One of the things that made me so emotional at the end of Brokeback Mountain was the symbolism of the two shirts that Ennis takes from Jack’s childhood home. First of all, the way he smelled them when he picked them up, and felt the fabric of the shirts was just such a nice touch because it showed how much Ennis missed Jack without saying it (because Ennis is a man of few words).

It was also so nice for Ennis to be able to have something tangible to remember Jack, something to take back with him, for Jack’s father would not allow him to take the ashes. For me, it also drew back on the fact that Jack initially took the shirt from Ennis (without his knowledge) so that he could have something tangible of Ennis (though in that case it wasn’t as meaningful with Ennis still being alive).

My favorite thing about it was that Ennis reversed the order of the shirts. It felt as though when Jack put Ennis’s inside, it was as if he was keeping Ennis within him, and potentially hidden from his parents. (However the father ┬ámentions that he knew of Ennis). Meanwhile, when Ennis has the shirts hanging next to the picture with Jack’s shirt on the inside, it’s as if Ennis is keeping Jack forever in his heart, since he is no longer with him. The shirts along with the image of Brokeback, hanging on the back of Ennis’s door, seemed to serve as a memory and a nostalgic past that he could never go back to — which was both oddly romantic and heartbreaking.

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