20th Century Studios Wiki

Jackson "Jack" Dawson (born 1892-1912) is the deuteragonist in Titanic. and the love interest of Rose DeWitt Bukater. He dies at the end of the film from hypothermia, protecting Rose by having her float on a doorframe while he stays in the water; he was only twenty years old.


Jack is a man of the world. He travels extensively, working his way over to America on “tramp steamers and such,” and staying in out of the place dives in Paris to study his art. He has no fear of doing new things or having new experiences and agrees to go to dinner in first-class just for the fun of it. He is delighted with physical beauty and the people around him, using every opportunity to sketch and immortalize them in his sketchbook. When Rose wants to talk about doing exciting things, Jack tells her they will do those things. He sizes people up immediately, with no illusions about them. Jack is quick-thinking, improvising using his environment in the disaster (breaking down doors, fighting people off, getting Rose to the highest point of the ship, using a piece of wall paneling to save her life). He also has good usage, aided by a wing pragmatism -- his insights into people are perceptive -- “There’s no boat, is there?” “They have you trapped, Rose, and you’re gonna die if you don’t break free... that fire that I love about you is going to burn out.” He knew Cal framed him for theft without any proof. He knew Rose didn’t belong in the situation she was in, despite barely knowing her. Jack’s final speech to Rose is about how she needs to look toward the future with optimism -- “Go on, and make lots of babies, and watch them grow,” -- but he admits he doesn’t think about more than he has in this moment, most of the time.

He is a free spirit, who knows his own mind and who balks at the idea of Rose being forced or coerced into doing something she does not want to do. He persistently and bluntly asks her if she loves Cal, with the implication if not, why would be with him, much less she marry him? Even though he has a warm, dynamic personality, Jack doesn’t need everyone at the dinner table to like him -- so long as Rose approves. He forms a bond with her that only strengthens the more time they spend with one another. He trusts her to “know” him through this bond after only a short time together. His bluntness comes in handy once in awhile; he is also fast to come up with logical solutions that make sense (“Oh, real slick, Cal -- Rose, he put in my pocket!”). He is not interested in talking about things only, but also doing them. Jack minces no words with Rose in prompting her to let go of social constraints and be true to herself. He tells people off. He issues orders. He acts on his feelings, punching people in the face, climbing into the back of an automobile with Rose. He can detach for a higher good, such as when he pretends there’s another boat and he can get off on it, to get Rose to safety.

Jack is always chasing after a new experience or dream, with an optimistic approach to the world and the people in it. He doesn’t mind winging it, all the time -- he travels the world loving every minute of it, because he “never knows who I’m going to meet” or what experiences he is going to have. He’s comfortable being without a permanent home, working his way from place to place, and gambling with his future in pursuit of the next exiting thing, all out of a desire to avoid being bored or not having fun. When he meets Rose, his distress at her continual compromises causes him to push her to be more free and open, to follow her dreams in an open-minded way. His protectiveness comes out under stress when keeping Rose safe and escaping the ship and makes him generally assertive (he breaks down doors, tells people off, and stands up for himself and others). He doesn’t care what others think of him, but becomes more rigid and demanding when things go wrong (moving to righteous anger in stressful situations, such as suddenly caring about “the truth” when Cal frames him for stealing the necklace).