Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number4 December 2021 Pp. 224-242
Aggressive Language in Literature: A Pragmatic Approach
Hanan Abdul-kareem Kadhim
Department of English
College of Education For Women, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Wafaa Sahib Mehdi Mohammed
Department of English
College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Corresponding Author: Wafaa_1972@yahoo.com
Received: 10/15/2021 Accepted: 11/15/2021 Published:12/15/2021
Aggression is a negative form of an anti-social behavior. It is produced because of a particular reason, desire, want, need, or due to the psychological state of the aggressor. It injures others physically or psychologically. Aggressive behaviors in human interactions cause discomfort and disharmony among interlocutors. The paper aims to identify how aggressive language manifests itself in the data under scrutiny in terms of the pragmatic paradigm. Two British literary works are the data; namely, Look Back in Anger by John Osborne (1956), and The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter (1957). This paper endeavors to answer the question of how aggressive language is represented in literature pragmatically? It is hoped to be significant to linguistic and psychological studies in that it clarifies how aggression is displayed in human communications linguistically. Qualitative and quantitative analyses are conducted to verify the findings. It ends with some concluding remarks, the most important of which are: insulting, belittling, ridiculing and threatening are prevalent speech acts; simile, hyperbole, metaphor and repetition appear due to Grice’s maxims breaching while the use of taboo words, calling names, or abusive words are the impoliteness strategies that are distinguished in the data.
Keywords: aggression, literary plays, Look Back in Anger, Grice maxims, pragmatics, The Birthday Party, types of communication
Cite as: Kadhim, H.A., & Mohammed, W. S. M. (2021). Aggressive Language in Literature: A Pragmatic Approach.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (4) 224-242.
Al Shamiri, S. & Abbas, I. J. (2016). The Speech Act of Threatening in English and Arabic with Reference to the Glorious Qur’an.
University of Babylon. DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.35445.58084
Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002). Human aggression. Department of Psychology, Iowa State University,
Ames, Iowa 50011-318.
Austin, J. L. (1962). How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: University Press.
Bayer, Ch. L., & Cegala, D. J. (1992). Trait verbal aggressiveness and argumentativeness: Relations with parenting style,
Western Journal of Communication, 56-(3), 301-310, DOI: 10.1080/10570319209374418.
Bocar, A. C. (2017). Aggressive, Passive, and Assertive: Which Communication Style is Commonly Used by College Students? SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI:0.2139/ssrn.2956807.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316501048
Buss, A. H. (1961). The psychology of aggression. John Wiley & Sons Inc. https://doi.org/10.1037/11160-000
Carter, R., & McRae, J. (2001). The Routledge History of Literature in English. London and New York: Psychology Press.
Cuddon, J.A. (2013). A dictionary of literary terms and literary theory (5th ed.). A John Wiley &Sons, Ltd., Publication.
Culpeper, J. (1996). Towards an anatomy of impoliteness. Journal of Pragmatics 25 349-367.
Culpeper, J. (2005). Impoliteness and entertainment in the television quiz show: the weakest link.
Journal of politeness research language behaviour culture. DOI:10.1515/jplr.2005.1.1.35
Culpeper, J., Bousfield, D. & Wichmann, A. (2003). Impoliteness revisited: With special reference to dynamic and prosodic aspects. Journal of Pragmatics 35:1545–1579.
Cutting, J. (2002). Pragmatics and discourse: a resource book for students. London and New York.
Hadiati, Ch. (2019). Felicity Conditions of the Speech Acts in Banyumasan Daily Conversation. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 9, (No. 6), pp. 700-705. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0906.13
Hemavathy, V. & Devi, S. S. (2016). Assertive communication. International Journal of Humanities, Arts, Medicine,
and Sciences. Vol. 4, Issue 1, 119-126. www.bestjournals.in
Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in Sociolinguistics: an Ethnographic Approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Grice, P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. In P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 3, (pp.41-58). New York:
Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Infante, D. A., Chandler, Theresa A. & Rudd, Jill E. (1989). Test of an Argumentative Skill Deficiency Model of Interspousal Violence. Communication Faculty Publications. https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clcom_facpub/55
Infante, D. A., Trebing, J. D., Shepherd, P. E., & Seeds, D. E. (1984). The relationship of argumentativeness to verbal aggression. Southern Speech Communication Journal, 50- (1), 67-77, DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10417948409372622
Ladd, G. W. (2006). Peer Rejection, Aggressive or Withdrawn Behavior, and Psychological Maladjustment from Ages 5 to 12: An Examination of Four Predictive Models. Child Development, 77(4), 822 846. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00905.x
Leech, G. (1983). Principles of Pragmatics. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Publishing.
Lozovska, J. & Gudaitė, G. (2013). The Understanding of Aggression Motivation and the Psychotherapy Process. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 82, Pages 360-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.275
Majhi, N. (2018). Verbal violence and suppression of female characters in Harold Pinter’s play the birthday party.
UGC-approved journal. No. 48514, 7, 10.
Malkin, J. (1992). Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mehdi, W. S. (2020). American sexism: a critical pragmatic perspective. European
Journal of Literature, Language and Linguistics Studies. Vol. 4, (3). DOI: 10.46827/ejlll.v4i3.225 www.oapub.org/lit
Meibauer, J. (2016). Slurring as Insulting. In R. Finkbeiner, J. Meibauer & H. Wiese (Eds.) Pejoration (pp. 145-167). Amsterdam: John Benjamin Publishing Company.
Mullany, L. & Stockwell, P. (2010). Introducing English Language: A Resource Book for Students. Nottingham: Routledge.
Nielsen, J. (2008). Effective communication skills. John Nielsen. United State.
Osborne, J. (1978). Look back in anger: a play in three acts. London and Boston.
Ribeiro, H. J. (2012). Inside Arguments: Logic and the Study of Argumentation. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Pinter, H. (1960). The birthday party. New York: Grove Press.
Pinter, H. (2007). The Birthday Party. Gale. http://www.enotes.com/birthday−party/copyrig
Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. University of California, Berkeley.
Searle, J. & Vanderveken, D. (1985). Functions of illocutionary logic. Cambridge University Press.
Smith, H. L. Ed. (1986). War and Social Change: British Society in the Second World War. Manchester University Press.
Tecimer, E. (2005). The analysis of the theme of anger in John Osborne’s plays: look back in anger, inadmissible evidence, watch it come down. Publish thesis.
Wales, K. (2001). A Dictionary of Stylistics (2nd ed.). England: Pearson Education Limited.
Warburton, W. A. & Anderson, C. A. (2015). Aggression, Social Psychology of. Vol. 1, pp. 295–299, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.24002-6.
Widdowson, H.G. (1996). Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.