Cal Loved Rose? : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

Looking for other's opinions: Some people say that Cal didn't love Rose or that he only wanted to possess her. I felt that way except for one scene. When Cal had the chance to get into a lifeboat, his bodyguard told him that Rose was on the other side of the ship. Cal thought for a second then went to retrieve her. While I don't think Cal's love was the same as Jack's or as true; I do believe that Cal loved her in the only shallow way he knew how. Now, I've only seen the movie once (the horror!), so I may be missing some key elements of that scene. Anyone care to comment?

-- Tracey (, January 29, 1998


Cal never loved Rose throughout the entire film. She was merely a posession to him: "So *it* is a little slut isn't it." Mr. Cameron's language throughout the film indicates things reflective of this matter. As for the scene you mention, it is indeed more complex; and cannot be looken at as a single scene, but rather as part of a chain of events. Presumably, Cal tries to work out an arrangement with Mr. Murdoch to ensure his place on a lifeboat. (The film never tells us the full details of the arrangement) Later, when he does find Rose with Jack, it turns into a competition for Rose, "I always win Jack". He wants to destroy the object of Rose's love (Jack) because he could never be like him.

-- chris (, January 29, 1998.

Just to back up what I said earlier, Cal is a truly hateful human being. Recall his line about people dying on the ship, "Not the better half." He disreguards human life. There is only one scene in the entire film where we see any sign of ambiguity in the Cal character; when he picks up and takes the child on the boat. Even by this action though, in the context of the rest of the film, he still cannot be seen as inhibiting the good or moral side of that ambiguity.

-- chris (, January 29, 1998.

I agree with everything above that I understood. He loved her in the shallow way of which he was capable. Another indication of the love is his offering her his coat (which happened to contain the diamond).

-- Bob Gregorio (, January 29, 1998.

I think Cal did love Rose, not to the level of Jack's love, but as much as he himself could love. On the deck of the Carpathia, he was looking for her, even though he 'lost' her to Jack. I'm sure Cal never lost anything before in his life, and the fact that he still didn't give up his search for Rose proves that he still loved her, in his own wacked up way. Do you think he was comfortable walking around in his tux with all those steerage passengers? It would have been easy enough to pay someone else to do it. If she was merely a possession that wasn't his anymore, I don't think he would have looked. Cal grew up with a silver spoon up his butt, and learned all though his life that material items made him better than poor people. Rose was poor when we met her, her father spent all the family money. You have to wonder if Rose never was deprived of anything if she would still have the attitude she had in the movie or would she have been more like Cal. The human species is, as a general rule, very competitive. We don't want to keep up with the Joneses, we want a bigger TV, a more expensive car, a bigger house, etc. etc. Look at how well Communism and everyone as equals has worked. Even their higher-ups with power eventually caved in to the very basic desire to have more; and thus on some level, be better. Look at the amount of credit card debt in this continent, we like to pretend we have more than we can really afford. To Cal, material items proved to the world that he was better than others without all his stuff. Jack's stength of spirit was his way (and at this point in his life, his only way) of being better than others. Am I saying that materialism is good? No. But it is fundamental in our society. When Rose is unloading paintings in her cabin, Cal's making fun of her taste in art. This is obviously something Cal let her buy because she wanted it. The Picasso's were cheap enough, but I think at that time Degas and Monet were pricey. If she was a possession, wouldn't he not give her any spending money? Sure he might let her dress up like a fancy doll, but after that, she wouldn't get much. It's easy to hate Cal for his reasoning on the value of human life, but he did love Rose.

-- Jen (, January 29, 1998.

Jen: I think you hit the nail on the head (for me anyway), I couldn't have said it better! I think Cal did love Rose, in his way, which for us was hard to identify with. Not coming from that era and having the wealth that Cal had. The pure mentality was different, so we find it hard to accept that Cal ever loved Rose. But in his very twisted way he did. Remember when he gave her the diamond, he said something to the effect of "Oh, open your heart to me Rose", that's when I knew he loved her. He so desperately wanted his love to be returned.

-- Caron (, January 29, 1998.

