The creative expression styles marked by simplicity, harmonious proportion, clarity, and balance all compose Classicism. As far back as early Greece the style of Classicism was used in architecture and the arts. Modern society cinema also expresses the style of Classicism. The movie Titanic by James Cameron possesses the Classicism concept’s realism, humanism, and Aristotle’s theory of Unities.
Many schools of writing practice realism. Realism is a response against romanticism. Realism is the desire to find the ideal. Being able to define realism is difficult because of its different uses in American literature verses European contexts. Realism is the writer and artists desire to represent various lives in different context through the accurate representation of the story or art work. The plot is not as important as the character or characters are in realism. The plots also include moral decisions. Characters represent their social class and social class is extremely important. The movie Titanic depicts realism because it is more focused on the characters than the actual sinking of the ship. The story details the lives of the main characters. There’s a lot of emphasis on their lives, emotions, desires and personalities. The author focuses on the fact that the upper class passengers were considered more important than the lower class passengers when the ship sank. There were not enough life boats when the ship sank, the upper class passengers got to use them, the lower class passengers were locked in on the bottom deck so that they could not get on any of the lifeboat.
The idea that this world contains more beauty than the world after was the basis for Humanism. Prior to the Renaissance people had a lot of faith in God, and life after death. As time progressed this belief began to fade. People started to think more about the importance of the moment, in this life. Beauty became more important than faith. People found others to look up to such as Aristotle, rather than looking up to God. Ways of thinking were no longer monopolized by churches. Humanism brought about the sense that the only thing that really mattered was the human mind’s importance in the here and now. Humanism also brought about political changes which resulted in a more liberal feudal system. The political system was also divided into classes, upper class, middle class, and lower class. The upper hand was held by the upper class. Humanists wanted to be educated and speak with eloquence. Humanism also brought about the requirement that scientific theories be tested and confirmed. Artists were no longer confined by religious themes, they were free to investigate and create whatever came to mind. The movie Titanic focuses on the beauty of the main characters, Rose and Jack. Even though Jack is poor and Rose is wealthy the story deals with their physical and inner beauty. The two are kept apart at first because of Rose’s social standing. The story also shows the theory of humanism because it portrays the upper class citizens as more important than the lower class passengers. When boarding the ship the lower class passengers had to get health inspections while the upper class passengers were allowed passage without inspections. The lower class is portrayed as dirty, rough, uneducated, and rowdy. The upper class is portrayed as more sophisticated, gentle, clean, and well educated.
Aristotle’s Theory of Unities is based on the belief that harmony and balance naturally drive the universe. Aristotle believed that men are not created equal. Superiority and inferiority were determined at birth. Some people are born to lead while others are born to be slaves. He also believed that governments work for the state, not the people as individuals. Another one of his beliefs was that the middle class is the most qualified to run the government. In the movie Titanic social standing is not determined by wealth but rather by birth. Molly Brown came into money but was not accepted by the elite because she was not born into wealth. The story emphasizes the fact that Jack should not try to be a part of the social elite. He needs to know his place. The upper class portrays men superior to women. The lower class portrays women as equals. Aristotle believed that the middle class should rule, however the movie Titanic did not depict a middle class therefor the upper class versed the lower class display the differences in social standing. The story contains tragedy as well as romance. Rose tries to kill herself at one time because she is not happy with her life.
The movie Titanic by James Cameron is filled with Classicism concepts, three of them being realism, humanism and Aristotle’s Theory of Unities. The story is lightly based upon the real tragedy of the ship however the emphasis of this story is on the lives of some of the passengers and their inner turmoil.
Cameron, J. Titanic
Fiero, G.K. Landmarks in Humanities