Titanic Feminism Critique

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In the film Titanic, women are seen as below men and are told what to do by men. Women are deemed as helpless without the support of a man, which the main character, Rose DeWitt Buster, defies throughout the film. Rose breaks many of the traditional “rules” of the time period in which the film takes place. Feminism is seen predominantly in the film Titanic. Women are deemed as helpless in the film. Many instances take place where women are shown as helpless and needy, but Rose ends up breaking through this stereotype of women.

Rose is seen as helpless when she attempts to escape her problems by jumping overboard in a suicide attempt. When Rose slips while standing on the railing of the ship, Jack has to save her. This is another example of Rose having to be saved. But Rose also turned this idea around by defying against her mother and her fiance, Cal Hockey. She goes against her mothers wishes and chooses to run Off with the man she loves, Jack Dawson, and not the one her mother wants her to be with, Cal. Rose also smokes cigarettes, which does not please her mother.

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Lastly, another example of helplessness is seen in the ship itself. The Titanic was referred to with female pronouns, which gives it a feminist personality. When the ship fails and sinks it’s shown as helpless, nothing could save it. Women are portrayed as not savable without men, but Rose defied this idea in the ways she carried herself and the decisions she made in the film. Possession of women is seen throughout the film by men trying to possess their wives or soon-to-be-wives see possession of women in the film. Cal tries to control Rose.

This is shown in scene in which Cal acts out in violence to show his dominance over Rose. He says that she should not be seen at any of the lower class parties again. Rose then remarks that she he could not treat her like a piece of property or like one of his workers in the mill. He remarks with “You are my fiancee! ” and acting out by flipping over the table and storming away. By saying that he means that he controls her, who she talks to, and where she goes. Lastly, a remark is made to Cal in reference to Rose. A friend of Calls says, “Congratulations, Hockey, she’s splendid! This is portraying Rose as a prize that needed to be won that Cal now has possession over. In this film possession over women is seen as a common thing. Women are portrayed as materialistic and vain in the film, especially Rose’s mother, Ruth. Ruth only wanted Rose to be with Cal because of his money. Rose’s family had lost their money because of the debts her father left behind when he died. Ruth wanted her daughter to be Cal so that they could continue their luxurious lifestyle. Rose and the other women on the ship wore corsets to make men perceive them as thinner.

Looks in the film were very important to the upper class women; they always were wearing detailed reuses that were very well fitted. Cal also gifts rose a fifty-six carat diamond which shows that fine things were important to Rose. Materialistic and the personality trait of being vain was seen by the women in always being extremely put together and done up in the film. In the film Titanic, we learn that women can break free from the possession of men. We see this in Rose breaking free and doing what she wanted with who she wanted. She also demonstrates this by doing things for herself and not being seen as a helpless woman.

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Titanic Feminism Critique. (2018, Feb 01). Retrieved from


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