Ahhh Titanic, the movie where young socialite Rose, depressed with her increasingly mundane life of having everything she could possibly need or want attempts to throw herself from the ship before Jack Dawson sweeps in and saves her, beginning their passionate love affair. Surely Jack’s intervention was for the best?
OR WAS IT!!!!????!!!!???!!!??
Well let’s think about this for a second. Rose is a first class passenger, engaged to the son of a steel tycoon who, from Cal’s own mouth, provided at least 40% of the steel needed for the construction of the Titanic. Let’s say Rose did kill herself, perhaps Jack failed to reach her in time or just didn’t see her. Eventually Cal and Ruth (Rose’s mother) are going to notice her absence but won’t exactly be worried, Rose probably wanders off a lot, we see her leave lunch after Cal tries to order for her and it’s implied that it’s pretty much a regular thing. After searching the ship, which here means getting Cal’s bodyguard/butler/manservant/golf caddy Spicer Lovejoy to do it, nothing turn’s up and so things would get frantic. Cal may actually have genuine feelings for Rose and as for Ruth, not only is she her daughter, she’s also her ticket to maintaining her social standing and wealth. So the word would be put out and the ship would be stopped, why? Because one of the joint owners of the White Star Line, Bruce Ismay is onboard and he seems to care a lot about publicity. We see him persuade Captain Smith to put more pressure on the boilers so they can arrive in New York several days early and the disappearance of such an important person is not something he’d ignore. So Ismay is obviously told of the missing girl on the ship and that she’s engaged to the son of the man who played a huge part in building the ship. Cal would make a scene, it’s Billy Zane how could he resist?, and Ismay would, regrettably, order the ship stopped so a more thorough search could be performed. Once it becomes clear that Rose is no longer on the ship, passengers would be interviewed and, as we see in the movie, some of them have seen her running frantically, almost in tears, towards the end of the ship. She even bumps into a couple of them.
They would say that Rose was running for the end of the ship and surely someone noticed the fact that she was looking pretty depressed at dinner? Not to mention the fact that she’s pretty unruly at the best of times, she talks back to her mother and her snide, if witty, comments at lunch certainly back up the description of an unhappy person. The only real theory that they could come to is that she jumped ship and, because they’ve wasted so much time looking for her, she’s about as living as one of those rocket ice lollies you used to have as kids.
Probably would’ve made a more likable character as well but that’s a rant for another day…
Ismay would be split. Either he carry on and still make New York in reasonably good time but risk coming across as a cold-hearted bastard who left the body of the future daughter-in-law of a man whose steel built the ship in the middle of the North Atlantic OR he send word to another ship to pick Cal and Ruth up so they can search for Rose’s body, meaning that he stall the ship for at least another 12 hours before the nearest ship can reach them and piss off some of the most influential people in the country at the time. It’s not an easy decision but Ismay would probably go with the least publicly damning, he signals other ships in the area, one picks up Cal, Ruth and Spicer and the Titanic heads for New York. With the chance of breaking the trans-atlantic record firmly dead, there’s no reason to push the engines to their limits, furthermore, not only is the ship going to be gripped in both shock and grief over the suicide of a young girl, but Ismay is going to be in no hurry to see the headlines change from boasting Titanic’s immense capabilities to a suicide. The ship slows down considerably, despite obvious protest’s from the regular insensitive douchebags.
I’m looking at you Duff Gordon
Traveling significantly slower, the ship manages to avoid any major collisions in the iceberg field. The ship doesn’t sink and arrives in New York where Ismay expresses his deep regret over the death of Rose, whose body is probably never found. From that day onward, the Titanic is then remembered as the ship whose maiden voyage was marked by the suicide of a 17 year old rather than the deaths of 1502 people.