Sure, he did it for selfish reasons, but Cal almost certainly saved the life of that child. The girl was hiding in a corner (which small children often do because they are scared and/or because they think whatever scary thing is happening is their fault), she had obviously gotten separated from her parents/guardians and chances are no one else would have helped her even if they found her, because they were all trying to save themselves and their families. It doesn't matter that Cal only did it to save himself; the fact is that she only ended up on that lifeboat because he picked her up and carried her there. If he hadn't, she probably would have either gotten trampled to death by panicking people, or she would have died when the ship went down.
A deleted scene on the Carpathia shows that the little girl did indeed survive (I believe she is even being held by the woman Cal handed her to.)
Although, we should all remember that this is a fictionalized account of a historical event, and you shouldn't look too hard for fictional names in historical survivors...
Freeze-Frame Bonus: There is a total of ONE first class woman seen aboard during the final part of the sinking, behind Jack and Rose when they are running to the poop deck and momentarily stop to see the passengers jumping over the railing (Jack tells Rose that the longer they stay in the ship, the better). Four first class women died in the sinking historically: three were last seen by the bridge before it was swamped (Ida Strauss, Bess Allison, Edith Evans); nobody knows what happened to the fourth (Ann Isham). So we can conclude this one is her!
At first it just seems like dramatic effect that the engine and boiler room crews are working as frantically as the guys on the bridge to avoid the crash when they can't see what's going on up top. But considering the whole crew or at least the guys in charge probably were aware of the iceberg danger then suddenly being told to reverse engines and shut the dampers for a potential impact out of the blue means they probably had a good guess of what was about to happen.
The Master at arms was sent away to help at the second-class purser's office. He was also probably too busy dealing with that to get back to the office and he likely didn't realize that the ship was sinking until it was too late.
An in-universe example with Rose when she remembers what Andrews told her earlier about the number of lifeboats while he is telling her that the ship is, in fact, sinking.
Rose alerts the lifeboat by prying an officer's whistle out of Chief Officer Wilde's dead hands. When Lowe's boat takes her aboard, he can't have not noticed the blue frozen corpse of his immediate superior staring him in the face and realized where she got the whistle. Bad enough to see all the relatively-anonymous corpses, looking straight at someone who until about twenty minutes ago was your coworker, boss, and if not for an order from another superior, that might have been you in the water....
Also, consider the people in Lowe's boat when he gets back. While he's staring at the frozen corpse of his superior Wilde, they're likely staring at the frozen corpses of their friends and/or loved ones...
It can get even worse if you stop to wonder how many people weren't lucky enough to be floating next to a dead man with a whistle. Who else was out there, left to watch their only chance of rescue drift by because they couldn't make themselves be heard?
If we take Option A and the ending is really Rose dying and going to heaven and that's really their afterlife...well, look around. There's all the people we saw die. Including all the third-class passengers we got to meet, Rose's maid, the orchestra, the stewards manning the doors, Captain Smith, First Officer Murdoch, Thomas Andrews...so, if this is their afterlife, sucks to be them. Smith, Murdoch, Andrews, Guggenheim, at least one of the orchestra were all married with families that weren't on the Titanic, Chief Officer Wilde (aka dead guy with the whistle) was a widower whose wife was already dead before the sinking, Astor's wife and unborn child lived long lives without him, not to mention that he had two grown children from a previous marriage, yet here he is, the Strausses may have died together, but they had adult children, what about Fabrizio's beloved mother?
This heaven is like a dream. When you dream, the characters in your dream, despite being real friends to you in waking life, do not have consciousness of their own Which is kinda scary in its own that all the people she sees are empty beyond the actions towards her. Maybe at least Jack can maintain inner thought. The 'real' Mr. Andrews for example probably has a different afterlife from his perspective, with friends and family of his own, back home in his own happiest time of life.
Or maybe they just stopped by to welcome Rose to the afterlife, honoring her status as a fellow Titanic passenger, but can return to join their own deceased loved ones whenever they choose.
If Rose did die and go to Heaven at the end of the film, she's abandoning the man she married and had children with so that she can get together with a guy that she had a brief fling with several decades ago.
