“Brokeback Mountain” short story became known to the world through
the New Yorker which was published in 1997. Proulx later published her work in
a collection of short stories by the title “Close Range: Wyoming
Stories.” The production of the story as an adaptation by film-maker Ang
Lee, made the story become known all over the world despite its presence for
long. The story has been labeled as a tale-telling the world about two gay
tale unfolds between the years of 1963 and 1982 in the State of Wyoming in the
United States of America. The two main protagonists of the story are Jack and
Ennis who were hired before reaching their twenties. They were employed upon
the Brokeback Mountain. The friendship between the two young men turns into
another love affair in a society that is still shy to accept the practice. The
consolation that they give each other is meant to tolerate the act as temporary
because they confess to each other as not being queer. The two separate and
reunite for trips where they hunt and fish together despite each having a
family to take care of at their respective homes. They make such vacations to
avoid public scrutiny through which they would be hunted down and killed.
Whereas Jack was more optimistic about living as a couple, Ennis seemed to be
apprehensive in the matter. Getting caught to him would mean the end of it all.
The mountain provides the opportunity for them to engage in their affair. This
affair is disrupted by the sudden death of Jack.
a major story plot is adapted for a movie shoot, the two compositions are set
apart by the fact that the film developers have to expand the narrative and
make the story longer because its actual length is shorter by comparison. In so
doing, there are individual elements screenwriters add to tell the story and
capture the emotions of the viewers. The concept of Geographic Determinism is
usually used to denote the attachment of a place to the culture of the
Elements Added by Screenwriters
primary objective of all filmmaking in telling a story is to ensure that there
is an emotional audience to follow what is being presented. The psychological
aspect of a story is achieved in three main ways. These three are a character,
conflict between individuals and situations and desire. In the adaptation of
“Brokeback Mountain,” there are numerous instances where this adjustment
for emotional effect has taken place. However, in building up a story from a
written short story format to a screenplay and film, few things might separate
versions of the characters “Ennis” and “Jack” are the same for both film and
short story. However, there are some characters that are in the book that might
have been mentioned only in passing but play a significant role in the
television adaptation (Westergård). The
wives of the protagonists and the daughter of “Ennis” have been given
a more significant role in the film. The character of Lureen has featured
prominently in the movie right from her meeting with Jack for the first time.
Ennis’ wife Alma characterized by Michelle Williams is an important anchor to
the story, but the film has given her a bigger role (Westergård). The roles given to these characters are to portray
the kind of heartache and devastation marriages go through. It is theoretically
possible to write with a focus on Jack and Ennis while examining their
predicament with pain and heartache. However, building on the two characters in
the film brings out the emotions and allows the audience to see Alma’s anguish
through Michelle Williams and the portrayal of her feelings (Westergård). In the story, scenes are added to
display the agony Alma has to go through in witnessing a relationship build
between Jack and Ennis. One other aspect of flushing out of characters is the
introduction of Cassie on the screen that is used to explain just further how
much internally detached Ennis was in being true to himself but instead
becoming one who longs for Jack who he truly loves (Westergård).
Lee takes the idea of Geographic Determinism as propounded by Proulx and
augments it using the same magnitude of his wavelength (Mangan). This is based on the locations he chose for the film. He
decided that Alberta in Canada as the place to shoot the film. He uses
cinematography to depict the Midwestern region as a place which is dominated by
huge mountains. Apart from the mountains, there are ranchers engaged in hard
work, a livestock industry that encourages competition, and the employment of
rodeo as a form of entertainment (Mangan).
The use of mountains by Lee is aimed at cutting off the selected area from the
rest of United States with progressive lifestyles that allow for homosexuality.
Through this, Lee allows the audience to be able to gain insight where it is
needed about the mindset of the characters appearing in an area where they
supposedly were born and raised.
unable to go beyond the barriers, the characters playing Ennis and Jack allow
the conventions of the social setting to isolate them one from the other.
Marginalization set in into the life of Ennis after he secluded himself. The
two try to hold on to the social norms established by the society of the 1960s.
They shut out the contemporary views that would allow them to accept and
embrace their sexual orientation to the point where self-acceptance becomes
reachable for them. Ang Lee adapts this idea with reluctance. The mountain is
set up as the point where the two characters briefly meet to have their
reunion. The union is poeticized by the landscape alone. Lyrical pastoralism is
associated with the serenity created by the surrounding through making the
place look musical.
looking at the hills, they lie too long on the sides of the rippling rivers.
This scenery creates the impression of a love song which on the contrary may be
a death song (Mangan). The Brokeback
Mountain works as a tragedy of the deprivation that takes place emotionally. In
actual sense, this is contrary to what western stories depict. The situation is
further worsened when the two characters (Ennis and Jack) split and become
heartbroken in a country considered to be beautiful to make the case even worse
than the usual case. The meaning is that the setting achieved by the physical
features around Wyoming is visually stunning, but there are dangers which
cannot be predicted.
landscape serves as a memory of Ennis and Jack because the aspect is amongst
the places where they had been born and brought up. The scenery is a depiction
of irony in the story because the mountains may be responsible for their
isolation yet they are the ones who made a point of meeting close to these
mountains. The mountain has been described as the spot where the two met in
their reunion. In that place, they would isolate themselves there just to be
with one another. The retreat is made around the place where they live although
it is considered to produce harsh reality where the two become marginalized.
The retreat to the mountain is one way of inviting marginalization to both of
them at the same time.