Was Rose a virgin?

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Forgive my indelicate question, but I have seen this movie 8 times and I just realized the significance of this line by Cal..."Yes! You are. And my wife...in practice, if not yet by law. So you will honor me. You will honor me the way a woman is required to honor her husband...." But earlier in the film, when he gives her the diamond, he says "There's nothing I'd deny you. If you'd not deny me". Well, which is it?! Not to mention, when she and Jack are in the car, and he asks her if she's nervous, she answers NO! Well, that could be for lots of reasons! Not that it really matters. Jack was the true love of Rose's life, even though she eventually married and had children. But this ambiguity is driving me crazy! Darn you Cameron! Now I have to see it again! (boo hoo). I want some 2nd opinions on this!

-- Jen (mjmwalk@worldnet.att.net), April 08, 1998


I'm quite positive that Rose was a virgin. Although it is easy to come up with different interpretations there are a few things that stick in my mind that make me think she was. 1. Cal said "I had hoped you would come to me last night." (This was the breakfast scene when he freaked out on her.) I think he was hoping that that would be their first time together. The "in practice, if not yet by law", in my opinion, simply means that she will obey him and honor him as if they were already legally married. Also, if you read the original script in the scene where Rose and Cal are setting up their stateroom right after they board the ship Cal says something along the lines of "And when I crawl between the sheets, I'll still be the first.The first and only. Forever. (Rose realizes how bleak a prospect this is for her)" Cameron left that out of the final cut. One more thing--the reason she's not nervous with Jack is because she believes in it and knows it's right. I also think her hand is pretty symbolic in that scene. She's going through a total metamorphosis. Does anyone else have an opinion on this??

-- Kate (katejd@yahoo.com), April 08, 1998.

Cameron undoubtedly intended to leave this open to interpretation, as he did with the final scene. I also thought Rose's not being nervous meant she wasn't a virgin. Since I'm a male it's hard for me to judge, but I would think that all females are nervous their first time. Ladies, speak up, and if I'm wrong, tie me at the stake and burn me down. But, I don't think she did it with Cal. "In practice" means that they were engaged. Though the original script may have had Cal saying he would be the first in the sheets (real genteel, Cal! Pig!), Cameron's altering this makes it open to interpretation. Remember, Cameron was the writer, editor, and director, so this line was not cut out simply because due to time constraints. Another question: was Leo a virgin? For a long while, I thought so, because HE was nervous, or at least "trembling" afterward. Don't tell me it was simply because Rose had been better (Bob, you pig!) than anyone he had ever been with. It would be ironic if he was the virgin and she wasn't, and it would also defy the stereotypes. What do you all think?

-- Bob Gregorio (nononon@sorry.com), April 08, 1998.

I think Rose was indeed a virgin (this is my opinion of course). Remember the scene where Rose and Jack are in the back seat of the car, and then the scene where all you see are the fogged up windows and her slamming her hand against it? If she had "done it" before, when Jack entered her, I don't think she would've slammed her hand like that-unless he was very well gifted. I hope this makes sense. And not all girls are nervous when it's their first time-sometimes their excited too.

-- Barb (bsvab@acs.ryerson.ca), April 08, 1998.

I have tried to resist getting into this discussion, but oh well, here goes.....First of all, I just don't think Jack was a virgin. Think about it.... Jack was a handsome, outgoing young man who even charmed and gained admiring looks from some of the ladies at the first class dinner. During his travels around Europe and his opportunities to sketch French prostitutes, I think he had sex at some time or another. Bob -- I think Jack was trembling because he had just had an orgasm. We're all adults here, so I'm gonna say this...my boyfriend always trembles after he has an orgasm, and it's not because I'm great in bed or anything.

Also, Barb, I think Rose slammed her hand against the window when she had an orgasm. But, I just don't know if she was a virgin or not. I hear that young ladies during Victorian times were not nearly as pure and proper as they appeared to be, though.

-- Julie (joiner@stsplus.msstate.edu), April 08, 1998.

The meaning of an engagement in the 19th and probably the early 20th centuries was a bit stricter than we view it now. Back then, an engagement was considered to be almost as strong as a marriage (which was why breaking an engagement was not a step to be taken lightly). In light of this, Cal's line about Rose being his wife in practice if not in law could refer to the fact that, in the eyes of society, by agreeing to an engagement Rose was as good as married to those around her. (Remember also that the script had a line where Madeleine Astor, a married woman, commented to Rose that it was too bad they "were both taken" when she first saw Jack. While this may have been a light comment, it could also relate to society's perception that Rose is essentially equivalent to Madeleine despite the fact that the former is engaged and the latter married.)

