What would you do?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

There's a scene in Titanic after Rose is "Flying" and she says that was the last time Titanic saw daylight. That really sent shivers up my back as I forgot that I was in a movie and began feeling like I was sharing this experience. I really felt like I was there and am ashamed to say I felt like I would have jumped in a lifeboat (I'm a woman) and that saving Jack was a hopeless task during such a crisis. Of course after that brilliant ending I'm truly ashamed that I felt that way. Did any one else experience this same sensation of actually being there? Also, my husband and I argued about how first class passengers would behave today. He says they would act the same way today, I disagree, any comments?

-- Karen (ejpowell@emry.net), January 12, 1998


I'd be gaffer-taping together deck chairs, mattresses, anything that floats. Also, convincing a dozen people (or so) that their floatation vests would be best used gaffer-taped to the "Tiny-tanic".

(FYI, the fourth (non-functional) smoke stack was used as storage for deck chairs...so meet up with me there!)

-- Thomas M. Terashima (tom@nucleus.com), January 12, 1998.

Well, who are we to say how anyone would act in a situation like that today? Yes I believe there is class distinction today but I do not believe we would be locking gates to prevent people from getting to help in this day and age. At least I hope not! As for the production itself, that is one of the first comments I had after seeing the film (that I felt like I was there). The best result of this film is that there is a whole generation out there that has probably heard of the Titanic but never really knew anything about it. Now they do and and here we go again! It's great, it's tragic and it's history and very interesting history at that! I have been fascinated by this event for 39 of my 49 years and it will never end. It is a lesson in life that everyone should take note of. By the way, my wife says I WAS there in my other life. (She has only fascinated me for 27 years!).

-- Peter Nivling (pcnivling@capecod.net), January 12, 1998.

I believe that high-class society today would not act the same way. I know poeple who would be thought of as "high class" and they are not in the least bit as snobby as those who were on board. Even in a desperate situation I don't think poeple today would do that (unless they had some type of discrimination against less fortunate poeple).

-- not neccecary (smwhre@usa.com), January 13, 1998.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, watching the Cameron film is like stepping into the black and white illustrations from Walter Lord's "A Night to Remember." The interior sets of the forward first class grand staircase, dining saloon and smoking room, the third class common room, the wireless shack, gymnasium, even the engine and boiler rooms, all are letter perfect. The 9/10th scale exterior set of the ship is magnificient. Every door, window, ventilator scoop and deck chair is authentic. Cameron even contracted with Welin Lambie, Ltd., the original manufacturers of Titanic's lifeboat davits, to reproduce the original 1912 davits for the film. The film may have cost $200 mil, but every cent is on the screen. Yeah, I was there. In some ways, I still am there.

As for the first class passengers, it's hard to imagine anyone today behaving like Ben Guggenheim, dressing in his finest attire to "go down like (a) gentleman." And I doubt you'd find a Wallace Hartley (and friends) to play ragtime and waltzes. But I think in a similar situation you'd see the same range of behavior today--denial at first, then selfless heroism from some, stoic resignation from others, cowardice and blind panic from still others. Human nature hasn't changed that much in 85 years. And when you consider that these people had to live nearly TWO HOURS with the knowledge of their almost-certain impending deaths, it's a wonder anyone survived the last hour on board.

-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), January 13, 1998.

Thomas, I'm with you!! I'll meet you at the fourth smokestack and we'll build a great liferaft--let's see if we can get the musicians to come with us so we'll have music while we wait for rescue!! Seriously, I think I'd be throwing something together to float on REAL QUICK!!!

ps can you see Bill Gate$ giving up his spot for a woman or child? :-)

-- Laura Cormier (lrc@usit.net), January 13, 1998.

Just the other day, my best friend Joe and I were discussing your very question of whether or not people would behave the same today. I agree that I don't think "lower class" people would be locked below. However, with regards to the gender issue, I doubt that as many men today would be so agreeable to and so unselfish as to offer their places on the lifeboats to full grown women. Or course, children would be placed on first, but since the great "feminist" issue has taken place, in which so many women have demanded equal rights to men in every way possible, I think a fair number of the men aboard would say something to the effect of, "Screw it--you wanted your equal rights, so here you have them. We have every much right to be on this boat as you." Sadly, I know several men who would more than likely say something similar and follow through with it. Then again, I also know many men who would absolutely give up their place on a lifeboat for any female. I just don't know, it's so hard to tell, because being in the situation must be so very different than thinking about it. At any rate, that was just one of my many thoughts. Oh, and I also felt like I was actually "living" the movie. Even now, five days after my second viewing of it, I still feel like I'm there. I just can't get the movie out of my mind. It was so moving, so hauntingly beautiful....

