Politeness Maxims: Analysis of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” By Flannery O’ ConnorThe focus of this study is to find politeness expressions in the language used by the characters of the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” written by O’ Connor. The story’s characters has been tactfully maintaining the politeness of speech in accordance with the context. This study will be analysing the text through the politeness principle proposed by Geoffrey Leech (1983). The politeness maxims, which are followed in the story, will be highlighted and explained with reference to the context of the story.
Background of Theory: Leech (1983: 132) proposes six maxims of politeness principles. He asserts that, in conversation, the politeness does not only concern with the relationship between two participants, self and other, turn-taking but it also considers the existence of the third parties, who may or may not be present in the conversation. The six maxims of politeness principles are briefly presented in pairs as follows:1. Tact MaximThe tact maxim is defined as follows: “minimize the expression of beliefs which imply cost to other; and maximize the expression of beliefs which give benefit to other” (Leech, 1983: 109). This tact maxim is applied in directive and commissive categories of illocutions (Leech, 1983: 107).2. Generosity Maxim This maxim is used to minimize the expression of benefit to self and maximize the utterance of cost to self.
It is used in directive and commissive illocutionary act. If in the tact maxim the focus is on other-centred, in generosity maxim, it focuses on self-centred (Leech, 1983: 133).3. Approbation Maxim The approbation maxim states that the speaker should minimize the expression of beliefs which express dispraise of other; maximize the expression of beliefs which express appraisal of other (Leech, 1983: 135). This maxim is used in an utterance that expresses the speaker’s feeling, such as expressions of like, dislike, joy, sorrow or pleasure and is used in representative speech.
for instance, stating whether the speaker’s4. Modesty Maxim This maxim states: ‘minimize praise of self as well as minimize dispraise of self. This maxim is also used in expressive and representatives speech (Leech, 1983: 136).5. Agreement MaximThe agreement maxim proposes as follow: “minimize the expression of disagreement between self and other” It is used in representative speech (Leech, 1983: 138).
6. Sympathy MaximIn sympathy maxim, the participant is expected to maximize the expression of sympathy to their hearer and minimize the antipathy. This maxim is usually used inrepresentative utterances (Leech, 1983: 138).