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The Use of Grice Maxims in the Speech

Discuss About The Exploring Literary Devices In Graphic Novels.

I stand here before you to express my concern and deepest sorrows for the cases of police brutality being witnessed in our country. It is a fact that Australia has made strides in many areas but cases of police brutality keep on coming up every time now and then. The police have failed in their role of keeping the citizens safe to harming them and making them loose their trust in the system. In a country that has a deep history of racism and discrimination, the police as an institution of the law should understand that anything that happens in this country catches a different view of the public.

The role of the police is to institute law and order and ensure that the public is comfortable when doing their own business. However, in Australia today, what we see in trailer movies is what is being witnessed on our streets, homes, institutions and even the workplace. May be the police system should change to an action movie staging scene so that

Allow me to give you a few cases that touched me this year over the issue of police brutality. Mckenzie (2018, pp. 1) article read “beaten, abused, humiliated and filmed by Australian police”. This is a story of John a disability pensioner who was attached by six officers in his own backyard. The officers are filmed striking him again and again and calling him an idiot. The question will be between the disability pensioner and the police, who is the idiot here. The answer is obvious since the officers are seen discharging a canister of pepper spray in his face and asking him whether he liked it or not. I mean who will surely like a spray of pepper in their face?. All these events were captured by John’s CCTV camera which was installed to record bugging but instead became his only tool against police brutality.

Who will expect six trained and armed officers to be engaged in constraining one harmless mentality challenged person?

How would the officers have brutalized John if they knew they were on camera?

Police brutality has become a citizen challenge and the people are now seeing to protect themselves from the police rather than the police protecting them. We do not know how far this reverse roll will go since we are suffering and being humiliated by our own tax money that is used to pay the system. Sawa (2014, pp. 7) once wrote that most cases of police brutality are ignored or either are not processed in the right way since the same police are the one in charge of writing the reports. I think they are covering each other’s backs just incase things went south for one of them. what kind of professionalism is that where the state department of justice has not put in place any mechanisms for such issues. The people are suffering, they are no longer silent but they are slowly developing a feeling of the need to protect their own rights. The question that I am asking the government and the police system is, “should we continue with the course of protecting our own rights, should we rise against police brutality using any legal weapon within our disposal?”

Cooperative Principle and Maxim of Relation

Trust is like a tree which grows slowly by establishing roots and branches then the fruits come up. It takes long for one to realize the benefits of these fruits. It is therefore unfortunate that the relationship between the police and the citizens is drying up the tree rather than multiplying the branches.

Every Australian citizen has the right to be protected by the state. The polcie system should retrace their role in the society and regroup to become relevant. We cannot live like hostages in our own country because of a few rogue officers who are violating their license to carry a gun and pepper sprays around. The world is  a stage, where we all take part in play.

Despite the extreme cases that are reported in the media, by eye witnesses and sometimes recorded like in the case of John. I have been asking myself, how many police officers have been reprimanded for such actions to give justice to the victim. Police brutality is often ignored or excused and twisted towards the citizen as the offender. The police have their own way of writing an incident report to meet the expected threshold within the police system. We are calling for the police to be the real police, be accountable for their actions and take responsibility for everything that happens around them. We are not asking for conviction of every police officer but rather we are asking for the police system to take responsibility of their action and perhaps be sorry for robbing citizens against their rights. We want the police to befriend, we want to live in the community policing Australia where the role of the police is simplified by collaboration wiath citizens.

We are calling on the police system to reform and treat citizens with their constitutional rights.

We are asking the police to understand that six of them attacking a harmless mental person is not the right way. We are asking them to understand that killing a prisoner does not reduce crimes.

How do you terrorize innocent people in their own country?

We are asking them that using lethal weapons against harmless citizens does not solve the problem.

We are asking and asking and asking.

But we want them to know that we will not be asking forever, we will be forced to demand for our rights.

We will be forced to demand that the tax money used on the police system is used well or rather refunded.

Kipling Questions and Argumentative Patterns of Speech

We will rise against rogue officers.

We will clean the system by ourselves if the police are not able to clean their system.

We will protect the police rather than the police protecting us.

We will not watch as our fellow countrymen are humiliated by a few officers who think the power of the badge carries more weight than the Australian who pays tax for their salary.

In my opinion the donkey has become tired and it will soon break the journey and lie down.

Once it lies down, then the donkey rider is in trouble, he can fail to deliver the luggage to the destination or he can succumb to kicks.

It is not too late, the donkey is tired but it is yet to lie down. Therefore, take action before action takes you down.

The tide ends today, or we wake up against it.

The speaker used several strategies in the speech to make the listener understand what he meant well. One method that the speech can be looked at is the use of Grice Maxims in the speech. Cameron (2001, p. 11) suggests that the role of Grice’s maxims is to guide the speaker in developig a speech that meets the requirements of the topic. The maxims present the effectiveness of communication and how its relevance is achieved in social situations (Kayed & Kitishat 2015, p. 46). When a speaker presents information to the audience, it must be organized in a way that allows the listeners to get the right information. The speaker applied the cooperative principle by giving a speech that met the purpose of the conversation. Since the speech was supposed to give information to the listeners and inform them of the situation. The cooperation principle is used throughout the speaker’s words. For example, in the beginning, the speech starts by justifying the reason why it was being made. The speaker revolves around the issue of police brutality quoting a few cases and writings that people have done over the issue to illustrate the magnitude of the situation. This is cemented by the use of symbolisms when referring trust to a tree to mean the level that the community has reached.

