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Examine how The Titanic is a symbol of the 19th Century. So far, I have social...

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tarrance17 | eNoter

Posted December 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM via web

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Examine how The Titanic is a symbol of the 19th Century. 

So far, I have social discrimination.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Part of where the 19th Century can be linked to the development of the Titanic is through the excesses and attributes of industrialization.  As with the industrialization of the time period, the Titanic's development and building was on a grand scale.  It sought to be more, represent more, and embody more than any other ship before it.  The large scale of thought and wide dimension is representative of how the scale of dreams during industrialization took hold.  Few dreamed small.  It was "big."  "Big" money, "big" power, "big" profits, and "big" control that defined industrialization and also defined the building and development of the Titanic.  The fact that the Titanic was billed as "unsinkable" is reflective of this.  Along these lines, the development of  a "gilded" sensibility to the Titanic is reflective of the 19th Century industrialization, as well.  The Titanic was a product of hype and hyperbole, the same elements that lured so many into industrialization and the belief that they, too, can be wealthy and powerful.  I think that this also feeds into the idea of how the Titanic was part of a "gilded age," to an extent.  Real and valid scrutiny of challenges and limitations were put aside in favor of a glittering allure.  For so many, this proved to be disastrous.  The idea of social discrimination, and overlooking the struggles needed to bring about the Titanic are also closely linked to the narrative of the 19th Century, where more struggle and pain was a part of so much considered "good."  I would also suggest that failure to effectively heed the radio warnings of icebergs is reflective of how industrialization in the 19th century failed to fully grasp how the economic marginalization of the lower classes would materialize into discontent and frustration.  The runaway train that industrialization had become in the 19th century was bound to collide with the formidable adversary of economic hardship and marginalization.  The 19th century's approach to industrialization in failing to take heed of such a condition is reflected in the Titanic's failure to heed warnings of icebergs ahead.

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