Titanic Movie [Communion, Faustian Pact, Literary Intertextuality]

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  • Topic: RMS Titanic, Titanic, Thomas Andrews
  • Pages : 7 (3030 words )
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  • Published : April 26, 2011
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Theme: Through the theatrical use of communion in the course of dining, a cleverly constructed Faustian pact, exposure of figurative vampirism, and literary intertextuality, the director of Titanic discloses the classic motion picture of young, aspiring love separated by tragic circumstance. (Assignment was to choose a movie and use the book 'How to Read Literature Like A Professor' and compare the movie's themes to the author's themes in the book and relate them.)

Title: Unfathomable
The question was to die for something or to live for nothing. The fundamental nature of Rose DeWitt Bukater’s character shines in her comment regarding Picasso’s paintings when she states that “there is truth, but no logic” (Titanic). Her artistic avowal was questioning the balance of the value of subsistence against the method and validity of its content, which was also her personal dilemma. In Director James Cameron’s epic movie Titanic, the young debutante, Rose, her affluent affianced Cal Hockley, and Rose’s mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, board the lavish, ill-fated ship in an entourage of extravagance. Almost avoiding his providence, American Jack Dawson and Italian friend, Fabrizio DeRossi make the final boarding of the unsinkable Titanic by winning steerage class tickets on the steamship minutes beforehand in a “lucky” game of poker. As the ill-fated vessel departs upon her wayfaring, passengers are separated and sorted by their respective class of societal rank based on wealth and affordability of ticket. As an unlikely, star-crossed romance blooms between Jack and Rose, her moral convictions and her heart conflict with her societal and familial obligations. In Cameron’s factual depiction of the R.M.S. Titanic’s unfortunate destiny, he spins the fictional, heartrending love affair between Jack and Rose while exposing the noxious narcissism of the upper class through the use of literary themes. Through the theatrical use of communion in the course of dining, a cleverly constructed Faustian pact, exposure of figurative vampirism, and literary intertextuality, the director of Titanic discloses the classic motion picture of young, aspiring love separated by tragic circumstance.

Thomas Foster, in his book How to Read Literature Like a Professor, teaches lay readers and students of literature how to recognize themes, symbolism, and patterns in written works to enhance understanding and enjoyment. In his straightforward way, Foster gives insight into meals shared by characters: “whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion” (8). He cites that dining together gives clues to emotional interaction among the dining companions. Foster further explains that “[t]he act of taking food into our bodies is so personal that we really only want to do it with people we’re very comfortable with” (8). Sharing a meal is used as a plot device or point of axis on which behavior may hinge. Dining together not only shows loyalty, kinship, and generosity between players in the literary field. Ceremony of a meal can facilitate a familiar ground where the characters can gain respect or dislike for each other, share something in common or find differences between themselves, convey tension or conflict, exhibit harmony or happiness, and form or break bonds. Meals on the luxury ship Titanic are a vehicle of exposing societal class and status as well as illuminating Rose’s struggle from those who inhibit her independence. In Titanic, several meals are shared among a closely knit group of bluebloods who flaunt the opulence of high society. Rose Bukater is engaged by duress to Caledon Hockley, a very arrogant and controlling man, wealthy heir to his American steel tycoon father. Cool mannered, calculating, and a member of upper crust, Cal Hockley is oblivious that Rose does not want the marriage. During their first meal aboard ship, Rose is holding a theatre-length cigarette holder and begins to smoke, which was fashionable for women during the early...
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