Another way that the speaker achieved this is the use of the maxim of relation by giving information that was relevant to the topic as possible (Jwalapuram 2017, p. 19). Since the main idea in the speech was police brutality, the speaker applied the maxim by contextualizing the story in the beginning and ending with a parting shot that summarizes the whole speech. By using the example of John followed by rhetoric questions like “Who will expect six trained and armed officers to be engaged in constraining one harmless mentality challenged person?” and “Did John deserve the police brutality that we witnessed?. The speaker brings the listener to the maxim of relevance thus making the listener understandthe magnitude of the situation.

Another way that the speaker was effective in presenting the speech is the use of Kipling Questions. This method allows the speaker to present information in a way that meets the required needs (Eagleton 2008, p. 14). For example, the speaker used this method to present rhetoric questions for the listener to contemplate and assess the situation. Diez & Odriozola (2015, p. 85) suggests that the six questions allow the speaker to present questions to the audience that make them understand the content of the speech. The speaker applied rhetoric questioning in a Kipling way to emphasize the points that the speaker should hear. By asking questions that relate to the issue, the speaker lures the reader to seek answers in their mind without really having to answer (Bimrose, et al. 2007, p. 11). This is seen in the use of what, who, how and why to illustrate the state of affairs. Further, speaker used how to present assumptive questions to the listener when he say “How would the officers have brutalized John if they knew they were on camera?”. The questions are used to draw the attention of the listeners and ensure that they are following all through (Verdonk 2012, p. 8). The speaker uses negative assertion element to bring the situation closer to the listeners and make them empathize with the state of John thus the whole story. The speaker chose the questions carefully to ensure that the speaker is persuaded to move with the story.

The speaker also used argumentative patterns of speech to indicate different moves that were being presented. Van-Eemeren, et al., (2007, p. 2) states that argumentative moves are used to resolve a communication differencesof opinion. When the speaker uses the words “in my opinion” and “in my mind”,the words give a contrary opinion which is different from what is happening. By this, the speaker implies that whatever is being done by the police is not what is expected. This allows the speaker to use externalization as a way of disagreeing with the state of affairs and to propose the ways that the issue should be adressed (Dallacqua 2012, p. 369). When the speaker says that “ therefore, it is not too late”. Externalization is used here is used both as an agreement and a disagreement on the issue of police brutality. Further, Vaishnav (2014, p. 24) adds that argumentation can be used in speech to indicate a new argumentative move that is being developed by the speaker. When the speaker nears the end of the speech, we see a situation where the speech has changed to a declaration but the argumentative words “therefore” is used to soften the stance of the speech.

Lastly, there is use of Dilts logical levels in the speech to communicate with the audience. Dilts (2014, pp. 5) presents six logical levels that a speaker can use since each level is a logical structure for understanding what the speaker is trying to present. The speaker applied storytelling to capture the environment level where behavior is seen as taking place in the environment that people operate in. The whole story takes place in the environment level since the speaker is quoting the issues that have been taking place. This is seen in the use of storytelling the case of John to bring the listener to the real situation of what he was referring to. Storytelling contextualizes the speech and takes the listener back to the state of affairs when things changed (Kalus, et al. 2005, p. 22). However, the speech is made within the belief level where the speaker is questioning what has been happening and the factors that shape the whole speech. The speaker ends the speech in the spirituality level where an ultimatum is issued. Through of hyperbolism, the speaker exaggerates the situation to a donkey tired of carrying a load and is almost lying down and refusing to move. This is the climax of the speech where the speaker uses the spirituality level to call for action to change the situation and the issues that the public is suffering from.


Bimrose J. et al. 2007. Skills diagnostics and screening tools: A literature review, s.l.: Department for Work and Pensions.

Cameron D 2001. Working with Spoken Discourse.. London: Sage Publications.

Dallacqua AK 2012. Exploring Literary Devices in Graphic Novels. Language Arts,, 89(6), pp. 365-378.

Diez EB. & Odriozola MD 2015. Transparency and communication: Kipling’s six questions. Mediterrranean Journal of Communication, 6(2), pp. 83-97.

Dilts R 2014. A Brief History of Logical Levels, s.l.: s.n.

Eagleton T 2008. Literary theory: an introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Jwalapuram P 2017. Evaluating Dialogs based on Grice’s Maxims. s.l., s.n., pp. 17-24.

Kayed MA & Kitishat A 2015. The Violation of the Grice's Maxims in Jordanian newspapers' cartoons: a Pragmatic Study. International Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 4(4), pp. 41-50.

Kalus F, Christian B & Yakaboyly P 2005. Stroyteling Branding in Practice. Berlin: Springer.

Mckenzie N 2018. Beaten, abused, humiliated and filmed by Australian police. Stuff, 3 April.

Sawa M 2014. Findings of police misconduct. The Canbera News, 18 February.

Van Eemeren FH,  Houtlosser P. & Snoeck Henkemans, A. F. "., 2007. cal Profiles and Indicators of Argumentative Moves. s.l., s.n.

Vaishnav, H., 2014. Tools and Techniques for Effective Communication Skills. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(1), pp. 23-26.

Verdonk, P., 2012. Stylistics. New York: Oxford Uiversity Press.

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