Why is Cinderella like the Titanic?

Cinderella is a fairy tale a child of five knows. Titanic is a blockbuster romance in which the ship sinks but love lasts. How can they be similar?

I have recently fallen into the habit of analyzing every story I come across, using Joseph Campbell’s Hero Cycle or the Monomyth, and through those glasses, I can see the similarities. You can, too.

Cinderella is also a romance isn’t it? Poor girl meets rich boy? In the Titanic, the roles are reversed. Poor boy meets rich girl. Let that be our basis for exploring this concept.

Poor Jack is Cinderella in the Titanic. Rose is as inaccessible as the prince.

1. First we show the primary world: Cinderella at her duties at home, wretched and miserable; Jack with gambler friends. Both are shabby creatures, but we root for them.

2. Cinderella hears about the ball and the handsome prince through the invitation. I am calling this invitation the TICKET to the WORLD OF ADVENTURE.

Jack’s TICKET is the ticket he wins. He sees Rose from afar.

3. Enter FAIRY GODMOTHER. Cinderella, being a simple fairytale, keeps it simple. The Titanic, meant for an older audience, makes this a bit complex. Margaret "Molly" Brown is the FAIRY GODMOTHER, and helps Jack enter the UPPER WORLD OF ADVENTURE in proper costume where he can appear to be equal to the PRINCE, who is Rose. Jack’s tuxedo is the Fairy Godmother’s GIFT.

4. The TIME PRESSURE is the midnight warning in Cinderella and the sinking of the ship on the Titanic.

5. The PRIZEs are the glass slipper and the jewel, the Heart of the Ocean. Notice the reflective similarity? In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, it’s the stone.

Now I leave you to explore this further. If you hit upon any insights, please post it below for the benefit of all.

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Comments 43 comments

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

That's the best way to look at the world - seeing connections. Therein lies wisdom.


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

I am keen on the Titanic.

I was believing my last poetic muse had upset you stomach.

Suggest you try the Omlettes a la King, perhaps The Baron

Glad to see that rubish did not kill you off.


sandra rinck 8 years ago

have you read Jenny's hub The Spiritual Journey? Its a lot like this. Very interesting. After a while it makes me wonder how valid we are as people. I mean was it always our notion or was it fed to us?


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you, early commentors! :)

Yes, Paraglider, connections and unity is wisdom. Seeing differences is not.

Frank, your poetry only increased my appetite!

Shall read, Sandra, thanks!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Nothing, yet all is new again...or is it all new things rehashed...or opposites attract or...fun hub Kenny.

regards Zsuzsy


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Everything is a rehash, though done subconsciously, right!

Thanks, Zsuzsy!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

I never thought of it in that way...Leave it up to a sweet guy like you to come up with this. Been wondering where you were...Missing your touch kenny....How is the family? as well as you ? G-Ma :o) hugs and kisses.....


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thanks, G-Ma. Missed you, too but was busy with an overload of work. Sweet guy, eh? Hope my critics agree. Sweet people think other people sweet, actually.

Lots of hugs and kisses.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Well thought out. I would not have even thought it could be connected. good hub


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you, Eileen. I just want friends to appreciate stories in a variety of ways.


The Indexer profile image

The Indexer 8 years ago from UK

Somebody once analysed humour and decided that there are only seven jokes, but an infinite number of variations on the themes. The same is doubtless true of literature.

You could look at this question from the opposite angle and ask why it is that fairy stories, such as Cinderella, have such abiding popularity? Could it be that their themes are universal and keep recurring in stories down the centuries?

There was an excellent TV series on the BBC recently in which traditional stories such as Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, the Sleeping Beauty, and so on, were presented as modern dramas, with their themes reproduced in contemporary situations. The idea worked brilliantly, as it did in an earlier series of dramas based on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Who was it who said that there is nothing new under the Sun?


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Absolutely right, Indexer. Thank you.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 8 years ago from North Wales

Nothing new under the sun.

I think Jesus was first quoted as making that statement perhaps not exactly the same one but the same meaning.

I agree with The Indexer, tragedy from as far back as Greek Philosophy.

Thanks Gareth.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

And from whom did the ancient Greeks copy?

Thank you, Gareth.


Kanelbullar profile image

Kanelbullar 8 years ago from Dublin, Eire

Hmmm interesting


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Kennnyyyy;)

Interesting article and i shall be keeping an eye on these comments debate!.

Good to c u back;)


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 8 years ago from North Wales

Ancient Greeks copy human's.

The principles of tragedy I think could only be based on observations, reason and inquiry but this is a human attribute not Greek, so human’s copy human.

Where as the Greeks recorded their findings into basic principles so others could learn to perhaps formulate their own knowledge or understandings?

Throughout time there have been periods of enlightenment a bit like your own but I personally think tragedy, Cinderella and the Titanic is really about power, a power greater than yourself or to put it another way we are but mere mortals.

To try and understand my thinking more on this take a look at this page:

http://hubpages.com/art/Being

Thanks, Gareth.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you Kanelbullar for the thoughtful appreciation. :)

Ah, my friend, Compu-smartest, please keep an eye on this, thanks!

Thanks, Gareth, but we are not 'mere' mortals. How can a piece of art be called 'mere?'


stanskill profile image

stanskill 8 years ago from Greensburg, PA

Lets not forget the the ultimate lesson both Cinderella and Titanic share: Through all odds true love knows no bounds.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Stanskill, I forgot that lesson both have in common, thank you. Love conquers all.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 8 years ago from North Wales

Thanks, Kenny for an opportunity.

