A few themes/motifs i noticed in titanic..

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noticed some stuff in titanic.. (oh yeah.. it is very possibly that i am wrong somewhere.. i.e. misquoted line, incorrect refrence, etc. also, i haven't read over what i have typed, so if you come across anything odd and or incorrect, you stand warned..) 1)breaking the rigid, delicate, constricting iron maiden of a porcelain doll... (porcelain doll face found on ship in present, breaking of dishes during sinking.. rose, who breaks free from the porcelain, is not destroyed by the sinking) 2)time theme/motif.. jack and rose meet at the clock.. when rose dies the time is 5 minutes later.. jack gets titanic tickets 5 minutes before titanic leaves port.. notice rose rests on the wooden piece that adorns the clock(or was it the entire clock) in the water and is therfore able to survive.. 3)grand staircase as a character;fasle god.. "the grand staircase almost became a character" (words of the director, saw it on HBO) i think the staircase was a gateway/usher into the upperclass.. and the dome above, brilliant, extravagant, and white, acted as almost a god for the upperclass.. it (the dome) represented all the money and power the upperclass had.. also notice how during the sinking the staircase was uprooted and the dome was smashed.. following with the theme of destruction of physicial possesion was the sinking of the titanic and the line "not even your money can save you now" (i think that was the line.. you know, when rose's "fiance" was trying to buy his way onto a boat..) in addition, the dome appears again when rose dies.. it is more or less a dream or an ideal for rose to rejoin jack, and this is why it is appropriate for the dome to appear.. heaven is a dream or an ideal..

well, its late where i am and i need to get some sleep.. i know there are more themes, but i don't have the time to go into them right now.. accordingly, i encourage you to respond to what i have.. am i right? am i wrong? am i a quack? what was left out? also, to all of you reading right now thinking, "jeez man, its just a movie.. this guy is full of it.. its just all a bunch of concidence and bull" well, maybe so, but art is based on human experience, and just as literature is an art form so to is a movie.. if themes and motifs can pop up in everday life, they can make it into literature, which means they can make it into movies.. also, it is my belief that all crisism is bull.. WELL SUPPORTED bull, but bull non-the-less..

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 09, 1998


Ok- It's amazing that you picked up on all of that and I don't think it ws just a coincidence, from what I gather, this is justa amovie, sure, but the way it is reaching people is amazing, and that common link seems like something that would occur in a movie.

-- Sara Fennell (n/a), January 11, 1998.

Your revelations were very interesting. I'll add mine as they come up. One I just realized was the godlike symbol (crucifix) of Rose as she's "flying" on the bow. Folks, you may disagree or find that offensive, depending on your faith or lack thereof (I myself am not religious). I'm not sure if the symbol was intended, or what it's supposed to mean. I doubt it means that she would be "chosen" as one to survive. Comments?

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), January 11, 1998.

hmm, the crucifix.. well, i am not sure.. i know that very often a "jesus" charater appears in literature, but i don't think she was that as she didn't really sacrifice herself for the greater good; if anything, it was jack.. I don't know enough about film directing to know if the shot of the crucifix was significant, but i suppose its possible..

-- some guy (n/a), January 11, 1998.

forgot this line.. this helps to establish rose as a doll trying to break free..

"The last thing I need is another picture of me looking like a porcelain doll and as a paying customer, I expect to get what I want."

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 12, 1998.

I have a question though--Do you think she does go to heaven at the end? i am firmly set in the belief that she does, for several reasons. A. In the script it says something like "She closes her eyes to sleep, or perhaps somethig else." B. She is dying "warm in her bed as an old lady." C. She has come back and told her story, making peace with herself. D. She has returned the diamond to where she thinks it belongs E. Everyone in that final scene were people who had died upon the Titaniic.

Just adding my two cents... becky

-- Becky (Raisongal@aol.com), January 12, 1998.

ok. well, here's my reasoning behind why i think rose dies and goes to heaven.. in the dream/death sequence rose meets jack at the clock on the grand staircase, which resides under a white dome, then the camera moves to the white dome and fades to white (white=holy/god).. the fact that the dome is shown during the dream/death sequence is appropriate because rose and jack reuiniting, which is more or less an ideal, which happens to coinside with the judaic/chirstian commercialized ideal of heaven.. (seeing dead loved ones, lots of bright colors and whites, etc.) so i guess rose's final destination is indeed heaven..

