2 years ago
paulisadroid
in English · 3,607 Views
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Brokeback Mountain and Masculinity
Here's an idea: Ang Lee's 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, isn't about two gay cowboys. It's a deep look into the language of masculinity.
www.youtube.com1DAA50E1-0355-420D-A1AD-2C244287F3DCCreated with sketchtool.
The power struggle between Jack (Jake Gyllenhall) and his father-in law is known as soon as the scene starts. But take notice at what finally sets Jack off though, when his father-in-law questions his son's manhood. "You want your boy to grow up to be a man, don't you?"
Jack in this scene represents the feminine presence in the seen simply because he is supporting the wishes of his wife (played by Anne Hathaway). But Jack resolves the situation by using/through the "masculine language". He raises his voice and threatens his father-in-law with violence. Two things that are commonly labelled as "masculine traits".
Ennis (played by Heath Ledger and shown above) has his a similar moment with his wife as well.
During the scene, Ennis and his family find a spot to sit in order to watch a fireworks display. Shortly afterwards, two bikers sit down behind them while making obscene comments about women. Ennis quietly asks them to be quiet and when they respond with a curse he gets up, pushes one to the ground and kicks the other in the face.
Ennis, like Jack, defends his wife/resolves a situation with "masculine traits".
These two scenes (and many others throughout the film) tell us that there is a problem within the framework of heteronormativity and the idea of masculinity. Both Jack and Ennis are putting on a performance that shows that they know "what it means to be men".
Their initial reactions to the conflict in the outlined scenes above show that they'd rather resolve them without threatening/using violence. They are trapped in another idea of what society expects them to be.
The film reinforces this idea throughout, but what do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section and let's start a discussion!
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3 comments
This was in the original short story that I thought the movie captured really well. Jack especially seemed like he was constantly trying to prove himself.
@shannonl5 I had no idea that it was based off a short story! I gotta do more research, haha. Do you think I should check the short story out?
@paulisaverage It's a good read! It was written by Annie Proulx and the film adaptation was prety faithful.