Indeed, waaaaaay back when, there were many cultures that viewed an engagement (promise, binding, handfast) to be as good as a marriage, and any children that resulted from it were considered legitimate. While Edwardian society was nowhere near as free as that, the connection between engagement and marriage was a descendant of that concept.

How interesting that engagement changed so much in the 20th century.

(And yes, I think Rose was a virgin.)


-- Mary Lynne Nielsen (m.nielsen@ieee.org), April 08, 1998.

YES!!! She was a virgin. I read the script for this on the net somewhere and in the scene where Rose and Cal have just gotten to their rooms and Rose is unpacking her paintings there was a scene that got cut. It was of the maid saying something about being the first person to sleep in the sheets on the bed and Cal then said something to Rose about being the first and only person in her bed. The script also implied that she was not looking forward to having Cal in her bed. I do have to agree about Jack trembling, I too think it was because he'd just had an orgasm. As for Rose I'd like to think she slapped her hand on the window for the same reason but I also understand that virgins don't usually orgasm the first time so who knows! I can't believe I just said all that on the net!LOL Cheers!

-- Miranda Swearingen (Kylen1@hotmail.com), April 08, 1998.

Miranda, that was my understanding too, but I hated to get into that on the internet also. You know how romance movies, books, etc. have to portray sexual encounters though....It wouldn't have been too romantic if instead of saying "You're trembling...", Rose had said, "Well, that wasn't as fun as I thought it was going to be!"

-- Julie (joiner@stsplus.msstate.edu), April 08, 1998.

This discussion has proven to be as funny as "Whose hand was it?" You gals crack me up big time. "Jesus, Mary, & Joseph!" I never heard such filth. Those of you who still think Rose was a rose and Jack wasn't, you're all wrong! Just kidding. Why am I the only friggin guy who contributed to this discussion?

-- BobG (hahaha@sorry.net), April 08, 1998.

Boy did I ever open up a big can o' worms with this one! I know I raised the question in the first place, but now I feel the need to contribute my own answer to it. I think it is correct that an engagement was just as binding as a marriage, and that is what the in practice remark meant. I also believe that she wasn't nervous because she was so sure of what she wanted. It's perfectly feasable for Jack to be nervous, because he is in love with Rose, and that adds a whole new dimension to sex. So, I believe that Jack was the first man Rose gave herself to. It's just the ambiguity of that one remark (my wife in practice) that threw me off. Cameron probably should've thought of a better phrase, such as "my wife by promise, if not yet by law." Then this whole question never would've come up. Somebody brought up this question on the Entertainment Weekly bulletin boards, and I just wanted to see what you serious Titanic fans thought about it. I didn't mean to upset anybody, or dismiss the beauty of this love story. Thanks for your responses.

-- Jen (mjmwalk@worldnet.att.net), April 08, 1998.

Well, I don't know about anyone else but this question didn't upset me. I thought it was kinda funny. And Julie, I have to agree, it certainly wouldn't have been the same scene had Rose said anything other than "You're trembling." In my opinion James Cameron did an excelent job of showing us this scene. I hate in other movies when you get to see the couple in bed for way way to long. I don't like to see EVERYTHING!!!! So I thought Cameron did a wonderfull job of getting the right balance and showing just enough but not to much!

-- Miranda Swearingen (Kylen1@hotmail.com), April 26, 1998.

Okay, this question has probably reached it's used-by-date by now, but I'm going to answer it anyway.

I think that both Rose and Jack were virgins. It would have been improper for Cal and Rose to have slept together before they were married and when Rose confronted Jack about his artwork and said "I think you had a love affair with her" Jack just said "no, just with her hands" and I feel compelled to believe him.

It makes it all the more special to think that they were both virgins anyway, at least that's my opinion.

-- Emma (dilemma76@hotmail.com), August 25, 1998.

Better get those tomatos ready to throw in my direction again ... I think Rose had been with Cal, and that's the significance of his remark about "wife in practice". I think too that was a reference to the fact he was putting out the big bucks for her -- and her mother. Try this one on for size: Rose, having already been with Cal, was despairing of spending the rest of her life with him. Maybe the first time, she had a crush on him, but bedding him cured her of it.

OK: i'm making spaghetti sauce now .... (tomatoes)

-- Nightfire (summerrose34@hotmail.com), November 15, 2003.

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