Whoever said that Cal showed humanity by picking up that child is sadly mistaken I'm afraid. The only reasond he picked up the child was to try and pass it off as his own to insure a spot in the lifeboat. He begged "please, I'm all she's got" before securing a place. However, I'm quite positive he loved Rose. She was his most dazzling jewel and very precious to him. If anyone has read the script, there are scenes in which it is very plainly stated that Cal feels this tremendous, but pathetic love for his lost finance.

-- Kate (, January 29, 1998.

Cal did love Rose, the only way he knows how. besides, J. Cameron revealed Cal's love when he passed up on an awaiting life-boat to look for Rose.

-- M.M. (, January 29, 1998.

I think Cal did love Rose, of course in his own way, the best he knew how and could. Actually, the original script goes even further to show that on Carpathia he meets Rose but she wants a break up. The script is clear about his love to Rose, he felt remorse when he had to leave her. He was angry with Jack because he also thought he had nothing material to offer her. During those times, wandering artists were not considered stable and reliable family. Cal knew Rose was broke, like her mother. But he wanted her for himself as a posession, while Rose wanted to be a free spirit. If Cal did not love Rose at all, the drama would lose from its power. But in the end, Cameron produced a less loving Cal, more appropriate for a movie.

-- Dan Draghici (, January 29, 1998.

In his own way, Cal loved Rose. If not, he would have gotten into the lifeboat instead of going for her. Of course, he didn't love her like the way Jack did.

-- Colleen (, January 30, 1998.

Jen i hate to break it to you but the only reason Cal was looking for her in the boat"carpathia" is beacause he knew the diamond was in the coat.Remember in the scene when he had the gun? He starts laughing cause the diamond was in the coat he is such an a...... but in one thing you r right he could have paid someone.

-- Karla Perez (, January 30, 1998.

Oh and 1 more thing about what u guys said of passing up a life boat...The only reason he did that is that he doesnt know how to lose and he knew he had lost Rose to some one poor wich just makes it worst (I know cause he told jack i always win) so he tried everything 4 jack to dye without rose(what an ass......)

-- karla peerz (, January 30, 1998.

If we're trying to answer this question, I think it is important to define what we mean by 'love'.

My favorite philosopher once wrote: "Love is a response to values. It is with a person's sense of life that one falls in love--with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person's character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gesture, which create the *style* of his soul--the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable conciousness."

With that in mind, ask what Cal and Rose share. We certainly see that he wants to possess her; I don't think that's the same as loving her. They don't seem to have any common interests and they don't see the world in very similar terms (sense of life).

Cal holds a very Victorian view of love and marriage: the woman is the subordinate of the man; she is chosen as much for her social position as anything else; her job is to produce children and obey him. As such she is the crowning ornament of his life. He also believes that social position determines one's moral worth ("...not the better half.").

Rose's sense of life (which Jack helps bring out) is not just different; it is nearly the opposite. She does not want to be confined; she wants to DO things. She wants to be free.

Cal may have believed that he loved her, but I think that that is an illusion. Their marriage could only work if she gave up her "self", her identity, and that (fortunately) is what Rose cannot do to herself. And if anyone is tempted to claim that I am using too modern a standard of love here, think about it: that's one of the central conflicts of the film, two different views of love and romance. Rose is a very modern woman, which I'm sure is part of her great appeal as a character.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (, January 30, 1998.

Cal loved Rose. Love is not always a two-way relationship. In the best situations it is, but haven't you ever loved someone without being loved back? You write:

"One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person's character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gesture"

Cal loved the fact the Rose was a lady. She was polite, could keep up a good conversation, knew how to make good impressions on people. Why wouldn't Cal love her? Good etiquette has more to do with being polite and forming and strengthening relationships that an exclusive club for the rich. Good manners are timeless and classless.

Look at how jealous, and then angry, Cal was when Rose was with Jack. Even when they just walked around the ship together, not improper, you knew that it pissed Cal off. If you have no feelings for a person, you won't be angry. It would be a "whatever" situation.

"With that in mind, ask what Cal and Rose share. We certainly see that he wants to possess her; I don't think that's the same as loving her."

