(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar are in their late teens when they are hired to tend sheep above the tree line on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming during the summer of 1963. When the temperature drops in the evening, Ennis wakes Jack up with his teeth chattering, and Jack invites him into his bedroll. The two men have sex and continue to have sex through the rest of the summer, although they never talk about it except when Ennis declares, “I’m not no queer,” and Jack agrees, saying it is a one-shot deal and not anyone else’s business.

When the two men separate at the end of the summer, Ennis feels so bad that he stops on the side of the road and vomits. In December, Ennis marries Alma Beers, to whom he has been engaged; she is pregnant by mid-January.

Four years later, Ennis gets a letter from Jack saying he is coming through and wants to buy Ennis a beer. When they meet, they grab each other and kiss each other on the mouth so hard that they draw blood. By this time, Ennis has two daughters, and Jack is married with a son. Jack and Ennis go off to a motel, and both men are astonished at the power of their feelings for each other. However, both are frightened about these feelings, realizing that they must do something about it, for if they act that way in the wrong place they will be dead.

Jack, who has been a rodeo performer, thinks he and Ennis should get themselves a little ranch and live together, but Ennis says he does not...

(The entire section is 536 words.)


(Short Stories for Students)

Part 1

"Brokeback Mountain" begins in the present with Ennis Del Mar waking up in his trailer parked on the Wyoming ranch...

(The entire section is 1376 words.)