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The Violation of Maxim Rules of Analysis

In The Amazing Spiderman Movie

Written By
Akhmad Kusuma Wardhana
English Department
Faculty of Humanity
Airlangga University

Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which
context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory,
conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to
language behavior pragmatics explains how language users are able to
overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place,
time etc. of an utterance. pragmatics studies how the transmission of
meaning depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g.,
grammar, lexicon, etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context
of the utterance, any pre-existing knowledge about those involved, the
inferred intent of the speaker, and other factors. (Yule, 1996, 3)
Along with pragmatic, cooperative principle plays an important part in
conveying the meaning from the conversation between the speaker and the
hearer. The cooperative principle is a principle of conversation that was
proposed by Grice stating that participants expect that each will make a
conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it
occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange. The
cooperative principle, along with the conversational maxims, partly accounts
for conversational implicatures. Participants assume that a speaker is being
cooperative, and thus they make conversational implicatures about what is
said. In social science generally and linguistics specifically, the cooperative
principle describes how people interact with one another. Listeners and
speakers must speak cooperatively and mutually accept one another to be
understood in a particular way. The cooperative principle describes how
effective communication in conversation is achieved in common social
The Amazing Spiderman as the popular super-hero fiction movie in
the whole world must have the characteristic of the figures that play in the
movie as the one that give the implicature along the movie. Of course if
there is a hero, there is also a villain that hinders the hero from being
discovered of his/her evilness and to keep the truth about himself. Peter
Parker as the hero itself must also make lies to cover the truth about himself
as Spiderman from society (Online 1). Other character also related with the
lies or something that unrelated things in their conversation. All of that will
be analyzed by maxim rules as the violating of maxim and which statement
that violates one of the maxims based on the maxim rules characteristic

Theoretical Framework
Cooperative principle is the most important thing in pragmatic to
analyze either violation or flouting of maxim rules that is happened in the
amazing Spiderman Movie. Cooperative the cooperative principle can be
divided into four maxims, called the Gricean maxims, describing specific
rational principles observed by people who obey the cooperative principle;
these principles enable effective communication. Grice proposed four
conversational maxims that arise from the pragmatics of natural language.
The Gricean Maxims are a way to explain the link between utterances and
what is understood from them. Because some character said that is not
appropriate with what maxim rules stated to become the perfect existence of
implicature so that the hearer will understand fully what the speaker implies
through conversation and their statements. Also maxim rules by Grice are
needed for analyzing what is behind the text and if there does any failure inn
understand the conversation. By using one by one maxim rules, violating and
flouting maxim can be found and what is wrong about the implicature. There
are 4 maxim rules that are stated by Grice:
a) The maxim of quantity, where one tries to be as informative as one
possibly can, and gives as much information as is needed, and no
b) The maxim of quality, where one tries to be truthful, and does not
give information that is false or that is not supported by evidence.
c) The maxim of relation, where one tries to be relevant, and says
things that are pertinent to the discussion.
d) The maxim of manner, when one tries to be as clear, as brief, and
as orderly as one can in what one says, and where one avoids
obscurity and ambiguity (Yule, 1996, 37).
As the maxims stand, there may be an overlap, as regards the length of what
one says, between the maxims of quantity and manner; this overlap can be
explained (partially if not entirely) by thinking of the maxim of quantity
(artificial though this approach may be) in terms of units of information. In
other words, if the listener needs, let us say, five units of information from
the speaker, but gets less, or more than the expected number, then the
speaker is breaking the maxim of quantity. However, if the speaker gives the
five required units of information, but is either too curt or long-winded in
conveying them to the listener, then the maxim of manner is broken. The
dividing line however, may be rather thin or unclear, and there are times
when we may say that both the maxims of quantity and quality are broken
by the same factors. In Amazing Spiderman movie, I will analyze what Peter
Parker said, to other, Dr. Curtis Connor that sometime lies to other and other
character that leads to the flouting & violating of maxim in this movie.

