SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2006

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The Politeness Strategies Used by the Characters of The Lord of the Rings

Fitri Hariana Oktaviani


People who are trying to maintain collective activities need certain strategies to achieve some general rules in the society. One of the most important ways to achieve general rules is strategy of politeness, which universally exists but is culturally bound. The study aims at how the strategy of politeness is used in a particular discourse, which is The Lord of the Rings movie, and how the situation can influence the use of the strategy. The movie is selected since there are many different characters coming from different fictional races which can stir up conflicts. This idea can help in determining the possibility of the use of strategy of politeness.

            The research design of the study is descriptive qualitative. The primary data of the research is the movie script of The Lord of the Rings of the third series, The Return of the King. Face Threatening Acts (FTA) by Brown and Levinson (1987) is used as the basis to identify and analyze the data. The data are selected base on the FTAs which are contained in dialogs of the movie script. The analysis is conducted directly from the findings to integrate the results. Finally, the findings are cross-checked with the characterization of the characters which is presented in the original novel of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.  

            The results show that politeness strategies are used in the movie as the work of fiction. The use of politeness strategies can be divided into four sub-strategies which are (1) bald on record, (2) positive politeness, (3) negative politeness, and (4) off record. These results correspond to the model proposed by Brown and Levinson (1987). The degree of politeness is provisionally measured using Spencer and Oatey’s Pragmatic Scale adapted from Iragiliati (2005).  

             There are tendencies of the use of a certain strategy by certain types of characters.  Politeness strategies in movies are used as a means to maintain conversation and as a tool to improve characterization of each character or to help building up the characteristics of certain created culture. The social parameters which influence the use of certain strategy are mostly determined by the status power of the speaker and also the crucial rate of imposition of the central topic of the story. In summary, as the strategy of politeness in the real world is culturally bound, the strategy of politeness in the work of fiction is based on the given characters.

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