Societal Perspective in Brokeback Mountain

In Brokeback Mountain, the mise-en-scene, specifically the framing and location of two specific shots, reveals the societal view of the relationship between Jack and Ennis.

The first person to discover the homosexual relationship between Ennis and Jack was their boss, Joe Aguirre. He does so through an eyeglass, and a shot of the film gives us this perspective. This is representative of the judgmental view of society on homosexual relationships at the time, as Jack and Ennis are almost literally put under a microscope. In addition, Aguirre is looking down on them from his higher point in the mountain.

In a very similar manner, Ennis’s wife is physically distanced from Jack and Ennis when she sees them kissing by a glass door. She too observes from a significantly higher vantage point, when combined with the screen door, putting the two men under a judgmental lens.

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