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The central drama and point of conflict in any love story is the obstacle between the lovers. In the best known tragic love story in Western history, Romeo and Juliet, the obstacle is their feuding families; in the classic film Casablanca it's virtue and in Brief Encounter, it's the marriage of one of the lovers. This is a story of unfulfilled love in Wyoming. Ennis and Jack, a ranch hand and an aspiring rodeo rider, work together as sheep herders in the summer of 1963 on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. When both drunk in one cold night, they raised their friendships to a new level of intimacy. They tried hard to hide their loves behind the social society because they wouldn’t be accepted in those conservative days. But their loves still were alive. They spent over 20 years stealing moments to affair. Brokeback Mountain becomes their dreams in their minds, which they never fulfilled in again.
Both the story and the film represent the concept of homosexuality, and the intertwined literary traditions of elegy and nostalgic discourse, which are so central to the depiction of sex love and passion. But Brokeback Mountain, film is much more complicated, as many other characters attempt to manipulate Ennis and Jack along their way. It involves a detailed subplot about Ennis relationship with Alma and Jack relationship with Lureen, and how she involves him with life. It is important to note that, while the film has the same premise as the story, the story focuses on men who have loved another man and lost him. Nostalgia and longing is hidden under the unaffected style of short story and film. That is why the works make such a strong impact on the Audince.
Heavy with foreshadowing, the film's climax is even more poignant because it's been set up time and time again throughout the script. From the moment Joe Aguirre warns the men to obey his rules and sleep with the sheep, we know that by ignoring his warning things will go wrong. Ennis communicates his fear of repeating his parents' mistake and driving off the curve in the road. His stumbling upon a bear in the woods spells the first signs of approaching danger. A second warning from nature comes in the form of the disembowelled sheep, lost to a predator, when Ennis and Jack break Aguirre's rules and spend a night away from the sheep.
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Above all, Brokeback Mountain excels as a meticulously crafted but simple story expressing a universal theme: regret for love lost. By devoting the majority of the script to its primary plot, Ossana and McMurtry create space to develop their characters. Dialogue is only ever used where necessary, giving far more emphasis to the spoken lines. In leaving the film's emotional climax to the last moments and spending the rest of the film building up towards that point, the end result is far more powerful than had the audience's energy been spent at an emotional low point at the end of Act Two. Like Casablanca and Brief Encounter, classic love stories of the '40s, the result leaves the audience walking away filled with empathy.
Ennis Del Mar as a Protagonist is an ordinary ma, he fall in the situations which turns him to be homosexual a man who emit sweat, semen, and even tears for his love, Jack Twist which identifies as a man having sex with women and men and expresses time after time his willingness to share his life with Ennis. Jack plans to experience something real with his Texas neighbor, eventually he will die because of his unacceptable desire of love.
In original short story, the author (Proulx) described their first sex as ”quick, rough, laughing and
snorting.(BpM8)” That was exactly what happened in Ang Lee’s film. The next Ennis say "I'm not no queer," and Jack jumped in with "Me neither.” Still, they did it again, and again, in the daylight as they did in night. Ennis has terrible fear to be known as a homosexual so he could not escape from the cage which society had locked him in because of his terrible childhood memory in mind. When Ennis was a child his father took him to witness the intolerance of society on gay beside this also his father was taught him to hate homosexuals, so Ennis was taught to hate his own feelings as well.
On the other hand, Jack’s understanding of a homosexual family was different from Ennis. ”I’m not you…I can’t make it on a couple high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! You are too much for me, Ennis…I wish I knew how to quit you.” (BpM23-24) Jack sincerely wanted to build a family with Ennis. He didn’t care about giving up his wife, child and being looked by different eyes in the society even he did not care about be killed in the way he think is right. For Jack it does not matter what would happened, he still wanted to fulfill his dream with Ennis.
Some metaphor in the story (5):
Metaphor in storytelling draws audience into the character's inner felt experience without words and creates an artistry of inarticulateness and powerful non-verbal expression. (Trevor Whittock)
1 Joe Aguirre`s (The sheep owner) authority symbolizes the Wyoming society and Joe Aquirre, himself is like their judge. At the beginning of the movie, Joe set a lot of rules like” No fire”, while Jack said, ”He got no business making us to do something against the rules.” However, they not only made a fire, but let the fire in their mind burning and Brokeback Mountain symbolizes Jack and Ennis’s heaven.
2 After the night that Ennis and Jack having sex for first time, Ennis found a dead sheep on the next day, a dead sheep means, Ennis lost his innocence. The sheep skin had been cut open, means their secret would be exposed, at that mean while; this dead sheep means the dead man who was killed by Ennis’s father when Ennis was young, and also determines Jack’s last ending the sheep which were isolated from the flock would come to a tragic end.
3 Jack and Ennis jumped into the river nakedly, it means that they fell in love at the same time without any boundaries.
4 Ennis used his own clothes to wrap Jack’s shirt, it was the action that Ennis show his love to Jack.
5 Lureen’s blonde and beautiful wig is symbolic of her shameful marriage with Jack. Besides, when she was talking with Ennis on the telephone, director purposely took a close up shot a Lureen’s fake, red nails. In English, “fake nails” means “a fake story”, so Jack’s cause of death was likely to be instructed by her.
6 The movie took the scene out of the window in the end, which means “To come out.” or “To
Stay in.”, was Ennis his own choice.
7 Jack and Ennis always stayed outside of the flock, not a part of them. A flock means a society, “Following like sheep.” in English can mean “To go with the current”.
Writer style and film style:
In the film clearly we see the absence of female characteristic as we see in the story.
The absence of female character in the text of a female author is often interpreted as a notably masculine style which is trying to highlight the negative role of men in the society. Before this film Cowboy was representing a model of masculinity.
Brokeback Mountain is another example of the classical Three-Act Structure. In the first Act, Ennis and Jack's characters are established and the two men set off on their journey.
The second Act begins when the men embark on their sexual relationship. The first turning point arrives as summer ends when it's time to leave Brokeback Mountain and the couple are separated. By the film's midpoint, the pair have been apart some time.
They're reunited when Jack sends Ennis a postcard saying he's passing through town.
The second turning point occurs when Jack learns Ennis is getting divorced and assumes the pair can be together.
The transition into Act Three comes when Jack realizes that's never going to happen.
Brokeback Mountain is important because it evoked a national discussion about gender and sexuality, about love and homophobia. Cowboys are an icon of masculinity, and here we have two cowboys in love, challenging the assumption that being attracted to another man unmans you that you cannot both want a man and be a man.