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 12, 1998.

Ok..first of all, the clock and the 5 minute thing was noticed by ME!!! rather than yek401...but I guess that is beside the point....Well second of all, I just wanted to say that the movie is AWWWWWWW WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. I think it is so emotional that her whole life was only 5 minutes so that the rest of her eternity could be spent with Jack.....I could ramble on about the motifs but i would rather Awwwww...I think Yek and I have torn the movie apart analyzing almost every aspect of it. Maybe we will start doing the music on the soundtrack next...Anyway, that is all for now......oh one last thing.. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

-- MJ (Love1028@aol.com), January 12, 1998.

well =P

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 12, 1998.

The propeller..in beginning Rose can barely remember the word for it, as it seems unimportant...at the end it is huge and destructive, with one guy hitting his head on it, and with it crashing down on many swimmers.. FYI, when sistership Britanic sunk in 1916, although most survived, the captain thought he could get the ship on nearby land, and started up the engines. The propeller caused a whirlpool which sucked in lifeboats, killing those aboard.. More misplaced priorities, disregard for nature's power..

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), January 14, 1998.

Okay, here goes.... The ship is a symbol of the male-dominated progress-driven society that has alienated mankind from its soul. The ocean, like all water themes, is emotion/intuition... the deep source of love and life. The "true love" that Jack and Rose find serves to distract society's ship long enough to destroy it! Cool, eh?

-- arnold franken-major (n/a), January 14, 1998.

I don't think that the "flying" scene had anything to do with religion. If you notice in the very beginning, Jack is "flying" all by himself on the first night of the voyage (The scene where he yells "I'm the King of the World"). He wasn't "chosen" to live through the sinking, so everything you're thinking about Rose being "chosen" and her representing the crusifix is purely your imagination. The only slightly religious scene in the movie, is when the first-class people are singing hymms for "those at sea".

-- Keri-Ann (Spicy620@aol.com), January 23, 1998.

hmm... after thinking about it, i have to say.. i am more convinced that jack is the "christ figure." jack's flying at the beginning of the movie was his intro as a christ figure. also, when they (jack and rose) found out the ship was sinking, they went to cal and the others to tell them of the misfortune. instead of conveying their message, jack was taken away; which is KINDA similiar to when simon goes to tell the others about the downed pilot in LORD OF THE FLIES and was killed (and simon was certianly the chirst figure). also, jack is rose's salvation just as christ was humanity's salvation (um, ok.. i am jewish, and don't believe in the whole chirst, trinity thing. But, this kinda christ theme pops up a bunch in literature, and applying the story of christ to literature often helps to make the selected piece make more sense). jack died to save rose. also, at the end of the movie rose meets up with jack, and all the other people, also dead, are there.. i suppose jack is supposed to be christ here..

well, thats my two cents.. (hope it wasn't too grammatically incorrect or didn't contain too many spelling errors.. i am hellova lot better at thinking than i am at writing)

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 24, 1998.

I noticed something new today seeing Titanic for the second time -

When Rose looks down at the portrait Jack painted of her, we first look up at her face through the water. Then when she lets go of Jack we see him through water as well, and at the end we watch the diamond float down through the water.

-- Nonie Maus (please@dont.email.me), January 24, 1998.

There is a theme on freeing others. Jack "saves Rose in every way imaginable," incl. her engagement to Cal and the associated shallow life he and her mother represented, as well as the clutches of death in the freezing waters. Jack's intent to liberate Rose is symbolized by his helping her "fly" on the bow, "up she goes..up she goes." It is that time when Rose is making a decision to leave the life she was becoming "trapped" in. Rose frees Jack from being cuffed to the pipe in the ship. She probably frees Jack in other ways, and helps free others..help me out...

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), January 24, 1998.

thats the thing.. jack isn't really freed, he just gets killed. thats why he is the christ figure.. and the upper class isn't saved.. they wait for an "absolution" that they never get..

oh yeah, what do the hands represent?

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 25, 1998.

The touching of bare hands represents intimacy and trust. (Examples: Jack saving her at the rail, holding her hand as the stern goes down) I can't think of any moment when Rose's bare hands touch anyone else's.

