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The Theme of Social Classes and Inequalities in The Movie Titanic

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Every day people are faced with the harsh reality of sociological issues. Including classism and inequality due to sex and gender. For instance, 76% of all countries have at least one law treating women and men differently including, applying for a passport, conferring citizenship to their children, and having their testimony hold the same evidentiary weight in court. The harsh truth to reality is that gender inequality is real but often swept under the rug. To top it all off, classism is often overlooked as well. The American Dream is a common trope in much of the United States’ mythology. The core of its ethos is that with hard work and dedication, anybody can achieve success and prosperity. While optimism and perseverance are admirable traits, the path to financial success in the United States is not as simple and straightforward.

The chances of one becoming wealthy in this country are slim to none, and there exist many barriers that impede upon those seeking opportunity. It is said you are nothing in life without money, but to who’s aggression. No one person is better than another due to their class in society. No one person is superior because of their gender. But people live by those unbalanced opinions. It’s something society teaches you. Money means power. Titanic a movie directed by James Cameron (1997), is a story that captures the harsh reality of classism, sex/gender inequality, and ethnic inequalities.

Throughout the movie Titanic, social class is a problem. Social class is the division of classes based on social, economic, and achieved status. All of the events on the ship are broken down based on which social class each person falls under. The upper class was those who were on a luxury trip and were those who attended all of the fancy dinners and nice events. Jack, one of the main characters, wins tickets onto the titanic after getting lucky in a game of poker. He is a penniless artist whose income falls below the poverty line putting him in the social class of the working poor. He is constantly reminded of is lower class while on the ship. He must attend all of the 3rd class dinners and events. He was not expected to be in the company of anyone in the first class. Which is when one of the main conflicts of the movie comes into play. Rose, another main character, the daughter and fiance of a very wealthy family is apart of the upper class. Within the upper and middle class it was more common to be in the company of one another. The middle class was mainly the professional working individuals.

As the middle class wasn ‘t as low as the lower class the relationships between the two were accepted. Since Jack was in the 3rd class and Rose was the 1st class, once they met their interactions were not acceptable. There was a great class conflict between the two. There was such a class conflict between the two due to the difference in their status and their competing socio economic interests. But despite their class difference, they couldn’t hold back their interest in each other after Jack saved rose from committing suicide. Once Rose’s fiance learns that Jack is the one who saved Rose, he invited him to a 1st class dinner. For Jack it was very different but he enjoyed spending time and making new connections with Rose. This led to social stratification between Jack and the others at the dinner. As social stratification means that some people have greater power, status, and wealth than those in the other groups, Jack was looked down on for simply not having money like the rest of them did. Throughout the whole scene the others think they are better than jack, presenting the issue of classism.

Rose enjoys the company of Jack despite his class, but understands that she needs to marry into a wealthy family for the survival of hers. This is alluding to the idea that classium is something learned socially through family and interaction. Her father died and left her and her mother in a difficult situation as he made most of the money. She must marry into a family with a ton of wealth to continue the type of lifestyle she was used to, the abundance of valuable possessions and money.

Gender stratification is also a big role in their relationship. Cal, Roses fiance is one that makes it clear on her place in their relationship. Cal makes it exceptionally clear that Rose must obey and reflect well on him, and if she doesn’t consequences that include violence may be put in place. Gender Stratification shows that Cal is the higher between the two according to their gender. Cal felt that he had prestige over others like Rose and Jack. That his achievements and his high class and being a successful male made him much more qualified to be with Rose, even if Rose didn’t agree. Rose didn’t care about her fiance’s achievements and prestige, as her feelings for Jack were growing. They snuck off to hide from her fiance and because their relationship wasn’t accepted for many social reasons.

Class and sexism weren’t the only problems presented, there were also many ethnic situations on the ship. The Titanic also known as “the ship of dreams” wasn’t necessary the dream many were hoping for. There was little opportunity for those who didn’t speak English or speak it well at that. They were not treated well and nearly all of them died once the ship sunk, after being locked where they were staying and not allowed on the lifeboats. This shows a great example of minority vs dominant group in the Titanic. Those of different ethnicities were singled out due to not being american and speaking english like all of the first and middle class. They had no power, privileges, or social status because they were minorities.

The Titanic was a prime example of the difference between the social classes and how many were treated for not being apart of the upper and middle class. It shows how being a male from a wealthy family was key if you wanted respect and prestige. Also that being American was very important if you wanted privileges. All of those who thought they were on the “ship of dreams” were very disappointed when they were treated so horribly due to the fact that they were the minority in the population on the ship. The movie Titanic had hidden messages that relate to the real world. Such as a male making a woman feel as if she was a step down from him to address the issue of classism and poor treatment of minorities.

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The Theme Of Social Classes And Inequalities In The Movie Titanic. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-social-classes-and-inequalities-in-the-movie-titanic/
“The Theme Of Social Classes And Inequalities In The Movie Titanic.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-social-classes-and-inequalities-in-the-movie-titanic/
The Theme Of Social Classes And Inequalities In The Movie Titanic. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-social-classes-and-inequalities-in-the-movie-titanic/> [Accessed 21 May 2022].
The Theme Of Social Classes And Inequalities In The Movie Titanic [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2022 May 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-social-classes-and-inequalities-in-the-movie-titanic/
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