Homosexuality In Annie Proulx's 'Brokeback Mountain'

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Homosexuality has been an overly heated debate since the beginning, and it still is in some parts of the world. Society believes that a man and a woman are predestined for each other. that a correct union can only be between a man and a woman. These societal norms leave those who do not fall into the category confused and lonely. Consequently, they hide their true self and take on a double role. Similarly, Annie Proulx suggests the challenges men, who fail to abide by societal norms, face about their sexual identity in the story of “Brokeback Mountain”. Ennis and Jack both struggle with their homosexuality due to the homophobic society they live in. Although the story defies archetypal ideas of masculinity as it puts forth two men trapped in …show more content…
His fear of being perceived differently makes him take on this role and play it correctly. He puts forth a man who is both that is “inured to [the] stoic life” and a hard worker. He works on a ranch and lives life by not letting his emotions get in the way of cowboy life, all of which are characteristics associated to men in society. However, when both Ennis and jack are leaving Brokeback Mountain, “Ennis [feels] like someone [is] pulling his guts out…” This passage demonstrates how Ennis’s masculine traits are superficial due to the fact that they merely exist on the surface level. He is not truly inured to the stoic life since he has emotions. The words “pulling his guts out,” suggest the pain he is going through. If Ennis were a true cowboy, he would not let a farewell affect him as much as it did. Consequently, he is only embracing the superficial traits associated to a cowboy in order to show society that he is normal. Furthermore, he embraces the cowboy life because he fears that society will consider him wrong. Since cowboys are generally associated with characteristics that men are expected to have such as strength, by taking up the role of a cowboy, nobody can suspect Ennis’s homosexuality. Therefore, Ennis’s “rough-mannered” and “rough-spoken” characteristics are simply implemented into his life to revoke any assumptions linked to his sexuality. Finally, …show more content…
The relationship between them is not a normal relation since Ennis is not as invested in the relationship as Alma. The fact that “…[he] never brings any trouts home” (126) from his several fishing trips suggests that Alma does not hold a great importance in his life. He is married to her simply to show that he is the epitome of a man. Since a man and a woman are predestined for each other, by marrying Alma, his homosexuality remains a secret between Jack and him. As a result, his relationship with Alma represents a superficial relationship because there is no connection or affection between them. He is just playing the role of a husband, which society expects him to play. Additionally, the fact that he does not love her proves that this marriage is just for show. Alma does not fall into the category of things that is near Ennis’s heart. Only “His horse, his daughters” (122) truly have a place in his heart. This suggests that he is taking on the role of a husband to conceal his true identity. Finally, Ennis’s character manifests superficial masculine traits in his relationship due to his true identity, which is

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