put it off till November. This suggests that Ennis and Jack usually went three or four months between one meeting and the next. It seemed like lately though, they had sometimes been going 6, 7, even 8 months without seeing each other, hence Jack becoming even more upset.

It also indicates that it had been quite a while since he'd seen Ennis the last was May now and suggests he hadn't seen him since the year before, when it was still 1982. Probably the fall of 1982, October or November. Six or seven months was too long for Jack. Hence he got angry about yet another six months passing by before they could see each other again. So my understanding is that they usually saw each other every 3 months or so, for anywhere from three days to ten days at a time. It depended on when Ennis had to get back to work or whatever obligations he had. Sometimes he would quit jobs altogether, leading me to think there were times when their vacations lasted longer, such as two weeks. It seemed like for the past few years the meetings had gone from 4 or 5 times a year to just twice a year, to sometimes probably going as long as eight months without seeing each other, which was ridiculously long to Jack, understandably.
Title: Re: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: Mahogany on Oct 06, 2014, 11:41 AM
It's difficult to know.
But I think Ennis was fine with 2 or 3 meetings in a year, as he was fine with beans in Brokeback and he was fine with pretty much everything. He wasn't a real thinker like Jack and he knew Jack would come whenever he asked for.

I don't think he would ever live with Jack, but I think he would take a trip to Texas or Lightning Flat if Jack tried harder. Jack gave up too easy each time he tried to make Ennis spend more time with him, he doesn't try to "seduce" Ennis like Alma did and doesn't make the sad puppy face like Alma Jr. did in the trailer.

Jack doesn't ask twice at the mountain when he suggests they live together, and 10 years later he is kinda aggressive at the meeting after the thanksgiving when he mentioned that again. He should look Ennis in the eyes, grab his ear gently and ask him to go fish in Texas or help his father at the ranch for one week as two buddies. Ennis wasn't a natural gentle guy, but he melted for Jack.
Title: Re: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: bluemountainsky on Oct 06, 2014, 01:24 PM
I believe it started out being four times a year, but then after Ennis divorced Alma ironically the meetings with Jack became less frequent. This is mainly due to Ennis now under obligation to pay child support, so he was forced to look for jobs that worked longer, and it was less easy for him to take off time like he used to. When he was married to Alma, remember she took a job at the grocery store because Ennis's meager wages were not paying the bills. She kept telling him to get a permanent job so he could get more pay, but he didn't want to. He refused to find steady employment, because that would mean not being able to take off time whenever he wanted to, so he could go on his trips with Jack.

After the divorce, Ennis had to come up with the alimony and child support, and had no choice but to take jobs he wouldn't have taken. I agree that Jack could have/should have done more to convince Ennis. I know he tried very hard, but I feel there was always a boundary there, Jack was right on the brink of saying everything, but he was always afraid of how the closeted Ennis would react to it. There were moments where you look at Jack's eyes, and it seems he's right about to tell Ennis "I love you, damn it!" Instead, he walks on eggshells the entire time, afraid of Ennis's reaction to his confessions. Ennis was, deep down an extremely vulnerable person. Jack saw this right away, and that was why he was so gentle with him. The big tough guy macho act was a facade, the impenetrable fortress around his heart succumbed to Jack, Ennis was someone who reacted in two ways to protect himself. He either overcompensated, such as he did with Alma and the bikers, had angry outbursts, or he retreated into his shell, quiet, shy Ennis, sitting alone at a table eating all by himself, mumbling when he talked.

Only with Jack would Ennis actually show his real self. Anytime the two protective measures would come out, Jack would quickly break them down. When Ennis was not talking, and all shy, Jack made him feel comfortable, so he talked and confided in him and laughed like with no one else before. When Ennis did the angry tough guy act, Jack wrestled and punched him, quickly showing him that act didn't fly with him. It seems Jack always knew what to do with Ennis, because he understood Ennis like no other person. This is why it should have been easy for Jack to get him to go to Texas to visit at least. I think Jack was the one who set the dates for their meetings, he could have just told Ennis to hop into his truck one day and drive down to Texas or up to Lightning Flat to meet his parents. Jack had wanted Ennis to go to LF with him since that first summer.
Title: Re: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: Mahogany on Oct 06, 2014, 06:37 PM
Jack didn't realize how poor Ennis was and after the divorce Ennis had to work harder to pay child support, but he would totally understand if Ennis explained to him since the beginning. It reminds of Brokeback Mountain where Jack didn't realize the little things Ennis was doing for him. Ennis refused to accept Jack's money when Jack was poor like him, imagine how difficult it would be to Ennis to admite to Jack he had money problems and couldn't quit jobs, seeing that Jack got rich.
If Jack realized about Ennis' situation and if Ennis had been honest with Jack, I guess Ennis would have a permanent good job like Alma suggested and he would have no problem to take off four weeks in a year (he was a very good employee, but at first he prefers to quit the jobs rather than asking for some days off), and if Jack tried harder he would convince Ennis to take a trip to Texas or Lightning Flat once in a year.

All the things left unsaid kept them apart, not the distance.
Title: Re: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: bluemountainsky on Oct 06, 2014, 10:08 PM
But couldn't Jack see that Ennis was having having a hard time with money? The way he saw him living in Wyoming, especially after the divorce. I know there is a deleted scene where on one of the trips Jack wanted to give Ennis a gift. It was a very expensive, gold-plated rifle, but Ennis would not take it. I think the main reason for Ennis not accepting the gift was because at that point, he did not yet know that Alma knew. And so he thought it would have been suspicious if he brought a gift like that home. If Jack was just a fishing buddy, then why would he give him such an expensive gift? It obviously seemed like the kind of thing you'd get from a family member or a lover. Jack knew that Ennis had very little money, but Ennis would not accept any money from Jack. Also, Ennis just didn't even look for a permanent job. He didn't want a job where he couldn't take off time whenever he wanted to. And yes, sometimes he'd even just quit altogether so he could take a trip, then look for a new job when he got back.

 Later, he realized he needed the money so much that he couldn't quit anymore, couldn't even take time off, such as the last time when they were supposed to meet in August, but Ennis said he had to be at work. At that point, Ennis had no choice, he was running low on money, and he still had child support to pay. This is the reason why the last few years their meetings became more infrequent. Jack was fed up with it, but he had been suggesting to Ennis for a long time that if he listened to him, then his life wouldn't be so difficult anymore. There wasn't really anything much he could do for Ennis. Sure, he should have said what needed to be said much earlier, what he was really feeling. But although he did not outright say, anyone else would have picked up on the neon signs. So much of the hurt that Ennis caused Jack, Ennis was not even aware of. Ennis had to listen to his heart and help himself. Unfortunately, when he finally does, it is too late.
Title: Re: How often would they meet and for how long?
Post by: rimasworld on Oct 25, 2014, 05:58 PM
In the scene where Jack is looking for his parka Lureen says "you've been goin up to Wyomin all these years, why can't your buddy come down here to Texas and fish? Then when Jack is leaving and gives her a peck goodbye he says he's got 14 hours of drivin and Lureen makes the comment "see you goin up there 2, 3 times a year" as Jack is walking out the door. That was before Ennis got a divorce. Gave the impression that their meetings even early on were sort of infrequent. The distant made it harder for them to see each other. If they had lived closer they might could have gone "fishing" maybe every other weekend or so.