A Timeless Struggle in Brokeback Mountain Essay

A Timeless Struggle in Brokeback Mountain Essay

Length: 1302 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Author Isaac Asimov once wrote,” Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.” This saying came to mind while reading both Montana 1948 and Brokeback Mountain. The authors, Larry Watson (Montana 1948) and Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain) both write stories with the internal conflict of man vs. himself. In Montana 1948 Larry Watson’s main characters the Hayden family cope with a situation of sexual abuse that forces them to search for their moral base and choose between right and wrong. Each member of the family begins at a different in their moral expedition, but eventually end up with the same internal resolution. Similarly, in Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, the author sketches a picture of two men who live in a constant struggle with their ideas of morality. Rationalizing and avoidance exist as Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar’s main internal defense mechanisms. Proulx presents a devastating study of Jack and Ennis’ subsequent struggle with both their families and their work as they try to come to terms with their sexual relationship.

To begin in this examination of the moral code of the American West, we turn to the relationships and struggles brought about in Larry Watson’s novel Montana 1948. In this novel, there exists conflicts between several of the characters, however; the main conflict lies within the characters themselves. The reader sees the Hayden family struggle with the realization that the town doctor, their relative, has been molesting young Indian girls. This situation forces Wes Hayden, the town’s sheriff and the doctor’s only brother, to choose his actions towards this ethical dilemma carefully. He deliberates on his situation throughout most of the novel, relying on his wife’s set-in-stone morals to guide his decision in some ways. Through this interaction, the reader sees that some people who were not brought up with a strong moral code must develop one for themselves, while others who were taught their morals at an early age may alter them to fit their own perspectives as they grow.

Also, noted very plainly, the moral code of the American West did not exist as equal to today’s code. The characters in this novel existed in what they believed to be a moral society, but by today’s standards it was amoral, devoid of moral standards. Watson brings this idea to life when he writes through the narrator’s voice,...


... middle of paper ...


... that their homosexuality was immoral.

Thus we see two novels whose characters deal with an internal struggle. Both the characters in Montana 1948 and those in Brokeback Mountain struggle with their set of morals in situations that can change their lives forever. In Montana 1948 Wes Hayden faces a situation that may estrange his family or estrange himself from his moral base. He eventually chooses to be true to himself, in arresting his only brother for molestation and murder. However, in Brokeback Mountain the cowboys, Jack and Ennis, must hide their relationship because of its immoral content. Thus, they live a life hiding from their true feelings. At some times they even trying to deny their nature. Because of the threat of being ostracized and possible killed, these men led a life separate from their love for one another. Though, in the end their prejudice, along with every one else’s killed Jack. Ennis knows this and the only place that they have left is Brokeback Mountain, a place untouched by the world, unable to be soiled with prejudices.



Work Cited

Proulx, Annie. “Brokeback Mountain.” Close Range: Wyoming Stories. New York: Scribner, 1999. 251-82. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Brokeback Mountain and the Western Genre

- The film genre of the Western has long since proven to be more about the conflict and showdowns that occur in the storyline. Usually the western genre incorporates traditional western motifs and icons and adheres to those common plot structures of the genre, but Brokeback Mountain is different from what is to be normally expected because it does not seem like a traditional and conventional Western film at all. Brokeback Mountain has several different twists to it, like the more modern take on it – traditionally, characters in Western films were riding horses, but because Brokeback Mountain is a more modern movie, the two characters Jack and Ennis are seen traveling in cars and...   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Strong Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- Setting "Brokeback mountain Mori" begins in a mental institution, passes through an anonymous motel room and tattoo parlor, and ends in the back of a police car. Brokeback mountain never explicitly mentions whether Leonard has been in a mental institution (though certain ambiguous clues indicate that perhaps he has). It also passes through motel rooms and tattoo parlors, but it adds other locations, such as Natalie's house, the bar where she works, a diner, and the abandoned building where Leonard kills both Jimmy and Teddy....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1801 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- The major plot outline in both the short story and the movie 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....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Adaptation of Brokeback Mountain from Short Story to Feature Film Essays