The first analysis of maxim started when Peter Parker arrived at home and
having a conversation with Aunt May & Uncle Ben.
[later at home with his aunt, referring to his beat up looking face]
Aunt May: Oh, my God! What happened to your face?
Peter Parker: Oh, I'm alright. I just...I fell, skating. It's alright.
[Peter's uncle walks into the kitchen carrying an looking box]
Peter lied to her aunt because he didnt want aunt may to be worried of him
by being has an injuries in his face. In this case, peter violates the maxim
rules of quality because he didnt talk the truth about the real condition. He
was injured because Flash, his friend hit him, not because of fell in skating as
he said.
Peter Parker: Put him down! Eugene!
[The other students laugh, Flash drops the kid and suddenly punches Peter]
Flash Thompson: Come, on! Get up, Parker!
[Peter tries to hit Flash but Flash punches Peter in the stomach]
Second analysis is when peter went to Oscorp Corporation to see Dr. Curtis
[After Peter researches Connors online, he finds that he is working on crossspecies genetics at OsCorp and Peter goes to OsCorp Tower]
Receptionist: Excuse me?
Peter Parker: What?
Receptionist: Can I help you?
Peter Parker: Oh, uh...I don't know. I'm here...I'm here to see Dr. Connors.
Receptionist: Right. You'll find yourself to the left.
[Peter looks at her blankly]
Receptionist: You are here for the internship?
Peter Parker: Yeah. Yeah.
Receptionist: Okay. You'll find your badge to the left.
[Peter looks to the left and sees the name badges]
Peter Parker: Oh!
Receptionist: Are you having trouble finding yourself?
Peter Parker: No. I got it.
[he quickly picks up a badge for Rodrigo Guevara]
Receptionist: Okay, Mr. Guevara.
Peter Parker: Gracias.
Peter at the beginning wants to see Dr. Connor, but when the receptionist
said if he was an internship worker, he just agree and lies that he was in
internship now, but in fact not. The real person that was in internship in
Oscorp was Mr. Guevara. In this case, Peter violates the rules of maxim
quality because he lied again and didnt say anything that he wasnt an
internship worker.

Third analysis is when peter was in a parking lot, a car thief brakes into a car,
as he's about to start the car, Peter, dressed in his Spider-Man costume
interrupts him.
Peter Parker: Ahem, you know, in the future, if you're gonna steal cars,
don't dress like a car thief, man.
Car Thief: What are you a cop?
Peter Parker: Really? You seriously think I'm a cop? Cop in a skintight red
and blue suit? You know, you'' got a mind of true scholar, sir.
What was peter said was violates the maxim rules of quantity because he
talked too much and against the principle of maxim of quality that prior talk
as it needed only and not talk as much as he want just like peter do with his
spidey suit when he encountered thief in parking lot. Another analysis is still
in parking lot when the thief was out from the car.
[As the car thief pulls a knife on Peter]
Car Thief: Just let me go.
Peter Parker: Is that a knife? Is that a real knife?
[Peter falls on his knees, pretending to be afraid]
Car Thief: Yes, it's a real knife.
Peter Parker: My weakness, it is small knives.
Car Thief: Just let me go.
Peter Parker: Anything, but knives!
[Suddenly Peter shoots his web-shooter capturing the hand of the thief
holding the knife]
Peter Parker: Oh, it's so simple. That was cool, man.
Again, when peter saw that the thief holding the knife he flouting the maxim
of relevance because what he said was not relevant with what the thief said
after answering peter question if it was a knife. Peter just does that for
making fun. That is why it is called as flouting instead of violating. He flouts
maxim of relevance again after the thief said to let him go and after he shoot
his spider web shooter into the thief and it was also just for joking. 5 th
analysis began when police was arrived in the place and started
conversation with peter.
Peter Parker: Oh, the boys in blue are here! I got him!
[As the cop arrives, he points his gun at Peter]
Car Thief Cop: Freeze! You in the tights don't move!
Peter Parker: You serious?
Car Thief Cop: Who are you?
Peter Parker: No one seems to grasp the concept of the mask.
[Peter moves towards the cop]
Car Thief Cop: Freeze! Online 2, 1)

In this event, when the police asked peter about his identity, peter said
something irrelevant with the question about his mask concept. Peter flouts
the maxim rules of relevance because what he answered wasnt relevant
with the police question. Continue to 6 th analysis is when Rajit Ratha & Dr.
Curtis had a conversation in Oscorp Corp.
Dr. Curt Connors: Human trials? Where on earth are you gonna find the people to