I think possession comes with love. I love my fiance dearly, I want to spend my forever with him. I'm his slave and he's mine. We want to be each other's one-and-only's forever. Isn't that why monogamy comes with marriage? I know that some of his interests are not the same as mine, but we are loyal to each other, and appeciate the differences we have. Yet at the end of the day, we have a commitment, a commitment to be loyal to each other. Haven't you heard of people abandoning themselves to love? To abandon something, someone else has to possess it.

"she is chosen as much for her social position as anything else" The important word here is chosen. Cal chose Rose. He could have chosen other girls with family names as important or more important than DeWitt Bukater. He didn't. Something drew him to Rose, certainly wasn't the family fortune! "He also believes that social position determines one's moral worth ("...not the better half.")." What does that have to do with loving each other? They're two unrelated topics. Do you think that the Queen of England doesn't have the ability to love because she's upper crust?

"Their marriage could only work if she gave up her "self"" Marriage is about compromise. Who's saying she has to give up her "self." Once, again, lets go back to the cabin when Rose is unloading the paintings. Cal let her buy them, he's amused that she has such a wacky taste in art. If he not let her buy them that would be suppression. In the private areas of their life, Cal let Rose be herself. In public, a lady is expected to behave in a certain manner, just like a gentleman is expected to behave in a certain manner also. The one time I can think of Cal chastising Rose is public is when she made the comment about Freud and size at tea. That was cheeky and out of line. Diplomacy is very important. Can you imagine Madeline Albreight telling Saddam Hussien to his face that he's crazy? Certain things are not proper, and can lead to disgrace and battles.

"I am using too modern a standard of love here" You are. Love is timeless. There's no such thing as modern or ancient love.

"Rose is a very modern woman" What??? There's no such thing as a modern woman. Being and thinking is timeless. Are you saying that at 3:23 on May 17, 1951 women as a whole changed they're mindsets? The only thing that holds people back is restriction placed on people by society. Which brings me to the Victorians. And by the way 1912 isn't Victorian. We don't know what life was like in private. Heck, we really don't even know what life was like in public. All we have in what historians want us to have. And if you dig deep into that society and not make generalizations, you'll learn of the important roles that women played back then. But that's another forum. If a man truly loves a woman he doesn't suppress her. There's probably as many loveless marriages today as there were back in 1876.

Cal was losing Rose. That made him angry. In a loveless relationship you get to the point where you don't care what the other person is doing and you feel no emotion. To the end, that didn't happen. It's easy to hate the upper class because they're different than you. Isn't that what racism is about also? Understand what kind of life Cal lived and you'll understand that he loved Rose.

-- Jen (, January 31, 1998.

"possession comes with love" (from Jen's previous post)

well, possession can also be confused with love. cal didn't love rose, he possessed her. if you noticed, in the scene where cal speaks with rose in front of the mirror, cal only looks at himself. the reason might be because cal doesn't look at rose as a seperate person with feelings and emotions (he wasn't even looking at her), but rather he views her as a doll, an inanimate doll, HIS inanimate doll. their relationship can be likened to that of a master/slave relationship. i read an excerpt somewhere of a woman who "harbored a special affection for her slave Annica but noted in her diary that 'I whipt Annica' for insolence." the same "special affection" holds true for the relationship between cal and rose. notice how cal slapped rose for her "insolence" after she runs off to the lower deck party? did cal truely LOVE rose? i don't believe so. she was merely his prize; she was a habit that he had grown use to.

(the quote was from some history book i have, i can provide a full bibliography if need be)

-- Jordan Gray (, January 31, 1998.

Then can anyone explain the purpose of Cal saying "Oh, open your heart to me Rose". Don't you believe that in HIS OWN WAY, no matter how twisted it seems to us, and no matter how very self-centered he was, that he DID love her?

-- Caron (, January 31, 1998.

ok, cal didn't want rose to "open" her "heart to" him, but rather he wanted for rose to take a submissive, passive role in their realationship. That fire that burned within rose, that quality about her, the sparkle that jack loved so much, bothered, even threatened cal. it meant that cal could not forcibly control rose. cal wanted to break rose; she was simply his race horse or show horse. to his distaste she would buck when cal tried to ride her and embarrass him when he tried to display her. i dunno... call me pesimistic, but i don't see love in the eyes of cal, but rather greed and jealousy. the reason that cal went back for rose instead of boarding the life boat is because he "always wins." i think he was more concerned about someone beating him, someone who is not of "the better half" publicly discracing him. cal believes that he is better than everybody else, and for jack to upstage him shakes the foundation of his existance.

