Study Guide

Brokeback Mountain Wealth

Wealth

You'll never see "cowboy" on Forbes' list of richest people in the world. Country singer? Perhaps. And who knows, maybe Mark Zuckerberg likes to wear ten-gallon hats and play with ropes in his spare time. We don't judge.

But "cowboy" isn't a particularly lucrative career. The men who choose this path often do it for the promise of freedom—like getting to be in the great outdoors and see parts of the country that others don't—but there comes a time when every cowboy has to ask himself if the adventure is worth the cost.

In Brokeback Mountain, Jack and Ennis each eventually hang up their cowboy hats, but to very different lifestyles in different economic classes. In addition to their different ways of expression emotion, this also adds an unseen roadblock between them.

Questions About Wealth

  1. How does the movie show us the economic situation of the two men?
  2. Does Jack marry Lureen because of her wealth?
  3. How does the family life of each man differ because of the family's economic status?

Chew on This

Jack will do things for money that he doesn't really like, such as rodeo riding. Ennis has a harder time doing things only for money, which is why he has a hard time keeping a job, and will give it up for Jack early on.

Both men shirk responsibilities to be with each other. But as they get older, Ennis can no longer afford to. Jack, though, has the luxury to skip work and be with Ennis.

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