While a lot of the film did focus strongly on heteronormativity, bits and pieces were quite transgressive. In general, Ennis was far less heteronormative than Jack was. Jack had this intense fantasy of living together on a ranch and fulfilling his "happily ever after" as defined by patriarchal society. In fact, he was so desperate for this sort of monogamous, dedicated life that he went so far as to fulfill it with another man since it became clear that Ennis would not participate. Ennis seemed to deny heteronormativity throughout, even in regards to his heterosexual marriage to Alma. The scene I found most moving in terms of denial of heteronormativity was the sex scene between Alma and Ennis. They begin in a very loving and intimate fashion and then Ennis flips Alma onto her stomach and penetrates her from behind. While this is a small point, I think it is important to note because it seems to so accurately parallel his complete and total rejection of all things "normal" or "expected." This scene truly serves to queer the perception of Ennis' sexuality, even within the confines of a straight relationship


I find this part very interesting as well. Ennis was a very interesting character to me since he was the most queer of the characters yet he upheld the most masculine front. For instance, in a later scene when he and Alma are about to have sex and she says something along the lines that they shouldn't have sex because the birth control won't work. Ennis replies by saying that if she doesn't want to have anymore of his children he will be happy to leave her alone. Alma says she'd have another if he would support it. This is obviously a blow to Ennis's masculinity first because his wife doesn't want to have sex with him and second because he can't support his family. Although he is a queer character is profoundly hurt by this and it results in he and his wife getting a divorce. But even after this Ennis will not fully give into his queer identity as he refuses a monogamous life with Jack despite the fact that he loves him because he feels that he must uphold his masculinity to society.

I do understand your point about monogamy, and how it relates to heteronormativity, I don't necessarily think that Jack wanted a completely heteronormative life. He didn't seem to care if his children came with he and Ennis to live their life on the ranch. It seemed more like he wanted to live far off from the city on his own little ranch, instead of having a perfect nuclear family and all that. I believe that Ennis probably wanted the same thing, but was too afraid to go through with it.

I agree that even within Ennis' heterosexual relationship with Alma, there were still many queer aspects to their life at home. It seemed like the harder Ennis tried to outwardly portray a straight man, the worse things got for him. In his denial, his life was ruined.

Totally agree with your analysis of heteronormative relationships. Ennis was very much less heteronormative than Jack was. As a matter of fact he tried to reject it. As you stated about the love scenes with Alma, it was like he tried to reject those feelings but couldnt help it.

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This page contains a single entry by Kelsey P. published on April 5, 2012 7:19 PM.

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