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Brokeback Mountain | Study Guide

Annie Proulx

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Brokeback Mountain | Quotes


He is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.


The reader has not been introduced to Jack yet, but the quotation serves as a foreshadowing of the men's relationship and the intensity of Ennis's feelings for Jack.


Pair of deuces going nowhere.


Ennis and Jack are compared to a pair of deuces. In Joe Aguirre's unvoiced estimation, they are both losers and two of a kind.


Ennis ... had such a good time ... he could paw the white out of the moon.


Ennis enjoyed his evening with Jack. He is exhilarated to have made a friend, yet unaware of just where this friendship will lead. Proulx may have picked up the phrase "paw the white out of the moon" from a cowboy song of the late 19th century ("The Zebra Dun") where it refers to a bucking bronco—a horse so wild it could jump high enough to paw the white out of the moon.


Both knew how it would go for the rest of the summer, sheep be damned.


Ennis and Jack continue their sexual relationship throughout the summer and let it become more important to them than the job they were hired for, tending the sheep.


I'm not no queer.

Ennis del Mar

This is the crux of their relationship: Ennis and Jack enjoy each other's company and share an insatiable sexual attraction. Yet neither man considers himself homosexual.


In a disquieting way everything seemed mixed.


This refers to more than just the mixed herds of sheep. It implies the unorthodox relationship between Ennis and Jack.


She had seen what she had seen.


This has a double meaning. Alma saw Ennis and Jack embrace and kiss. It also implies she understood what their kiss means.


Old Brokeback got us good and it sure ain't over.

Jack Twist

Jack acknowledges that their time on Brokeback Mountain changed them forever, and he doesn't want that feeling to end.


It don't happen in Wyomin and if it does I don't know what they do.

Jack Twist

Jack and Ennis fear it is impossible for them to be together—at least not in Wyoming. They also wonder if they are unique or if other men feel the way they do.


So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everything built on that.

Jack Twist

This is the central idea of the story. Ennis refuses to go live with Jack. So all they have is their time spent on the mountain and their desire for each other.


I wish I knew how to quit you.

Jack Twist

Jack confesses he needs to be with Ennis more than once or twice a year. Since Ennis insists on only these infrequent encounters, Jack wishes he were able to end their relationship. However, his love for Ennis won't allow that to happen.


Nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved.


This statement gets to the root of Ennis and Jack's relationship. They can't go public with their relationship, and they can't give each other up. They can only continue in the same way.


He wanted to be cremated, ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain.

Lureen Twist

Jack's last wish is to have his ashes left on Brokeback Mountain which symbolizes a return to the most important place and relationship of his life.


But like most a Jack's ideas it never come to pass.

John Twist

Jack's father acknowledges that Jack was more of a dreamer than a realist. A lot of what Jack wanted or hoped for never happened.


If you can't fix it you've got to stand it.


The story ends with Ennis dreaming of Jack and realizing that there's nothing he can do but just accept what has happened.

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