The book Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx is about two men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who meet each other at a rodeo job in 1963. At that time, both of them are young men raised on ranches in Wyoming. They fell in love but their story was cut short by society’s judgment towards homosexuality which led to the loss of their relationship. The book started with both of them working at a ranch where they watch over sheep during springtime. One day Jack asked Ennis if he would join him at a rodeo spot where he had been offered a job as an extra cowhand.
Since they were just friends, Ennis insisted that it was not necessary for him to tag along. As Jack rode off, Ennis said to himself that he was lonely when his friend is not around. At the rodeo spot, they met two other cowhands and a camp cook who were all young men. In order to get the job done, the four of them worked overtime in extremely cold weather with very little pay. All they could do was hang out together at night just so they wouldn’t feel alone despite their parents’ disapproval towards homosexuality.
After three months of working together, both Jack and Ennis fell in love with each other which led to an affair behind their parents’ backs until one day it became too much for Ennis to bear because he had fallen prey to societal pressure. At the book’s end, it is revealed that Ennis had married an older woman who reminded him of his father. However, they only stayed together for only five years before separating. On the other hand, Jack was killed in a car accident after they became separated by his own choice.
The book ended with Ennis saying that he wished he could have died as well instead of experiencing all those pain and sorrow alone. It took Proulx twenty years to finish writing Brokeback Mountain because she refused to hurry up even though her friends kept urging her to do so since its main theme was familiar at best – two men falling in love with each other despite their different backgrounds and pursuing a relationship against all odds until it ends tragically.
Several years after the book was published, it has spawned awards and critical acclaims specifically for its well-written prose that describes the men’s struggle to maintain their relationship in a heterosexual society all over America during that time. The book even brought up topics about homosexuality without actually outright mentioning it since at that time there was still much controversy surrounding the word. Many readers appreciate the book because of its sensitive portrayal of men who fall in love with each other despite their sexual orientation and how they were torn apart by society’s pressure towards heterosexuality.
Some argued that Proulx failed to deliver her statement clearly because she didn’t finish Jack and Ennis’ story but rather to end abruptly as if she was doing so to highlight their tragedy. As of today, Brokeback Mountain has been turned into a film with the same title and it garnered much success as well both in bookstores and cinemas which led to the book’s current recognition as a modern classic. As a result, Brokeback Mountain became a part of high school literature classes all over America which is why it still remains relevant up until now even though Proulx had published the book nearly twenty years ago.
As each character in the book defends themselves against their own moral values, they focus on other things to avoid dealing with what they actually want. Jack and Ennis do not openly acknowledge their relationship for most of the book except when it is forced upon them. The book follows both characters through time as they get married, have children, get jobs working menial labor, and live almost completely separate lives.
At times the book seems to be an account of how two people can grow apart over time because of individuality; but at other times it seems like it is about this couple’s hidden secret that stays with them throughout their entire lives. The book begins by introducing both main characters; Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar. They are two men who are working as Forest Service Employees in Wyoming. As the book progresses, they seem to be falling in love with each other despite neither of them ever saying it out loud.
One night after a round of drinking, Ennis and Jack decide to “try it” with each other that night, but then never do anything like that again for twenty years (Proulx 1). Ennis married almost immediately after high school at nineteen years old, mostly because he felt like he had something to prove; which is similar to how many people act when they feel forced into hiding something. The book makes several references throughout about how Ennis feels like an outcast among his family and community.
His mother does not talk much about Ennis’s father and Ennis does not talk much about his mother; they only argue about who is to blame for any troubles (Proulx 2). When Jack and Ennis first meet, they are both interested in girls and the book focuses more on their pursuit of women than their homosexual relationship. Once they have sex with each other, however, everything seems to change. They eventually begin a life together as if it were a real marriage by sharing a single room with a single bed.
Jack marries briefly after high school because he feels like he needs to be seen as something better than just an ordinary ranch hand with no future. The book describes him as being very different from most men around him because he wants to do something that will give him status. He also changes his name from Jack Twist to Jack Burns to avoid any future problems with the law because of his relationship with Ennis (Proulx 3). At one point in their relationship, Ennis is married while Jack is not, but this does not last long either.
Soon after they are both involved with other women and some children are born. Somewhere around the time the book starts, they meet each other again after twenty years of separation. Around half way through Annie Proulx’s book Brokeback Mountain, it seems like all of the characters have dealt with their sexuality in different ways. The book follows two main characters who appear to be heterosexual on paper because they have both been with women before.
As the book progresses, however, it becomes increasingly clear that they are gay and have both been in a homosexual relationship for twenty years. Proulx uses the book to describe how two people can fall in love and even live together while one is married and having children with someone else. The book follows them both through time as each gets married, has kids, begins working labor jobs, and lives an almost separate life from their spouse.