Amazing Saga And Allure Of The Titanic

Ever since I saw "A Night to Remember" on TV in the mid 60s, I have been fascinated by the Titanic and the surrounding lore.  The ironic stories like John Jacob Astor possibly being hit by the collapsing funnel,  the founder of Macy's, Isador Straus and his wife refusing to enter a lifeboat, the architect deliberately going down with the ship and the heartbreaking discovery that more 3d class children died than 1st class men.

 

It was a time of innocence and rigid class divisions, before income taxes, anti-monopoly laws and WW1.  Everyone knew their "place" and acted accordingly.  Were it not for the Titanic's sinking, many of those social mores would have remained maybe to this day,  However one frigid night in April changed all of that forever.  Thank heavens!

I am fascinated by the ironies involved, the deliberate lack of lifeboats, the under loading of said boats, the lack of folks to venture forward to save their fellow passengers from drowning and freezing after Titanic went down, the baker on the stern who did not even get his head wet, the untold numbers of people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and those who had not even signed up for the Titanic, but were put on there because of a coal strike.

While "A Night to Remember" is, in my opinion, the best movie, Cameron's, if you ignore the plot, was beautifully done and encompassed many little known details about the sinking.  I was so excited when Ballard found it!  And I agree with him that it should remain untouched.

I saw the Titanic exhibit several years ago in San Francisco, and was rather disappointed in the whole thing.  Expensive, and not much to see.  But that is sort of a good thing, seeing as I just wrote above that the remains shouldn't be touched.

This interest has led me to reading about The Andrea Doria, The Normandie, The Lusitania, The Morrow Castle and many other ship sinkings and wrecks.  I have no clue why, except that I guess I am interested in the behavior of people in dire situations.

Anyway, I pretty much own all of the books I can find about the Titanic, and the above mentioned ships, including the game and a cardboard model of Titanic sinking.  Haven't put that one together, though.  My family always knows that if they find something related to the Titanic and ship wrecks, that I'll be very delighted when I open it on Christmas.  :)

 

Exaspera Exaspera
56-60, F
3 Responses Feb 11, 2010

It touches on the umbrella themes that still affect us today: Class struggle, power, manipulation, greed, hope. Shakespeare could have wrote this. (In fact, perhaps there is the next place for this story, a shakesperian version of the story complete with old English!) I hope people take from the story of this ship how small people became heros, how big people became villans, how love can conquer the fear of death, and how, in the end God or the natural laws of nature and physics, always win. Arrogance of man (they said she was unsinkable) will always bite him on the b*m (remember the Challenger disaster)

For me, it's the Bounty. When I read the story it was almost as if I already knew it, and I was maybe 11. I could name the entire crew and their jobs. I was enchanted by the description of Tahiti in the Nordhoff- Hall book, and have read many others since.

Exaspera<br />
You put your thoughts down so beautifully, i can feel your passion and love for not only the Titanic, but any vessel that sails the seas.<br />
I too, have this passion, and have been lucky enough to have travelled by large ships, across the Mediterranean, thru the Rock of Gibraltar, and acroos the Atlantic....<br />
And as a child, also read everything I could get my hands on, about the titanic, and my girls also share this enthusiasm...We actually watched it 2 evenings ago.<br />
Thank you for the memories, and also for wanting to be my friend,<br />
Chipperchick