Brokeback Mountain and the Western Genre Essay

1000 Words 4 Pages
The film genre of the Western has long since proven to be more about the conflict and showdowns that occur in the storyline. Usually the western genre incorporates traditional western motifs and icons and adheres to those common plot structures of the genre, but Brokeback Mountain is different from what is to be normally expected because it does not seem like a traditional and conventional Western film at all. Brokeback Mountain has several different twists to it, like the more modern take on it – traditionally, characters in Western films were riding horses, but because Brokeback Mountain is a more modern movie, the two characters Jack and Ennis are seen traveling in cars and trucks most of the time. This alteration is very …show more content…
Brokeback Mountain, being the more homosexual romance-oriented Western that it is, subverts a large number of the typical traditional elements of the Western film genre as a whole, this one especially, by having another male be in the position of the love interest of the hero. Although this subversion in particular is very problematic for Jack, as it puts him in the shoes of being associated with all things relating to femininity in the relationship. For example, Jack is the one who makes the first move when seducing Ennis, using his own allure and sexuality into tempting Ennis when he calls him into the tent, leading Ennis down somewhat of a risky path. Ennis, however, is portrayed as somewhat of a saint, his being repressed and restrained by social standards, saying to Jack, “You may be a sinner but I ain't yet had the opportunity”. Another interesting typical thing in the Western genre that was altered was that instead of Indians being the villain, the enemy is that of a ignorant and oppressive society–a society that would kill Ennis and Jack for being “different”, Ennis says to Jack, “this thing takes hold of us at the wrong place, wrong time and we're dead,” which shows how much they both worry about it–but the two cowboys still have to find some way to pull through and struggle to find their true selves in this society, but it is also that fear which causes the devastating events