Titanic Parallels: Letting Go “pg. 30 vs pg. 90″ moments
“Pg.30″ The first time we hear the words, “let go” are when Rose exclaims, “No, stay where you are! I mean it, I’ll let go.” To which Jack responds, “No you wont.” It’s an audacious reply to someone attempting suicide, but in film world, it’s symbolic foreshadowing.
“Let go” has both literal and symbolic meanings. During her suicide attempt Rose threatens to let go of the railing if Jack comes any closer. The audience takes it more literally in this moment, without much thought to the symbolic meaning of it, as she would also be “letting go” of the life she desires to live. Despite her threat, he does approach her and she doesn’t let go. Moments later she slips and screams in peril; jolted in the present moment into realizing how valuable her life really is, she pleads with Jack to help her. Jack promises he wont let go. In so much, Jack is holding onto the value of Rose’s life (symbolically and literally on two occasions) from the moment he speaks to her, throughout the body, up until…
“Pg. 90″ Towards the end of the film, before Jack’s body gives into the icy waters, he places upon Rose the same responsibility he placed onto himself earlier in the film: for her to not let go of her life.
This time the audience takes it much more symbolically, despite it makes much more sense to be received as a literal meaning, given they are both inches from death in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. Jack makes his case by sacrificing his own life for hers, thus showing her exactly how much value he sees in her life. Alas, Rose literally let’s go of Jack in order to symbolically not let go of: the value of her life, and now, his with it.
Although many fans love to be mad at Rose for literally letting go of Jack, we have to remember that Rose kept her promise to him, and she never let go of fighting to lead the life she wanted. As hard as it may be, you can’t see Jack as just her love interest. If you do that, then I would argue you miss the primary emotional plot of the film: Rose’s journey to seeing that her life has value, and then fostering that value by making each day count. Jack Dawson is a literary device, a vehicle, if you will, to merely show Rose the value of her life. Once he does that, his journey is done. Leo makes it irresistibly hard for the audience not to fall in love with Jack, and ultimately we do; but it’s not Jack’s story. It’s the story of Rose realizing that her own life is valuable and can have meaning to it, so long as she never lets go of fighting for it.
She is still my friend, my sister. It doesn’t matter if we don’t talk, doesn’t matter if we fight, it doesn’t even matter if we would kick eachothers asses. She will always be a part of me, deep down she will always be my sister. I will never let that go.
I see us getting married, moving in together, cuddling on the couch, waking up to the good morning kisses, having arguments, making up after, cooking our favorite foods, smiling for no reason, annoying each other when we’re bored, having the cutest little babies, watching them grow up, never leaving each other’s side.
Derek shot his hand out and grabbed Stiles’ wrist. “Stiles, stop,” he snapped. He could see someone that he recognized as one of Stiles’ neighbors curled up on the ground in front of the mailboxes. The neighbor’s heartbeat was rabbiting out of control and the smell of blood was coming from him.
“Derek, what -” Stiles turned to look into the lobby and froze. “Oh my god. Tyler!” Stiles darted off towards his neighbor. “What happened?! Fuck. Derek call an ambulance!” Stiles stood there staring, blood everywhere on the floor around his neighbor.
“Stiles, don’t touch him,” Derek barked. “He smells sick and you don’t know if it could be contagious.”