The Cowboy: In terms of masculinity

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In my paper, I want to examine the difference between a stereotypical western cowboy and the two main characters Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar of the short story “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx and its movie adaption by Ang Lee. This paper will analyze how the author, Annie Proulx, defies masculine cowboy norms when writing such an extravagant love story about two cowboys falling in love through an unexpected consultation. Ultimately, this paper will analyze the key differences, both physical, and emotional between the stereotypical western cowboy and the cowboys presented by Annie Proulx, Jack and Ennis. I will use the short story/film “Brokeback Mountain”, and the movie No Country for Old Men. I will also use secondary sources that explain in detail both the physical and emotional features of the masculine stereotypical cowboy. With this information I will contrast the stereotypical cowboy from Jack and Ennis. I will illustrate that societal pressures and the perception of a stereotypical cowboys lead society to think of Jack and Ennis as queers rather than cowboys.
The Western genre is unquestionably one that is governed by the stereotypical cowboy and his masculinity. Although this genre rarely breaks away from this mould, Annie Proulx’s short story and Ang Lee’s film defy the set expectations of the western celebration of cowboy masculinity. Because of their amazing love story, Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar, the protagonists of “Brokeback Mountain,” became momentous cowboy figures throughout society. However many critics condemn Jack and Ennis for not being “real cowboys” because of their defiance of societal norms and perceived lack of masculinity.
The cowboy image has become integrated into almost every aspect of America...

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...of a bar with someone in a car. Unable to keep his ground, Ennis was furiously beaten and pumped to the ground. These basic deficiencies in skill contributes to the fact that Jack and Ennis differ immensely from the stereotypical cowboy.
In society the cowboy is viewed as a heroic figure. Lacking very few flaws, the cowboy is known for his courage, his romanticism, his hard work, and his overall labor, making him a symbol of masculinity. These features are continuously portrayed by Llewellyn Moss from the movie No Country for Old Men. Unlike Moss, Jack and Ennis from Annie Proulx and Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” defy the norms of the stereotypical cowboy through the lack of both physical and mental features. It is because of these features Jack and Ennis turn away from masculinity because of their love for each other, which in turn does not make them real cowboys.
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