If this is Rose's heaven, perhaps she and Jack have already reconciled, and he's waiting in the background because he knows Rose has been waiting a lot longer to be reunited with Jack than with him.
So, what DID happen to Rose's mother? She admits to Rose she's pressuring her to marry Cal because her deadbeat dead husband left them with nothing but the family name and a pile of debt. Rose marries rich, they can pay off the creditors, if she doesn't, all their belongings are sold off and her mother's taking in sewing. Now, she might have been exaggerating, but the fact that Rose's marriage is apparently their only trump card suggests there aren't any close relatives to take them in. Old Rose mentions that she 'heard' Cal shot himself after the Crash of '29, but doesn't say anything about her mother. (You know, the previously-unknown great-grandmother of that nice granddaughter who feeds her Pomeranian and hauls her out for helicopter rides to Russian research vessel in the middle of the North Atlantic and presumably packed all those trunks? Ie, is doing Trudy's job now?) So did Ruth have to swallow her pride, hock all her belongings, and either take up seamstressing or throw herself on the charity and pity of her society friends? Or did she take a darker option?
She could have remarried. A lot of widows from the Titanic did. She was still a name and could therefore be a somewhat attractive prospect for an older bachelor.
Just a guess but: insurance. Rose 'dies' unmarried and her next of kin is Ruth, so Ruth can make claims for both their possessions on the ship. Now, that doesn't include the Heart of the Ocean, because we know Cal claims for that, but it could well include every other thing they had. The paintings, jewelry, expensive clothes, it was probably all insured. Assuming Cal got them a good deal and the claim value is about equal to the actual value of the lost goods, Ruth does better than selling them (buying second hand often gives you leeway to ask for a discount, especially if you know the seller is desperate and will take any offer). She presumably had some place arranged to stay before the wedding (even hotel reservations would be something) and there were many collections for the survivors who lost their breadwinners/source of income (craftsmen losing tools, merchants losing goods) that were pure charity if she could bring herself to ask for that. She talks to Rose about selling their fine things and taking in sewing but that is probably mother-drama. It's possible that Ruth could have lived reasonably as a distressed gentlewoman for the rest of her life if she could deal with the responsibility of choosing rent and food over new hats...
Cal was still rich for a long time after the ship sank. He may have set up a trust fund to take care of Ruth as his mother-in-law, since he regarded Rose as his wife in practice if not by law. Cal would have been aware that his reputation as a gentleman would suffer if he cut Ruth off without any money after her only child was thought to have died in the sinking.
For animal lovers: Those dogs we saw the stewards walking earlier are NOT on the lifeboats. Which means . . .
In real life, at least one of the dogs was taken into a lifeboat by a passenger. Most of the dogs did die, though.
Cameron portrayed two "Titanic dog sinking stories" in the script: When the bridge begins to sink, the whole pack of dogs seen by Jack and co. days earlier can be seen running among the people, as they were during the sinking (it is unknown who left them out of their cages, though this is usually attributed to J.J.Astor, whose wife trusted him to look after her dog after boarding a lifeboat); and when Jack and Rose are in the water, the see they French bulldog swimming pass them (he was seen from a lifeboat). However, it was decided that these scenes were too much Mood Whiplash and were cut.
Suppose that Cal's girl's family didn't board a lifeboat because they were looking for her while Cal had already gotten her on a lifeboat already. There is an early scene where the girl appears with her family, and it is a really big one with lots of little children.
Uh, that was the last boat away (except the one that wound up upside-down.) If Cal hadn't thrown her in there, then the only difference would have been her ENTIRE family would die (assuming that the mother and other kids weren't on another boat already and her father, who was likely dead one way or another, was left looking for her.) Though the 'looking for a lost child who was actually already gone' did cause the only first-class child fatality, Lorraine Allison, who was with her parents looking for her baby brother and his nurse (who were in a lifeboat already.)
The idea that Jack and Fabrizio's names aren't on the lists (due to them running on board at the last minute and having tickets they hadnt purchased themselves) so Fabrizio's family will NEVER know where he is, if he is alive, or what happened to him. Him and Jack are completely lost in time!
Unless Fabrizio's body is recovered by one of the ships sent from Halifax to pick up corpses and he has some sort of ID on him, not counting the ticket of course.