Hey Kenny how are we not 'mere' mortals because I think we are extremely insignificant with very little power in comparison to the sum total of everything?

How can a piece of art not be 'mere' art when it is only based on the observations, reason and inquiry of something so insignificant as 'mere' mortals?

Would you please enlighten me.

Gareth.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Power isn't always the key, Gareth.

When we look at what we have achieved, and what we will achieve, also taking into consideration how much we have destroyed and our capacity to destroy, we are not 'mere.'

A piece of art represents the creator to an extent and is a part of the creator. It os all the more significant becauses it serves as an extension of the creator.

Of you are an atheist, you may consider us to be a significant part of nature. If a believer, then we do God's work.

Thank you for making me think deeply, Gareth.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 8 years ago from North Wales

Hi Kenny thanks for getting back to this so quickly with a reply.

Is this close to what you are saying?

As individuals or on mass we have the power to generate good or bad, achieve or destroy and we can only compare it to our selves which in comparison is not mere or insignificant because it matters to us.

So if the above is true then art is significant to the individual and the wider society because of the above?

If this is what you are meaning I agree but we also have so little power over the all, events happen outside of our control and at best we can only manage them.

That is what I mean by something greater than ourselves.

Thank you Kenny.

Gareth.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you, Gareth. :)


figur8 profile image

figur8 8 years ago

I've always wanted to be a novelist but whenever I wrote a story, I could immediately see where I'd "stolen" my ideas from no matter how much I tried to "modify" the storyline. Older and wiser now, I realise that everyone steals ideas from somewhere - it just depends whether your readers can recognise it.

During my teenage years, I was an avid reader of fantasy novels, but it wasn't until I finally got through Tolkien's Lord of the Rings that I finally understood why he was hailed as the pioneer of the modern fantasy novel. Many modern fantasy novels borrowed ideas from his epic.

Now that you've kindly pointed out the similarities between two stories that seemingly appear contrasting, I realise that writing a novel isn't about coming up with a completely fresh idea, but taking an existing idea and putting a really interesting twist to it.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Yes, Figur8, you have put your finger on the nub. There is no absolutely original idea in the world. Every theme vibrates throught the ages.

But the good news is, every writer is unique, and his or her stories, the way he or she tells it, that is also unique. Like children, we really don't want new stories, we only want good ones. Ones as good as those Mom or Teacher told us when we were little.

Thank you for a brilliant comment!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

great debate!!

hang in there kenny,,, your da man!!:)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thanks for coming back. my friend!


Erinn 8 years ago

Wonderful article Kenny! Another member has stolen it though, so make sure you visit her page and flag it, she stole mine as well!


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Hey, I've read this before ;) Excellent hub. Shows it is a quality article if someone copies it :)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thanks, Erinn! Yes, I saw that hub and flagged it. :)

Uninvited, welcome and thanks for looking at the copying that way! :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Kenny, I've been staring in front of my screen for ten minutes now LOL as Cinderella and Jack rolled in front of my eyes. Well, it's something to ponder upon. I guess what entered my thoughts right now is that all the cinderella's and the jack's in the world (who have been led to believe that their lives are just a pitiful mess) has the opportunity to see a world of possibilities - richness of life, love and abundance. The choice is in their hands, as it is in ours.

--michelle, ripplemaker :-)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Yes, Michelle, the responsibility is each person's. Once they realize that, they can see choices laid out before them.

Thanks for that insight and ripples. :)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Couldn't agree more. I've also noticed that many movies use common themes from Shakespeare's plays.

The same is true in music. Anyone who's done any listening to classical music will hear it all through modern rock, especially in the more progressive bands.

Who was it who said "Nothing is new under the Sun"? ...Hope I didn't mangle that too badly.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you, Constant, you are right. The beauty lies in the treatment, as all storytellers are unique.


sun goddess profile image

sun goddess 8 years ago from davao city, philippines

interesting perspective... now i know why movies feel the same yet very much different.... i guess nothing's new...

although i don't get the prize part...


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you, O Goddess!

The prize is something that people compete for: gold in Mckenna's Gold, the ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the ring in 'Lord of the Rings...


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Kenny I enjoy your interpretations of Titanic in comparsion to Cinderella and there are many parallels there. This is one of my favorite scenes from Titanic and I think it illustrates your points very clearly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD0QozMu6fM

Great hub and thanks for sharing!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Sweetie Pie, you're really that! Thanks for the video! :)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

There's a theory that, like the original 7 jokes, there were only ever a few original storylines (plots), that all were used eons ago, and every tale passed down orally or in written form ever since is but a variation of one of them.  I believe this is true, which is why there's no such thing as an "original" novel and why a writer might feel he's borrowing from another's works.  Because he IS.  We all do to some degree, not to the point of out-and-out plagiarism, which is another issue entirely, but if one has a working brain, certain themes or ideas will be filed away, consciously or unconciously, in one's memory.  Which is the whole point of writing and storytelling - to share and pass on one's experiences and ideas. Why write if nobody will ever see it? That you can recognize the similarities between Cinderella and Titanic shows storytelling doesn't change over the centuries, only the names of the characters and their circumstances. 

Great hub!  Much food for thought!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Yes, Jama, absolutely right!

Either it is that there are only so may plots, or it could be that only certain plots only work while the rest would bore the reader or the audience.

And thank you!


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

It seems to me that great stories are like mannequins dressed differently one from another with the greatness, or perhaps memorableness, of each coming from the originality and creativeness of their costumes.

Thank you Kenny for another super hub!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 5 years ago from Chennai Author

You are absolutely right with that simile, Maralexa! Thank you. :)

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