- Literature is a one track medium, invoking "unfixed" images that is, many specific details are supplied by the reader. On the other hand, film is a five track medium of fixed, specific images and sounds. Invariably, this fixed experience does not exactly mirror that invoked by the literary source material. Therefore, we cannot view an adaptation as a literal transposing, but should instead consider it as a kind of translation. Yet even a casual "translation" of "Brokeback mountain`s short story " would not produce the expanded Brokeback mountain....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Strong Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

Essay about Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain

- Michael Warner states in his book The Trouble with Normal that "the [American] culture has thousands of ways for people to govern the sex of others," that a certain regulation of sexuality and desire can be designed "directly, through prohibition and regulation, and indirectly, by embracing one identity or one set of tastes as though they were universally shared, or should be" (Warner 1). According to Warner, the logical process that follows such a regulation ensures a certain shame attaches to any "taste" that is not "universally shared." That this one "taste" "should be" shared implies that it is not universal....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Strong Essays
2326 words (6.6 pages)

Essay Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

- Many literary works deal with the issue of homosexuality and society’s response to it, and each of the works of literature have a different take on the issue. Therefore, the authors create and design their main characters with the traits and characteristics that are most fit to convey their perception of the issue. One of the most well known literary works that deal with homosexuality is “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, in which the main characters are two male cowboys that are in love. In fact, the story was controversial enough that director Ang Lee decided to produce an adaptation of the story....   [tags: homosexuality and society's response to it]

Strong Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Film Analysis: Brokeback Mountain Essay

- ... Jack has a son with a cowgirl called Lureen whose father is wealthy because he has a business that sells machineries for farmers. Later on, Ennis and Jack get in touch again, and they start doing “fishing trips.” Alma sees Ennis and Jack kiss the first time Jack comes back to Wyoming and visit Ennis. She gets suspicious about the trips and later realize the truth about the fishing trips. Alma and Ennis get divorced, and Ennis can only see his daughters once a month. After the divorce, Ennis starts going out with Cassie a waitress, and Jack and Ennis start drifting apart and seeing each other less....   [tags: ennis, alma, homosexual people]

Strong Essays
581 words (1.7 pages)

Movie Analysis: Brokeback Mountain and The Love of Siam Essay

- Brokeback Mountain and The Love of Siam are two movies, which two main characters from each film, namely Ennis and Jack from Brokeback Mountain and Mew and Tong from The Love of Siam, all four of them have a connection that goes from friendship to a homosexual relationship, respectively. Four of them are commoners that end up being infatuated with each other. These commoners have situations that they breeze along that directed them to a same-sex relationship amongst them. In particular, Ennis and Jack takes on shepherding job on Brokeback Mountain together, and while being there together for a long time and having each other’s back, their friendship becomes stronger....   [tags: Ennis and Jack, western culture]

Strong Essays
547 words (1.6 pages)

Movie Analysis : ' Brokeback Mountain And American Me Essay

- In every film, there is one significant scene that shifts the remaining portion of the film. In the movies, Brokeback Mountain and American Me, the scenes include strong representations of sex and violence. In the scenes, the characters’ perspectives are completely changed and they are able to find out a little more about themselves. Nonetheless, both of these scenes are turning points in the movies and alter the atmosphere of the remainder of the films. The film, American Me, the most momentous scene in the movie occurs when the protagonist, Montoya Santana, loses his virginity with a female for the first time while his gang members are simultaneously raping a man is prison....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Sexual assault]

Strong Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx and Society´s Reponse Essay examples

- Many literary works deal with the issue of homosexuality and society’s response to it, and each of the works of literature has a different take on the issue. Therefore, the authors create and design their main characters with the traits and characteristics that are most fit to convey their perception of the issue. One of the most well known literary works that deal with homosexuality is “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, in which the main characters are two male cowboys that are in love....   [tags: homosexuality, perception, issue, book]

Strong Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)