Romanticism and it’s Function in Brokeback Mountain

While watching Brokeback Mountain there were two things that struck me. One was the film, initially, turning a pretty blatant blind eye to the time period in which the movie takes place, which does get corrected with a purpose later on.  The second is the amount of shots that were taken of the Wyoming landscape. As I watched the film, specifically as the two go back to Brokeback over the years, I saw how these two points are working in conjugation with each other to highlight the philosophies of Romanticism. Romanticism was a period of art during the 1800’s that focused on getting away from society and reverting back to beauty of nature in response to the industrial revolution. Writers and Poets like William Wordsworth, William Blake,  Henry David Thoreau (later on in the period), and the Hudson River School believed in the transitory and timeless qualities of nature that could allow human to reevaluate the status of their changing society. This philosophies, I would argue, seems to parallel the political message of this film. Keeping this in mind the my original question as to why the time period isn’t really noticed in the film, because Brokeback is an escape from the society and the time that doesn’t accept who their love. This is why we constantly see the long shots of the beautiful Wyoming landscape, nature, in the Romantic sense, is consider to be timeless.

Also, if at this point you don’t agree with this, I found this picture when you look up Brokeback Mountain . The painting being juxtaposed is by Alvan Fisher, a prominent Hudson River School painter.  http://


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