One thing we see is that the 3 passenger classes were kept to their own deck or decks -- steerage-class passengers could not simply wander up to the first-class areas (although it appears that first-class passengers could go to the other class areas).

If Rose wanted to jump from the ship, would she not have done so from her own deck? If so, how did Jack access where she was? Is it implied that he was hiding in a place he was not supposed to be? Or were there areas common to all classes and one such area was where Rose was about to jump?

EDIT: I found this: https://www.naburnschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Titanic-comprehension.pdf and on page 2 of this document it explicitly says that steerage/3rd class (same thing) could not go to the first or even second class areas.

The term "steerage" literally has to do with steering the ship and such an area would likely have been near noisy machinery -- in particular, the propellers. This implies to me that Rose was indeed in a steerage area and perhaps there was either no good place from which to jump in first class or simply she needed an uncrowded/ideally without-people area from which to jump (I mean, of course she would have) and that happened to be in third class.

  • 1
    @ToddWilcox: Maybe I am wrong but my sense is that there was segregation. People dressed extremely differently and had not just separate quarters but separate dining rooms. So what would be the reason that a steerage passenger would have to wander in the first-class area? Does it not seem likely that first-class passengers, like good ol' Cal would vehemently object to their presences at any time?
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 6:25
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    Having been on a ship like this one for years (similar to the QE II) I can assure you one can get anywhere when you know her. A ship is a labyrinth of stairways and corridors. Segregation doesn't really do anything to it.
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 6:26
  • @OldPadawan Seems like a decent answer to me. Especially when we consider that Jack was up on deck at night, when there would be fewer people around to object to the presence of someone they rightly or wrongly thought did not belong there. Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 6:31
  • @OldPadawan: Perhaps this is true and as long as a steerage passenger did not attempt to go into a stateroom or dining room, no one would normally say anything, at least immediately. Of course, when the ship was sinking, they closed barriers that one notes already were there which is interesting in itself. But I know in fancy hotels if you pay for the top floor, your key is needed for the elevator to even reach the fancy floors. And this is in modern times when people are more "enlightened" about class.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 6:31
  • @OldPadawan: Please note my edit -- at least one source does indicate Jack could not have been (by the rules) in first class. However, it could be that she went to steerage to jump: given the proximity of the propellers which wd have been noisy, this cd well have been steerage and maybe first class areas had no good place from which to jump.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


The rear of the ship was a common area, accessible by all classes. As you can see, there was direct access from the Third Class staircase as well as from the A-Deck promenade.

In the film Rose comes from the Second Class promenade deck, then along the top of the ship until she reaches the railings at the back of the poop deck, literally the farthest point back on the ship. Jack was already outside when we see him, but he could easily have come from the Third Class Canteen or Smoke Room, both of which are near to the stern. Neither of them were outside their allotted areas.

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  • Nice. I was just rewatching the film and one scene has Jack apparently sneaking into first class and borrowing someone's jacket (this was detected by Cal whose goon had dropped the necklace in its pocket) to blend in -- this implies to me that steerage passengers could not freely enter first class areas at will.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 18:16
  • @releseabe - He steals the coat to blend in on the First Class Promenade Deck where he shouldn't have been.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 18:24
  • Right: are u saying that there were other First Class areas that a steerage (such an ugly word, but reminds me of how my ancestors reached the promise land) passenger could visit?
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 20:02
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    @releseabe - The ship was divided into areas where your proletariat relatives weren't allowed to go. First class passengers were also warned (but not necessarily restricted) from entering second and third class areas. There were also common areas such as the Forecastle Deck and Poop Deck that could be accessible by all classes, without restriction.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 20:25
  • Valorum, my relatives could not even spell "proletariat" -- as soon as they heard of it they hoped one day to be able to rise to that class.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 0:57

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