Born in Philadelphia in 1895, Rose DeWitt Bukater is 17 during the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Played by Kate Winslett, Rose boards the ship with her fiancé Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane) and her mother Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher). Although she does not love Cal, she is being forced to marry him by who mother who is obsessed with maintaining her social status. After the death of her father, Rose and Ruth were left with nothing. Rose is one of the two main characters in the Titanic movie.
Tired of the repetitive lifestyle she leads, she tries to commit suicide by throwing herself overboard. She is convinced to save herself by third class passenger Jack Dawson who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jack and Rose end up falling in love after dining together in the First Class Dining Room, and Jack sketches Rose wearing nothing but the fabled Heart of the Ocean; a necklace given to her by Cal.
The two then make their way to the cargo hold where they find William Carter’s brand new Renault traveling car. The two proceed to make love in the back seat. They return at 11:40 pm when the ship hits an iceberg. When the two warn Cal and Ruth about the collision, Jack is framed for stealing the Heart of the Ocean and is locked in the Master-at-arms office. Rose is taken onto a lifeboat with her mother but then leaves to rescue Jack.
Cal and Jack convince Rose to board another lifeboat and Cal tells her that she is making arrangements for both of the men to leave the ship safely. Cal betrays Jack and Rose returns for Jack once she finds out. The two are then chased by Cal who is holding a pistol. Once Rose and Jack escape Cal, he realizes that the ship is about to go down and heads back up onto a lifeboat after pretending to care for an abandoned child.
Once the ship sinks, Jack helps Rose onto a floating door that can support the weight of one person. The two exchange words and Jack assures that she will make it out alive and die in her sleep as an old woman. Jack then dies of hypothermia and Rose boards the RMS Carpathia. She then sees Cal, who is desperately looking for her. She hides her face in a blanket as soon as Cal looks over and Cal walks away never to be seen again.
She arrives in New York and introduces herself as Rose Dawson. She does everything that she promised Jack she would do including horseback riding on the beach, going to Santa Monica Pier, flying a plane, etc. At the end of the movie, Old Rose (Gloria Stewart) drops the Heart of the Ocean into the deep.
While in bed, she dreams of being reunited with Jack at the grand staircase of the Titanic, kissing him, and receiving a large round of applause from those who were lost in the Titanic disaster. Whether she is dreaming or if she dies is something that director James Cameron leaves up to the viewer.
Rose DeWitt Bukater Quotes
Old Rose – “Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. There were twenty boats floating nearby… and only one came back. One. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six… out of fifteen-hundred. Afterward, the seven-hundred people in the boats had nothing to do but wait… wait to die… wait to live… wait for an absolution… that would never come.”
“A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me… in every way that a person can be saved. I don’t even have a picture of him. He exists now… only in my memory.”
“I saw my whole life as if I had already lived it. An endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches. Always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter. I felt like I was standing at a great precipice, with no one to pull me back, no one who cared… or even noticed.”
“It’s been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.”
“The others were gracious and curious about the man who had saved my life. But my mother looked at him like an insect. A dangerous insect, which must be squashed quickly.”
“That was the last time I ever saw him. He married, of course. And inherited his millions. But the crash of ’29 hit his interest hard, and he put a pistol in his mouth that year. Or so I read.” (speaking of Cal Hockley).
“I know. It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I trust it.”
“I believe you are blushing, Mr. Big Artiste. I can’t imagine Monsieur Monet blushing.”
“I will do this with or without your help, sir… but without, it will take longer.”
“As a paying customer, I expect to get what I want.”