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), January 25, 1998.

In the car Rose kisses Jack's hands, then says "Put your hands on me, Jack"

-- Ashley (beaner05@ix.netcom.com), January 26, 1998.

I forgot this. At dinner Jack is the only one who touches Rose's bare hand, he kisses it, then hands her the note. She always wore gloves when other people (her mom, Cal, etc.) touched her hands. I don't know if these things mean anything, but I thought I would bring these things to your attention.

-- Ashley (beaner05@ix.netcom.com), January 26, 1998.

thanks bob and ashley.. your comments helped me out quite a bit in my following response

the reason only jack touches rose's bare hands is because only jack can touch rose's heart, only jack can touch rose's sole.. the hands are a window into the true nature of the person, and this is why jack liked to draw hands, becase he "sees people." jack sees the heart and sole of the person. he reached out and touched rose.. consequently, it all corosponds with celine's song "My Life Will Go on"... "love can touch us one time and last for a life time, and never let go till were gone. love was when i loved you, one true time, i hold you." hold, touch. hold and touch what? her bare hands, her naked sole, and it lasted for a lifetime..

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 26, 1998.

There is one particulary scene that stood out to me. Remember after Jack sketches Rose and Lovejoy chases after them? While they are running through the bowels of the ship there are several moments when her white dress flows dramatically out behind her and it even looks a bit like slow motion. Here they are in physical danger (two young people running through the firey boiler room with unknown mechanical parts about). Lovejoy's desperate attempt to catch them symbolizes the social/financial jeopardy Rose has placed herself in by being with Jack and then ultimately the emotional danger that lies ahead with the sinking of Titanic and the loss of Jack. Perhaps this is a bit far fetched but everytime I see that scene I cringe thinking that her dress may catch on fire and you know how one thought leads to another!

-- Lisa K. (falmk@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu), January 30, 1998.

For the record, the name of the song is "My Heart will go On".

-- Keri-Ann (spicy620@aol.com), January 31, 1998.

oops, yeah.. i made a few errors in my post... although in my defense, it WAS three in the morning when i typed it.

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), January 31, 1998.

Jordan, I went to see the movie for the 4th time today, and It wasn't five minutes after she met Jack at the clock. That was 9:00 and Rose died at 2:20. It was the time Titanic sank.

-- Colleen (colleendi@earthlink.net), February 01, 1998.

heh, like i said at the beginning of my post, "it is very possibly that i am wrong somewhere." hmm, so i guess the clock there represents her going back to titanic and rejoining jack. i suppose that also supports my belief that rose dies at the end of the movie, rather than just dreams..

-- Jordan Gray (Yek401@mailexcite.com), February 01, 1998.

Colleen, what time did you see on the clock in the end? I thought I saw the time as 2:15, five minutes before the final sinking of Titanic. I was wondering why the time was left at 2:15 and not 2:20.

-- Rose (rosemarie17@hotmail.com), February 01, 1998.

Every time I think I've caught all the symbolism and symmetry, something new arises. More symmetry: Jack lying on the bench staring at the stars before he is to save Rose the first time, and Rose lying on the driftwood staring at the stars as Jack saved her for the last time.

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), February 01, 1998.

The latest: Rest assured, the love of Rose and Jack will live on here on earth because..Brock (the Paxton character) and Rose's granddaughter will be involved..Jack tossed his cigarette overboard as he was about to meet/save Rose the first time..At the end, Brock is talking to the granddaughter and says he had told himself he'd smoke a cigar once he recovered the diamond..Then, as he says he never let the emotion of the disaster "in," he tosses the cigar overboard. So there is happiness in the afterlife and on earth. I suspected there would be something cooking betw these 2, but now I'm convinced because of that symbolism.

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), February 02, 1998.

This is about the Clock question. I too noticed that the clock was set at 2:20 when Rose was reunited with Jack and all the others that died with the Titanic, but I did not take it to mean that Rose died at 2:20. I took it as that time stopped until Rose could come back and join them all. That scene is the one that has made me sob uncontrollably all six times I've seen the movie. I'm glad someone else noticed, too.

-- Erin Bickers (Erin@ka.net), June 10, 1998.

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