Fateful by Claudia Gray: Social Classes on the Titanic

We’ve talked a lot these last two weeks about various aspects of history and folklore that are incorporated into Fateful by Claudia Gray, but one detail that plays a key role in the book is the idea of social classes and their different roles on the Titanic.

In Fateful, our narrator Tess is a third-class servant girl — who boards the Titanic on a ticket purchased by the first class passenger family she works for. But her main love interest, Alec, is also a first class passenger. Not only do the social classes play a role in the story’s plot itself — but it’s also apparent in the death toll from the Titanic in real-life.

The majority of those who died in the Titanic disaster were men, crew members, and lower class passengers. Just look at these statistics:

Social class is also at the very heart of Tess’s original plans: to leave the employ of the family she is traveling with. In England, Tess doesn’t have many options because her family is from a lower class and doesn’t have much money. But Tess has been saving her small earnings and plans to set out on her own once arriving in America.

Of course, those plans are threatened repeatedly throughout the voyage — and as you’ll see when reading Fateful, social class also proves a hindrance to Tess throughout the novel.

For the comments: If you’ve read Fateful, share some examples you noticed in the book in which social class played a role on the events of the book.

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