Why was the builder of the ship playing with the clock?

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Why was the builder of the ship playing around with the clock when he was just standing there waiting for the ship to go under? Is there some kind of symbolism here?

-- Jennifer (jens@mail.snip.net), February 23, 1998


I think he had nothing else to do but wait for the ship to sink he adjusted the time on the clock.

-- Jennifer (foo@bar.com), February 23, 1998.

Thomas Andrews was a perfectionist about the ships he had built. He had come along on the Titanic's maiden voyage to look for problems, large and small, that could be corrected. From what I know about his personality, no detail was to small to warrent his attention. If there was a problem with the color of the trim on the walls of the private suites, he noticed. If he felt there were too many screws on the hat hooks in the staterooms, he made note of it. During the voyage, he had made plans to turn part of the ladies reading and writing room into additional staterooms, since the room was larger than was needed. This was a man who wanted things RIGHT.

By showing him adjusting the clock in the first class smoking room five minutes before the ship goes down, Cameron is emphasizing this character trait in Andrews. He's given up hope, for the ship and himself, but some part of him still will not let go of the passion that drove his life: making great ships. It's a very touching moment, and I think says the right things about this remarkable, unfortunate man.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (cathytom@ix.netcom.com), February 23, 1998.

I thought of it as a very personal, almost affectionate gesture. ( You don't change the clock in someone else's house.) It reminded me of brushing the hair off a child's forehead when he is sick. Andrews was powerless to fix the "big" problem, but he could do this one last little thing to make it right.

-- crystal smithwick (crystal@9v.com), February 23, 1998.

Tom and Crystal have said all there is to say about that scene. It was very moving.

-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), February 23, 1998.

Mr. Andrews was in shock. He and Captain Smith were reported to be distant and distracted. They probably resembled soldiers returning from battle with a 'thousand yard stare', not believing what they saw. For Mr. Andrews and Captain Smith the unthinkable was happening. They just could not accept the concept of Titanic sinking even while they watched it happen. Put yourself in their place, what would you have thought or felt or done?

-- Linda (Ashokan4@Yahoo.com), February 24, 1998.

It's worth noting that this particular scene, like many others, is true to history insofar as Andrews leaning against the wall which held that painting and clock, according to A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. I don't remember if the book said he was adjusting the clock, but someone did say to him,"Won't you even make a try for it?"

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

Responce to Why was th builder of the ship playing with the clock?

Before I read everyone elses' responces to this question, I had thought that he was changing the clock so that it would be accurate when the ship sunk (he moved it to the approximate time that the ship would be emerced). I had also had the thought that it was because he was a perfectionist with the ship and the time was wrong. But now I don't know. Maybe everyone else is right. (?)

-- Laura Pliner (pliner98@hotmail.com), February 24, 1998.

well, i think it was a deep and moving part (it made me cry) and i think he was playing with it because (the first time i saw it) he was setting the time for when titanic was to sink)(the rest of the times i watched it)) he lost all hope; he was devistated and set the clock for the time titanic his greatest creation sank right from under him, something he thought he could control was out of control and when he said sorry i didn't build you a stronger ship it made me relise he probaly thought that he failed.

-- Bergangy (ilt29@hotmail.com), April 13, 1998.

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