Rajit Ratha: The wards, as far as anyone's concerned, it's for a winter flu
shot. I might think that veterans hospitals a place to start.
Dr. Curt Connors: You gotta be kidding me?
Rajit Ratha: I don't think I am.
[Connors turns to leave, but Ratha stops him by holding his amputated arm]
Rajit Ratha: It's a little late for shock and indignation, Curt. About fifteen
years late.
Dr. Curt Connors: I've no idea what you're talking about?
Rajit Ratha: Richard Parker wore it well. On you, it's a cheap suit, as it was
Dr. Curt Connors: I have nothing to do with that.
Rajit Ratha: Is that what you told his son, Peter?
Dr. Curt Connors: I don't know what you're saying.
Rajit Ratha: You don't know, or you don't wanna know? (Online 2, 1)
The flouting of maxim starts when Rajit said to Connor that it was late to
shock for 15 years. He flouts maxim of quantity as he said just shocking
about 15 years without any definite information. But he told that as he was
made fun to Dr. Connor. And also Dr. Connor violates maxim of quality when
he said that he lied he didnt know what Rajit said after Rajit asked to him as
if Connor told peter about his project.
Then last analysis is when Peter met Captain Stacy in police office.
Peter Parker: Okay, fine. There may not be a dinosaur running around Manhattan, but there is
something more dangerous, and I know who it is.
Captain Stacy: You know who it is?
Peter Parker: Dr. Curtis Connors, he's a biochemist...
Captain Stacy: Of OsCorp?
Peter Parker: That's right.
Captain Stacy: Okay. Dr. Curtis Connors who's also my daughters mentor. Is that who you're
talking about?
Peter Parker: That's the one.
Captain Stacy: You know, recently Dr. Connors gave Gwen a glowing college recommendation.
It was beautiful, when I read it I cried. But you would have me believe that in his spare time he's
running around dressed up like a giant dinosaur.
Peter Parker: Not dressing up and not a dinosaur. He has transformed himself into a giant
[Stacy looks at Peter like he's crazy]
Captain Stacy: Let me ask you a question. Do I look like the mayor of Tokyo to you?
Peter Parker: I'm telling you the...I'm telling you the absolute truth. This man has worked for

his whole life on cross-species genetics. He lost one arm and has been trying to grow it back, but
there is something imbalanced by the equation and he has turned into a full lizard. He's using
lizard DNA. He is dangerous! And he's planning something horrific. I know! I know!
Captain Stacy: Okay. Alright. I get it. Here's what we're gonna do. You're gonna go back to
hanging out with the citizens of Tokyo, and I'm gonna go back to protecting the citizens of this
fine and fair city of ours. Sergeant Butler, would you please escort Mr. Parker back to school.
(Online 2, 2)
What Captain Stacy said was just flouting maxim of relevance because he tried t made fun with
peter because he didnt believe on what peter said. Captain Stacy respond to peter was irrelevant
that peter told the truth about Lizard Rumor in city. He just said to Peter to go back with citizen
of Tokyo. Before that Captain Stacy also said as if he looked like mayor of Tokyo after Peter told
the truth of the dinosaur that running in Manhattan last night. Captain Stacy flouts maxim of
relevance twice because he didnt believe in what peter said, so he made jokes to peter.

Maxim rules is needed to keep what the speaker said on track with the meaning so that the hearer
can understand what the speaker said clearly without any ambiguity. In The Amazing Spiderman
Script, Peter sometimes violates maxim rules because of condition that led him to do that and
flouts maxim rules when he was out as Spiderman to show that the identity to other as well as to
threaten the villain. Dr. Connor also violates maim because of condition, too. Same with Captain
Stacy that flouts maxim rules because of condition of the speaker, in this case is Peter age that
causes Captain Stacy didnt believe on what peter said about the case in Manhattan bridge.
- Schaefer, S. (n.d). New Amazing Spider-Man Plot Synopsis Hints At Untold
Story. Retrieved June 30, 2013, from (Online 2)
- Vanderbilt, J & Team. (n.d). The Amazing Spiderman Quotes: The Reboot.
(Online 1)
- Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatic. New York: Oxford University Press.