Politeness In The Novel Sisters And Strangers

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This research discussing politeness in Helen Van Slyke's novel by the title Sisters and Strangers. The researcher found that there are positive politeness and negative politeness in the novel. The researcher use conversations in chapter 13 of the novel to collect the data. A descriptive qualitative method is used to analyze this novel. In doing this research, the researcher does an observation by reading and understanding the conversation in this novel's chapter. The result of this research shows that in Sisters and Strangers novel chapter 13 use positive and negative politeness with a percentage of 50% positive politeness and 50% is the percentage of negative politeness. Based on these, the researcher concludes that the conversation in Sisters and Strangers novel chapter 13, the negative politeness is stable.

The researcher hopes that this study will help the reader to learn sociolinguistic by using literature media.

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Politeness is the way someone showing a good attitude and honor to the other people (Manarung, Napitupulu, & Toruan). Politeness is a branch of linguistic that learned in the sociolinguistic study. According to Yule there are three kinds of politeness, they are Self and Other: Say Nothing, Say Something: Off and On Record, Positive and Negative Politeness (Manarung, Napitupulu, & Toruan). Lately, politeness is being an interesting issue to be talked. Many people talk about the politeness between young people to the older. This issue gives the researcher motivation to have research about politeness in the case of literature. So, the researcher does the research of Helen Van Slyke’s novel by the title Sisters and Strangers chapter 13. In this research, the researcher uses a descriptive qualitative method and the data was taken from the conversation in Helen Van Slyke’s novel by the title Sister and Strangers in chapter 13. This novel recites the story between the three sisters who were very different and they have their own life but for their parent gold wedding anniversary, they chose to be together. There is no dominant type of politeness used in the conversation that is in the novel. The author of the novel uses the form of politeness in a balanced way.

In finding the data, the researcher doing an observation by reading and understanding the conversation in the novel in chapter 13. The purpose of this research is to know what is the types of politeness that the novel’s writer uses in the conversation. Then, the reader will understand why the writer uses those kinds of politeness in this novel. This research also expected can help the reader in learning literature by forming the politeness theory of sociolinguistic.


This research uses a desciptive qualitative method. The conversations in the novel in chapter 13 are used to collect the data. Arikunto says “ Qualitative method is an analysis method that used to inspect the natural condition (Manarung, Napitupulu, & Toruan). So, the problem in this research will be solved by using descriptive analysis. This research is only focused on analyzing the positive and negative politeness in the conversation in Helen Van Slyke's novel chapter 13. The procedure of collecting data is by reading Helen Van Slyke's novel dan doing the observation about the conversations inside. Identifying the politeness, grouping the conversation based on the politeness types, and tabulating the data in the form of politeness.

The purpose of doing this observation is to make the researcher easier to describe the data and find the setting or the scene of the conversations. The conversations that the researcher took is only the conversations that included positive politeness or negative politeness.

Findings and Discussion


I. Sociolinguistics

According to An Introduction to Sociolinguistic book, “Sociolinguistics is the study about language in social life that exposed on the media and conversation or social norms” (Wardhaugh & Fuller, 2015). While another opinion about sociolinguistics is “The relation between language and society” (Saragih, 2008).

From those two statements, the researcher concludes that sociolinguistics is a branch of linguistics that studies about language especially language in a social environment such as media and communications or social norms.

II. Politeness

Politeness is an action done by someone to treat other people (may, 2019). Meanwhile, according to Mills in Levinson, politeness is an expression of the speaker's intention to minimize face threats by certain face threatenings.

One of the ways to see the pertinent of the relation between politeness concepts and language is to take a speech event and set the different presumptions with different possible expressions (Manarung, Napitupulu, & Toruan). In this form, the speaker does not need to say something to get help because the hearer will know that the speaker needs help then the hearer will give help without the speaker ask for help.


From the research, the researcher found that there are two types of politeness in conversations in Sisters and Strangers novel chapter 13. There are positive politeness and negative politeness. there are 50% (3) of positives politeness and 50% (3) are the negatives politeness.

In the novel chapter 13, either negative or positive politeness is not more widely used meanwhile in chapter 13 the conversation is the conversation between two people who are not known to each other and they have different ages then it builds the distance between the speaker dan the hearer but then in chapter 13 also there is some conversation between people who have a close relation like those three sisters that is why the negative politeness is not widely used.


From analyzing the data the types of conversation in the novel Sisters and Strangers the researcher found that the conversations in this novel use two types of politeness. it uses positive politeness and negative politeness. However, in chapter 13 the conversation are not widely use either negative or positive politeness but was the same with the range 50% for positive politeness and 50% for negative politeness. from the 6 data collections, three of them are positive politeness and three others are negative politeness.

According to the finding, the researcher hopes that this research will helpful for the reader in understanding sociolinguistic in form of politeness. this research also hoped can be a bridge to the reader to learn about literature in the form of linguistic.


  1. 2019Pengertian Dan 3 Macam Serta Contoh ‘Politeness’ Dalam Bahasa Inggris Yang Wajib
  2. Pembelajar Bahasa Inggris Tauwww.kuliahbahasainggris.com
  3. Politenss In Conversation Between Tourist and Guide In Medan
  4. Saragih, F. (2008, October 22). Pengertian Sosiolinguistik. Ruang Dunia , Pp. -.
  5. Wardhaugh, R., & Fuller, M. J. (2015). An Introduction To Sociolinguistics Seventh Edition. Uk: Wiley Backwell.
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Politeness In The Novel Sisters And Strangers. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/politeness-in-the-novel-sisters-and-strangers/
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