-- Emilia (ekwiatko@umich.edu), January 13, 1998.

Yes, I felt like i was there, all three times I saw the movie and still every time I think about it. As to the question of would people act the same today. First we have to understand that it is now required for ships to have life boats for all passangers so I think people would probably panic but I do not think people would be nearly as willing to go down with the ship. I think everyone would head for the lifeboats and never look back. In this day and age where people will sue others over wether or not a cup of coffee was to hot do you really think people would be as forgiving as they were in 1912?

-- Miranda Swearingen (Kylen1@hotmail.com), January 14, 1998.

You say you think first class passengers would act differently today, but you don't say whether their current day behavior would be of a more humane nature or more greedy and villianous. I feel firwt class passengers today would act no different. Face it, when people pay more for something they expect more. When was the last time a first class airline passanger let you deboard first or offer you their seat. I also believe third clas would not stay as civil as they did for as long. Today, those gates would have been broken through immediately and it would be a real free for all on deck. An interesting premise to ponder....2200 people, 700 survive. Less that 1/3. Would would survive today?

-- Linda Davis (Ashokan@ulster.net), January 20, 1998.

Thank goodness that today's society isn't like the one in the early 1900's era. For the majority of us, we'd be in 3rd class! But if I was on the Titanic and it was sinking, I'd have broken down that stinkin gate real quick. Adrenaline can do some powerful things---I'm surprised that none of those big guys hadn't broken down that main gate. Sure, the guy had a gun, but how much damage could that pea-shooter have done? Sorry, but a couple people dying to free the entire 3rd class deck would have been worth it.

-- Steve Parkin (steveparkin@hotmail.com), January 24, 1998.

When the scene came up that said it was the last time Titanic saw daylight came I got shivers but I never really thought about being there.Good point!!!!!!

-- Danielle (bayless@shorenet.net), February 06, 1998.

I don't think that today "we'd" be STUPID enough not to put enough life boats on the ship,so it doesn't matter how the different classes would act.

-- Ana (sirabion@bruin.edu), February 19, 1998.

Leave my love behind? Never. I would show him how true I was by risking my life for him.

-- Juliet A E Brisch (noway@sorry.com), March 25, 1998.

ok answering once again. yes, i felt like i was there. i can understand your feeling like you must save your self, although i didn't feel it. this feeling is from when we (as humans) were still developing. we were new to the world. tender peices of flesh that other beings thought would make a great lunch. when we came into danger, we were come over( is the con struction of this sentance right? i don't know i'm only 13) by a feeling that told us that the species must go on. save your self, so you can mate again.i know it sounds stupid, but thats the only way i can discribe it.

-- Juliet A.E. Brisch (noway@sorry.com), May 31, 1998.

Hello Juliet: That doesn't sound stupid at all! What you are paraphrasing is Darwin's Theory of Evolution and to hear that from a thirteen year old right off the top of her head is refreshing! You will run into this in school later on and be forwarned, it is controversial, but very interesting! I don't think the people on the Titanic were thinking about this at the time, but self-survival is a basic instinct and I'm sure that had a part in it. Keep that sharp mind of yours going, you will never regret it!

Regards, Peter

-- Peter Nivling (pcnivling@capecod.net), May 31, 1998.

I don't think I could leave my love behind to save myself. I guess I would have to go find Thomas at the fourth smoke stack and help build that "Tiny-tanic" :-)

-- Nonnie Parker (x96smock@wmich.edu), April 16, 1999.

