Study Guide

Brokeback Mountain Jack's Parents (Roberta Maxwell and Peter McRobbie)

Jack's Parents (Roberta Maxwell and Peter McRobbie)

The Parent Trap

You won't see Jack's parents in a PFLAG meeting any time soon.

Ennis visits Jack's parents at the end of the film, and his parents are…depressing. Dad is an overbearing, homophobic jerk. Mom is a sad, passive dishrag who cares about her son's "special friend" but not enough to make her stand up to her husband.

The scene with Ennis and the 'rents from hell at the kitchen table shows us why Jack was so desperate to get away from his parents. He wanted a life that was different from the way he grew up. The more Jack's dad tried to squash Jack's identity, the more Jack wanted to live an honest life and be himself—anything, including the lonely life of a cowboy is better than staying in this cold, grim household.

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