Truth in Television: A number of Titanic victims were travelling under assumed names or the names of other people. For example, a man who intended to sign up for Titanic as a stoker left his discharge book (used as a sort of work record aboard ship) behind after a heavy night of drinking in the pub. Without his book he couldn't sign on for Titanic, but somebody used his book to sign on as a stoker. The individual in question, who was assumed to be the man to whom the book really belonged, died in the sinking and it was assumed for a couple of months that the book's owner was the victim. When it became apparent that the owner of the book was not the stoker who went down, it left a little mystery behind. Who was the guy who found a discharge book in a pub and used it to sign up as a Titanic stoker, only to die when the ship went down? We'll never know.
The electricity was powered by the boilers, which were being run by men shoveling coal into them. Remember that when you see the lights flicker as the ship sinks and how long it takes for the lights to finally go out for good.
There were six boiler rooms. They didn't all flood at once.
Imagine if you were still trapped inside the Titanic when the power finally went out. In fact, imagine you're there at all! After the lights go out, you are effectively blind as your eyes struggle to get used to the dark. Mere seconds after, there's a loud cracking as the ship splits in half...
The stokers suffered a very high death toll, and none of the engineers escaped the sinking. They are remembered as heroes today because they stayed at their post and kept the lights burning for as long as they did. Imagine being in the bottom of the ship, you can hear the steel squeaking in protest (and possibly can even see it beginning to warp), you know there's no way you can make it up the escape ladders now because the angle of the ship is too steep to allow you to climb them. You know that any minute the sea is going to rush in and kill you... and you STILL keep trying to maintain the ship's systems as long as possible to give the people on the upper decks a fighting chance of survival. How's that for Heroic Sacrifice?
Cal obviously had the potential to be an abusive husband, his behavior towards Rose was unpleasant in general, he scared her, threatened her and on one occasion, slapped her hard across the face. We know that after Rose escaped from him, he went on to marry another woman. What's the likelihood he treated her decently?
Admittedly, most of Cal's behavior was due to him being—understandably—upset and humiliated that his fiancèe was cheating on him. Even her dancing with Jack at the third class party was tantamount to adultery for a first class lady in 1912. His actual wife may have been dutiful, obediant and utterly devoted to him for all we know. Not to mention the fact that it's also possible Cal had a HeelFace Turn after the tragedy and losing Rose. It might have occurred to him with reflection that he basically drove Rose into the arms of another man with his behavior.
Actually, in most marriages of two people of social convenience it wasn't a big deal if people had lovers on the side. Although that is merely on a social level: there is nothing stopping a controlling person taking it personally even if it is considered 'okay' to parts of society.
That would depend on which marriages you're talking about and how those involved are behaving. In high society, what Rose was doing would make Cal a laughingstock by association with his apparently immature, reckless fiancèe;.
He died in 1929 so even if he was abusive, his next wife was free from him eventually.
If she survived him. In the extended scene, Rose only says that Cal's sons fought for his inheritance.
Rose was rescued by boat 14. Boat 14 also rescued survivors from half-swamped collapsible lifeboat A, which Cal was on board. It's hard to believe that they never met.
Prior to returning to look for survivors, officer Lowe gathered together five boats and transfered all of the passengers from his boat to others. So Cal wasn't in the boat 14 when they found Rose.
After Cal flips the table and screams at Rose, Trudy rushes in to clean up. Rose babbles hysterically until Trudy quietly tells her, "It's all right", in a tone of voice that strongly implies that this isn't the first time she's dealt with something like this—either she herself has been abused or she's witnessed plenty of other wealthy men assaulting their wives/girlfriends.
Rose narrates early on that she considered the Titanic "a slaveship", and her personal life after the disaster seems to have been freer and happier. It at least appears to be so. If Rose is not a completely selfish jerkass, she would also have to be a Shell-Shocked Veteran for the rest of her life, free, but knowing that her life was made possible by the expense of all those casualties left behind in the North Atlantic. No wonder she has been silent for 84 years. It is also no wonder that her Dying Dream is filled with all the people she left behind - who presumably showed up to forgive her (as the whole shebang initially never was her fault to begin with).