April 14th, 1912. At 11:40 tonight is the anniversary of when the Titanic struck an iceberg and disappeared into the middle of the North Atlantic. It’s been 104 years and I, along with many others, still care.
A year ago I wrote a post: Why do we still care about Titanic 103 years later? Everything I said then still applies today. The one thing that has changed since last April is that Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar. Which, naturally, means I rewatched Titanic.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to question some of the decisions made in the film and begun to ask: What if? What if the ship hadn’t hit the iceberg? What if both Jack & Rose survived? Would Jack & Rose have been able to have their happy ending? This is what I’m going to discuss today.
Let’s start with some historical background.
Titanic begins in Edwardian Britain. This was not modern society. Cal and Rose were engaged… in an arranged marriage. This was an arranged marriage to secure the Dewitt Bukaters’ place in high society. Rose tolerated Cal at best. But she was still engaged to him and in those times this meant something. They were practically married already. Rose couldn’t just call off her engagement and choose Jack; that’s not something that happened. She had very little power to do so. In running around and sleeping with Jack she violates this agreement. I’m not condoning Cal’s actions but given the time period I can understand it. The audience wants Jack & Rose to be together, and I want them to be together, but given what I know about history the two of them had too many social boundaries standing in their way.
But let’s consider the movie happens as it is, whether it’s likely to have happened historically or not. Now there are two scenarios that could hypothetically have happened in this movie besides what actually did:
The Titanic makes it to New York
Would Jack & Rose have lived happily ever after? I really don’t think they would have. First, the ship sinks on Sunday. If the ship had kept up speed they would have made it to New York on Tuesday night. That’s two entire days where Jack & Rose would have had to avoid Cal and Ruth. We saw how angry and jealous Cal got when he saw the drawing and discovered the truth. Once he found the drawing that Sunday night this still would have happened. Cal and Lovejoy would have found a way to have Jack arrested and if an escape attempt was made Jack most likely would have ended up dead.
If by some chance Jack & Rose are able to spend the final two days in peace hidden away in 3rd class what would have happened when they arrived in New York? Would her mother have just let Rose get off the ship with Jack? I highly doubt it. She had worked too long and too hard at maintaining the Dewitt Bukater image to let her only daughter run off with a penniless artist.
Relationship Forecast: Doomed. ?
Jack and Rose both survive the sinking
There is one scenario where Jack & Rose could have made it to New York safely. If the ship sunk and they both survived. Rose already fakes her death; in this scenario it would be the two of them doing the same. This is the only way they could have escaped Cal and Ruth.
This would bring the pair together in New York. Rose does a very good job of putting her life together when she gets there by herself after the sinking. I’m choosing to believe if she had Jack there they would have done ok. Both would have had absolutely nothing to their name. No money, but each other. You know true love fixes everything, right? But seriously, I think this is the only possible situation where Jack & Rose could have got their happy ending.
Relationship Forecast: Happily Ever After. ?
What are your thoughts? Could their love have survived? Who else does a yearly watch of Titanic on this day?
Till next time,
– Justine Alyssa