Titanic, the Ship of Dreams: A Marxist Criticism Approach

By Kyla Marie Dizon

The movie started in the quest for a rare diamond necklace, the Heart of the Ocean led by Brock Lovett, a treasure hunter but unfortunately they are not able to find the necklace. Instead, they found a drawing of a girl wearing the necklace they have been looking for quite a long time. The story started when Rose Calvert is brought aboard Keldysh, the research vessel and started to tell her experiences in Titanic. The throwback scene started showing the busy and excited crowd ready to get aboard to the luxurious Titanic including the first class passengers, Rose DeWitt Bukater, her mother Ruth, and his fianc� Caledon Hockley. Distressed over the engagement, Rose considered suicide by jumping off from the rail of the ship. Jack Dawson, an impecunious artist who disheartened and saved her from falling off the rail. Cal Hockley invited Jack for dinner together with the first class passengers as his reward. After the dinner, Rose and Jack developed a contingent relationship even though Ruth and Cal are chary of him wherein Rose clandestinely joined a third class party with Jack. Rose being aware of her fianc� and mother's disapproval, she refused Jack but later on she realized that he favored him over Cal. She brought Jack to her state room where she requested him to draw her wearing only the diamond necklace gave by Cal. After they have dodged Cal's bodyguard, they witnessed the collision of the ship with an iceberg. While on the other side, Cal saw the insulting note of Rose that's why he planned on slipping the necklace to Jack's pocket with the help of his bodyguard, Mr. Lovejoy. With that, Jack was brought to the master-at-arms' office handcuffed. Rose on the other side, refused to go with her mother in the lifeboat and chose to save Jack. After saving him, they reunited with Cal and together with Jack, they encourage Rose to go to the lifeboat. Rose jumped in the middle while lowering the lifeboat she's in to go back to Jack. After defying several obstacles, they returned to the boat deck and the ship broke into half. In the ocean, Jack helped Rose to get into a wooden panel that's only buoyant enough for a one person. Unfortunately, Jack didn't survive because he literally froze to death but with a strong heart, Rose survived. The movie ended with Rose reunited with Jack in the Titanic's Grand Staircase while being applauded by the people who died from the tragedy, after the Old Rose dropped the Heart of the Ocean into the sea.

Aside of the love story of Jack and Rose, James Cameron gave justice in showing the social differences in the society during the 1900s in the movie. The fact that people on the ship were divided into three classes - the upper class who can enjoy number of amenities and accompanied by personal staff, the middle class who can enjoy their own library, and the third class who are banned to mingle with other classes. The imbalanced of societal power is evident through Ruth Bukater and Cal Hockley in their perception about Jack. Ruth even considered Jack as a dangerous insect that needs to be squashed quickly that is very noticeable when she banned Rose from seeing him because he is just a penniless artist who cannot provide them a luxurious life unlike Cal who can provide them more than an exorbitant life that's why Rose needs to marry him to ensure their survival and not to totally lose their wealth. The most palpable part of the movie where social difference is shown was when First Officer Murdoch, the officer in charge on the night the ship struck the iceberg closed all the doors from where the proletariats are working. He just thought of his safety and other first class passengers, but he did not considered the safety of those people working, full of sweat just to make the ship going. Another scene that showed the social differences of the people in the ship was when the third class passengers were being locked behind the gates. Diverse voices of pleading, shouting, and crying that have been heard but have never been entertained. They are treated like caged animals that will gone wild if not given food. The reason behind this is that they need to save the upper class first then the middle class and lastly, the third class. This social difference made a huge part in the death of thousands in the tragic shipwreck of the R.M.S Titanic. The gaps between these economic classes are not and will never be good in our society. These gaps will just remain as a poison that needs to be abolished like how the water from the ocean took the life of those people. Especially the third class from which the most number of deaths are recorded.

Titanic really deserved to be known as "The Best Movie of All Time" for it meritoriously showed the reality of how people act, and live according to their class. It also gave justice to those who are being discriminated because of their status in life. The characters magnificently portrayed their roles and touched the hearts of many through their sincere acting. The cinematography and music added an enormous impact to the success of the movie. The death of Jack also made the movie unique for it is very rare in a movie that the main character died and the ending will surely give you goosebumps. Titanic is a ship of dreams, it really was. But forgot to mention, nightmares are dreams too.

Article Source:  Titanic, the Ship of Dreams: A Marxist Criticism Approach


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