Brokeback Mountain

The outcome of the scene where Ennis attempts to retrieve Jacks ashes from his family to carry out his final wish of having his remains scattered throughout Brokeback Mountain conveys a crucial message. Firstly, the ambience of Jacks parents’ home, in addition to the demeanor of his parents reflects an extremely monotone and stark tone, which is an immediate indicator of the hostility Ennis is about to face. After presenting the purpose of his visit, Jacks father counters his request stating that Jacks ashes will be scattered on his home plot, ultimately denying him of this wish. This denial demonstrated another example of the lack of control that was present in Ennis and Jacks relationship and the restraint they faced numerous times throughout their time together. Despite being dead, Jack is still being controlled by an outside force.

Another aspect of this important scene exists in the interpretation of Jack and Ennis’ shirts. Since Ennis is denied the ashes, he instead walks away with a memory of their relationship in the form of clothing. Upon further investigation, it is apparent that the meaning of this memoir is tremendous. The literal intertwining of the shirts obviously represents their relationship, however the blood also depicts the death of Jack, and the placement of the shirts outside the closet reflect Ennis’ newly gained acceptance with his homosexuality. Lastly, the shirts are left hanging on the door along side a picture of Brokeback Mountain relaying the idea that their relationship is a thing of the past, and currently existing solely as a memory.

The film effectively interweaves subtle messages within the settings, actions and objects making the effect of the film more meaningful than just the immediate face value.

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