Jack and Rose in “Titanic” Movie


Lily Cravens

     The R.M.S. Titanic, at its time, was the largest moving object ever built. It was known as the “ship of dreams” and carried over two thousand people. During the early hours of April 15, 1912, the boat ultimately sank after crashing into an iceberg on its voyage to New York City. The movie Titanic was released in 1997 by director, writer, producer, and co-editor James Cameron. He had a fascination with shipwrecks and he believed he could intertwine a love story with the disaster; it incorporated both historical and fictional aspects of the wreck. It stars Kate Winslet as Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack- two members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship. Jack was a third class citizen, who had no living family and spent his life drawing to make any money he could. Rose was just the opposite: she was a member of the first class, with a wealthy fiancé and millions of dollars in jewelry and paintings. They were never meant to meet each other, but as Rose stands on the edge of the railing on the stern of the ship and threatens to end her life, Jack notices her and convinces her to give life a second chance. Due to their status, their lives before boarding the ship were extremely different, but what we come to find out is that their personalities are more closely related than we could expect. 

     In the movie, Rose DeWitt Bukater is a seventeen year old girl from Philadelphia. She is forced into an engagement with 30-year-old Caledon Hockley: an American industrialist and the heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune. Rose was not marrying this man because she loved him, but rather because her and her mother could maintain their first-class status after Rose’s father died and left the family bankrupt. However, she did not enjoy the luxury that her status was given. Rose was shown to be tired of her repetitive lifestyle and treatment by her family. She was pessimistic about the outcome of her life, as she believed she did not have much control over what was happening in it. As previously stated, she attempted to end her life at the back of the ship, but was ultimately led to step down from the railing by Jack. She was convinced that suicide was a way to escape this life. Aside from the tumultuous lifestyle, Rose was well-educated and kind-hearted. She was even a trained dancer and a binge drinker. Rose was striving to live a life that was worth living- one that was different from the average first-class member. 

     Jack Dawson was born near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 1892; he was twenty-years-old while aboard the ship. Both of his parents died when he was fifteen in a fire and he had no other known family. From that age forward, Jack had to live on his own, which resulted in him traveling the world. He earned money at any job he could, from working on a squid boat to drawing portraits on a beach pier. Jack boarded the boat only because he had won the tickets in a lucky game of poker right before departure. He stated that he slept under a bridge the night before he embarked on Titanic. He was a third-class passenger, which entailed sleeping in a room full of bunk beds with people he was unfamiliar with. Other than the characteristics of his life, he was a strong swimmer, a good liar, and a skilled public speaker. Jack did everything he could to live a happy and enjoyable life, no matter how much money he had or the family he lacked. 

     Though all of these visible differences existed, Rose and Jack had many similarities in their personalities that did not go unnoticed. Rose was shown to be an enthusiast of artwork; she had works of Picasso and Monet in her stateroom. Jack was a skilled artist, who drew portraits to make a living off of. They both possessed the ability to fight: Rose broke a man’s nose with a single punch and Jack knocked a man out while they were both underwater. But most importantly, the two were not afraid to break the social normalities for their personal contentment. Rose once snuck away into third class with Jack to drink and to dance with the members of that status. She ventured away from her family to find him again, on the boat deck, to talk about her personal life. If Rose’s family would have known her true intentions with Jack, these moments would not have happened. She knew this, but she was bold enough to take the chance to enjoy the life that she had. As for Jack, he taught Rose how to “properly” spit off of the side of the ship until her mother caught her. Jack attended dinner with Rose once, and even though he had never been in a situation like this before, he charmed the first-class members at the table. Jack even borrowed a coat to conceal who he was in order to find Rose in a place he was not supposed to be in. No matter how many times the two were caught together, nothing kept them apart. The social classes that they were assigned to and the amount of money that each person had to their name did not matter when they were together- what mattered was their happiness. 

     As the story goes, the R.M.S. Titanic sank just a few hours after hitting an iceberg. Jack found a door, originally from the ship, floating in the ocean and let Rose lie on it. He sacrificed his life for her, as he froze in the ice cold water. She was soon rescued and survived to be 101 years old. Rose Bukater and Jack Dawson were never supposed to meet aboard this ship; their social statuses and vastly different lifestyles made them opposites. However, these two people were not afraid to fight for what they believed in. They were not afraid to risk their lives for each other, no matter what everyone else thought. She loved Jack because he was caring and free-spirited, and beneath all of the negativity caused by her family, she possessed the same characteristics. In just four days, Jack had turned Rose’s life completely around, into one worth living- and I believe Rose had done the same in Jack’s life.