Doug Palumbo wrote:Well said indeed Dilo. I respect your position. However, I still don't find the story enduring or interesting for the most part. I see why others might but not me. I find it to be yet another example of the 'upper elite' of society looking down their noses at the 'common folk'. Societal oppression at it's most opulent.
... the officers had opened the gates between the classes
and requested that all carpenters, machinists, seamen, and craftsmen among the passengers assemble on deck.
One regrettable side effect (of many) from Cameron's movie is the notion that the ship was divided by full-sized cattle gates. While there were gates in places, most research I've seen indicates they were more like dog/baby fences - about waist high and no real obstacle to anyone with the motive to get across. Though I didn't see it, I understand the British miniseries made the same error, so this goof is likely to be with us for a while.
Third-class wasn't kept below by force. They were, however, waiting with the expectation that they'd have a chance at the boats. To this end, the officer in charge of loading (Lightoller, I think) had intended to put lifeboats in the water, then fill from the boarding hatches on lower decks. Several accounts I've read note that he sent some of his people below to facilitate that, but that once the boats hit water they didn't stick around. It also explains his rationale for putting them over the side half empty.
Meantime, I get what you're saying, Doug. I don't so much have an issue with the point that class difference was factual and deeply felt at that time - I have an issue with modern viewers who look back and see nothing but opulence and shiny things (which is pretty much Cameron's audience). I have a similar issue with steampunk - neat as it can be, I can't get my mind wrapped around everybody being a brilliant wealthy beautiful scientifically-minded noble who thinks like a teenaged Obama supporter in 2012. Especially when the setting is Victorian/Edwardian.
Nothing against a little fantasy, mind you. But if you mean to use history as a backdrop it's probably best to understand it first.