A Night to Remember: Cultural Representations of the Titanic in 1950s America

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Windrow, Ashley
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Scholarship Sewanee 2014 , Titanic , Cultural history of the Titanic , 1950s in America , Post-War America , A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
When Titanic's journey as an ocean liner tragically ended in 1912, its journey as a cultural medium through which different generations have reflected, reconstructed, and interpreted its narrative and its meanings through their own cultural lens. Thus, cultural representations of the Titanic prove to be valuable sources of cultural history. This study centers on cultural representations of the Titanic in the 1950s, specifically focusing on the 1953 Oscar winning film, Titanic, Walter Lord's 1955 best-selling account of the wreck, A Night to Remember, and its subsequent film and television adaptions. In a post-wear world, the age of anxiety, Titanic became a vessel through which issues of gender, family, and nation were discussed and certain views were propagated. These representations of the thought-to-be "unsinkable" passenger liner were bound by the contexts they were created in and provide a useful and valuable insight into the issues facing society and the psyche of the nation in the 1950s.