Brokeback Mountain Criticism Essay
Ennis and Jack are never able to return to the place where they were most happy together.
Ennis’ marriage ends in divorce, and Jack’s become a sham as he secretly seeks affection from other men, and then is ultimately murdered by those who discover he is gay.
Proulx uses nature expertly within her short story to create a great economy of words, allowing Wyoming’s wide-open and rough terrain becomes an important backdrop to the story.
Brokeback Mountain itself, of course, is the most significant natural symbol in the story.
The story is about two these young Wyoming ranch hands who unexpectedly (for the reader and characters alike) fall in love as teen-age boys and continue their ill-fated affair in secret for the next 20 years, until Jack is murdered.
Jack and Ennis fall deeply in love on Brokeback Mountain, but they are unable to articulate their feelings or overcome their fears, or even admit to each other or themselves that they are homosexual.
In the beginning of the story, the wind accompanies our first introduction to Jack in Ennis’ waking memory: “The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence” (Proulx 4).