Politeness in speech is the most prominent aspect, as it defines the personality of an individual and also expresses the culture of the society. Many researchers have tried to formulate different theories for explaining politeness. Geoffrey Leech is one of them who tried to describe the politeness in conversations and its principles. He states that politeness in conversation is described as: “minimizing the expression of impolite beliefs as the beliefs are unpleasant or at a cost to it” (1983).In his book Principles of Pragmatics, Leech introduces six maxims of politeness. He said that, in conversation, the politeness does not only concern with the turn-taking between participants, 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 occur when the speaker minimizes the expressions that would burden the listener; and maximize the expression which give benefit to other. This tact maxim is applied in directive and commissive categories of illocutions.Example: “I really think you should start working on your project. It might take more time to complete.” Here, the speaker is directing tactfully by not making the hearer to feel burdened by the task and it will be beneficial for him as well.Example From the Text:”It would be very educational for them,” the grandmother murmured.In the context, grandmother has invented the story for the plantation house that there is secret silver in the house. Bailey has refused to go there and shouts at the kids to be silent otherwise they wont be going anywhere. The grandmother responded sarcastically that it would be very educational for them.This statement is following tact maxim because grandmother is directing Bailey that it would be beneficial and also a bit easier task to do.2. Generosity Maxim This maxim is used to minimize the expression of benefit to self and maximize the utterance of burden to self. It is used in directive and commissive illocutionary acts.Example:You must come and have dinner with us.Here, the speaker is generous as he is offering high value to others.Example From the Text:Red Sam said. “Go bring these people their Co’-Colas”In the context, the Bailey’s family has stopped the Towers, a restaurant, owned by Red Sammy. While having lunch and chit chatting, Red Sammy asks her wife to bring Coca Colas for the guests.This is following generosity maxim because owner is offering high values to other and also causing a bit burden on himself.3. Approbation Maxim The approbation maxim states that the speaker should minimize the expression of criticism of other or maximize the expression of valuation of other. This maxim is used in expressive and in representative illocutions.Example:If you could keep the sound of the loud-speakers down a bit, it is disturbing the neighbourhood’s sleep.Here, approbation maxim is followed because the dispraise of the complain is minimised.Example From the Text:Grandmother: “I know you’re a good man. You don’t look a bit like you havecommon blood. I know you must come from nice people!”Context is that the grandmother has recognised the Misfit, in the middle of the dirt road, and now pleading him to spare her life. She appraised him a lot so that he would let her go.This is following approbation maxim as grand mother is praising Misfit.4. Modesty Maxim This maxim points out that speaker should minimize praise of self as well as minimize dispraise of self. This maxim is also used in expressive and representatives speech.Example:Please accept this small gift on this grand occasion of your wedding.It is presenting modesty because speaker is dispraising himself.Example From the Text:Misfit: “Listen lady,” he said in a high voice, “if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now.”In the context, Misfit and grandmother is conversing on either Jesus got the power to re-woke people from death or not. Misfit replied I wasn’t there to claim such a thing. Actually, he recalled the reason for which he was imprisoned, as he mentioned some piece of papers proved that he killed his father, thus he is intimate about the situation where one needs an evidence.This is following maxim of modesty because Misfit is dispraising himself.5. Agreement MaximThe agreement maxim proposes to minimize the expression of disagreement between self and other. It is used in representative speech.Example:A: I think meeting time should be postponed.B: Sure, it would give us time to modify the presentation.Example From the Text:”These days you don’t know who to trust,” Sammy said. “Ain’t that the truth?””People are certainly not nice like they used to be,” said the grandmother.Context is that they were busy in the hall of “The Towers” waiting for lunch, they conversed about good and bad people.Conversation is following agreement maxim as the grandmother and Red Sammy agreed that good man is hard to find and it is hard to trust anyone.6. Sympathy MaximIn sympathy maxim, the speaker should maximize the expression of sympathy to their hearer and minimize the antipathy. This maxim is usually used in representative utterances.Example:I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death!Example From the Text:Grandmother: “Why you’re one of my babies.You’re one of my own children !”Context is that Misfit got emotional due to his past experiences and what he has now become, grandmother noticed that he is about to cry. So, she uttered words like a mother or like a Jesus purely feeling for someone else.So, this is following the maxim of sympathy as she is feeling sympathetic for the Misfit.Conclusion:It is proven from the above examples that the characters of the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by O’Connor, are following the politeness principle, that was proposed by Leech, for an affective conversation along with etiquettes and are appropriate to the pragmatics of the situation.
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