-- Jordan Gray (, January 31, 1998.

This is obviously a controversial question. I know that to love someone does include wanting to be with them all the time, always. But love does not include possession. If one were to define love in Thomas's "higher" terms, then Cal did not love Rose. If he did, he would have had the courage to let her go, to let her be happy with Jack. Her happiness would have been paramount to his own. As Jack said, "I need to know that you'll be alright." Cal just wanted to make sure HE was alright - that he got off the ship, that he got the girl, that he had the jewel. That is not love. In the end, was he looking for Rose? Or was he looking for the diamond? Thomas, great quote. Who is that philosopher?

-- Rose (, February 01, 1998.

I believe Cal did love Rose. To be honest with you, it was the first question I posed to the group I went to the movie with. Think of it: the ship was SINKING, the night was FREEZING, and yet Cal gave up both a guaranteed seat in a lifeboat, and his coat for her. Compared to Jack's selfless love Cal's was nothing, but I truly believe that it was neither manners nor competition that provoked him to do those two acts. I also believe that part of the reason he behaved badly towards her was because his love was spurned. Don't get me wrong here. Cal was an egotistical, arrogant, snob, but he WAS human, and I think we were able to glimpse his humanity in those random acts of kindness with Rose.

-- Suzan (, February 01, 1998.

I agree with those who say Rose was a possession to Cal. His 'love' was a superficial veneer to cover this. Imagine if Cal had actually married her. He would have crushed her spirit and she might have a: become an alcoholic or something to escape her life, or b: kept rebelling and she would have ended up a battered wife.

Whatever his feelings were they were not the stuff successful marriages are made of, ever.

-- Lianne (, February 03, 1998.

Suzan, i had completely forgotten about the coat! I was even about to admit that cal might have had a shred of redemption in him. THEN it hit me. I don't think the act of giving her the overcoat was an act of love or compassion. I believe, in following with cal's character, that he was marking his territory. It makes sense. Jack had taken rose from him, and now, in his mind, he had the chance to get her back. So he put the coat on her as if to say "she's mine now/again."

isn't it intersting how his greed was his undoing across the board? If he hadn't been so greedy and given jack more than 20 bucks (for the rescue) maybe jack wouldn't have come to dinner and the romance might not have occured between jack and rose. If he hadn't been so greedy with his ownership of rose (a) she might not have run off to commit suicide and met jack (b) he might not have felt the need to set up jack with the jewels, which lead him to place the jewels in his pocket, then later place the overcoat on rose. if he wasn't so greedy with money he might not have gotten so far into the stockmarket without deversifying then loose everything. Finaly, if he wasn't so wrapped up in his possessions he might not have felt the need to kill himself after the stockmarket crash.

at least thats my two cents.

-- Jordan Gray (, February 03, 1998.

if you read the script where cal puts the coat on rose it says he did it because she only had a blanket covering her soaked dress and that it looked indecent. he didnt do it to mark property or show he cared about her, it was all for show.

-- april mueller (, February 04, 1998.

Ok, this is a quote from "James Cameron's Titanic:" Every sentence is this book was either written, or proofed and approved by JC himself, the writer of the movie. "Cal loved Rose.
Cal's heart was breaking just as he was realizing he had one." If people still want to believe that Cal didn't love Rose, well whatever. The author feels differently.

-- Jen (, February 07, 1998.

I guess I am a bit biased here because I think Cal is so sexy and rich if I was Rose, I would have just shutup and obeyed him, that way he would have had no reason to be cruel to me!

As for the question...I think Cal did love Rose in his own way because he had a reason to be mad at Rose. I mean she cheated on him and run off with a poor guy for god's sake!

If I was with him, there would be no way I'd leave him that's for sure!

Anyway, when I watch Titanic now...I just love watching him be cruel and powerful...ITZ SUCH A TURN ON!!!

-- Lauren (, December 31, 2003.

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