I just got back from a 2 week cruise today, and I can say it brought Titanic closer to home than ever. (in case you're wondering, no - I didn't plan this cruise to be the week of April 14 or because I love the movie - it just turned out that way!) Well, we had a lifeboat drill and I was more than willing to go out onto the cold decks in my lifejacket and listen to the captain. However, as some fist class passengers did on April 14, many on my deck were protesting. As I was walking down the corridors, I heard some first class (I suppose she would have been traveling that way with the 3 room suite she was staying in) woman protest and say "I refuse to go out into the cold like this. I would much rather stay in my cabin than listen to some man lecture us on something I very well know how to do." Of course I'm not quoting this word by word, but that was pretty much what she had said that night. It's a good thing our ship didn't sink! So Karen, I think many, still today, would refuse to go out onto a crowded deck on a cold night because, as many believed on April 14, "This ship can't sink!" It was really unbelievable, walking down the crowded corridors in April in our lifejackets while we all scrambled up the grand staircase to the boat deck. One man from England was standing in his uniform at the top of the staircase ordering people to their lifeboat, yelling "Everybody get your lifejackets on, come now, everybody get your lifejackets on!" How could anyone that has seen the movie not think of Titanic at that point? :-)Anyway, it would have been a definite yes that some people would have refused to get in a boat. I have much more to tell about the ship that had so much more to do with Titanic on April 14, (they had a moment of silence) but I've bended your ears long enough. :-) Let me know if you would like me to go on though, and I would be more than happy to!

-- Kelly (kelly_rose1@hotmail.com), April 16, 1999.

Please, Kelly, tell us more!

-- Nonnie (x96smock@wmich.edu), April 19, 1999.

So sorry for the delay! Continuing from where I left off...On April 14, 1999, I was traveling home on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas when the temperature dropped drastically since the day before. The sunset was spectacular, and I could tell it was going to be an amazing and clear night. We had dinner in the dining room (Captain's Farewell - I got a chuckle out of that considering the date!:-) and afterwards dancing in the grand staircase centrum. As I was walking back to my cabin, they ship's band started playing "Wedding Dance" and some other original music played on that night, 1912. I thought this was strange, (I really didn't expect a ship to do this) and even more so when they started to play My Heart Will Go On. In the moment after the song ended, the captain came on the speaker and announced we were going to be traveling at 22 knots to get to Los Angeles faster - the same speed Titanic was going when they struck the iceberg. I took a walkabout on the decks and saw I was right - the temperature had dropped to a startling cold and the sky was so clear. Even stranger was that there was "not a breath of wind...a flat calm." I could actually see the stars reflect into the water. I walked back to my cabin, the band still playing ragtime music, and went to sleep.

In the late hours of the night, my sister gave me a tap on the shoulder and told me the engines had stopped. With this thought I was completey stunned - this was too weird. I told her to get her watch, and it was a little after 2:15 in the morning on April 15. I can only guess that the ship had stopped for a moment of silence, so at that moment I said a prayer for those who died that night in 1912. And this is all true! I swear to you this isn't the least bit stretched.

Earlier that day, Apil 14, we had to actually board the lifeboats (now called tenders) and head to shore where the island was we were to visit. Everyone was packed up on the boat deck, loading into the lifeboats, having the same "This is too weird" look on their faces as I did. It was definitely one of the strangest experiences I have ever had, and the truth hasn't been one bit stretched, honest! So there you go - and I can say that it brought a fraction of the reality of what those people faced that night.

-- Kelly (kelly_rose1@hotmail.com), April 22, 1999.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kelly.

-- Nonnie (x96smock@wmich.edu), April 23, 1999.

Beautifully stated and I am green with envy!


-- Peter Nivling (pcnivling@capecod.net), April 24, 1999.

If I had been on Titanic I would have been very greedy and selfish and pushed my way into a boat eventually. If I didn't I would of swam to Collapsible B following Officer Lightoller.

-- Laura Jean Borsello (Laura82585@compuserve.com), March 21, 2001.

I was on board the Titanic--Out of the 2,500 people, I survived. That night, i was walking on the top deck. As i sat down to a drink, i could hear the crash of the mass ship trying to turn. The basic story is that the 900ft ship tried to turn sharply to avoid a large ice burg. The plan failed. Less than 10 minites later, the ship was sinking fast. Belive it or not, the day before the tragity, i was having tea in the dinning area--and who did i see? None other that Rose. I noticed her ravishing dress and relized my mother had the same one. I went to aknoladge her and we said our hello's. That was the last time i ever saw her. Today (age 106) i tell my story of how the S.S. Titanic. The rooms were so very nice and the only bad thing about the rooms, was that now...they lie rusted and dusty under the ocean. She was made of iron. She was built to last. Obviosly, it dident. Though i am old and mabey not going to be alive to awnser your questions, i will try my best. Thank you.

-- Alanna Walsh (dougcross@hotmail.com), December 28, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