The Use of Direct and Indirect Speech Acts between Higher and Lower Social Class in Titanic Movie



The Use of Direct and Indirect Speech Acts between Higher and Lower Social Class in Titanic Movie 


Isna Kusuma Maghfira

English Literature

Faculty of Languages and Arts

State University of Surabaya

Lisetyo Ariyanti, S.S., M.Pd.

English Department

Faculty of Languages and Arts

State University of Surabaya



Menurut seorang filsuf bahasa Amerika JR Searle (1969 : 22 ) berbicara bahasa adalah melakukan tindak tutur , bertindak seperti membuat laporan , memberikan perintah , mengajukan pertanyaan , atau membuat janji . Saat melakukan tindak tutur , orang dapat menggunakan tindak tutur langsung dan tidak langsung . Dalam membuat ucapan , orang kadang-kadang menggunakan makna implisit dan kadang-kadang menggunakan makna eksplisit . Hal ini tergantung pada kondisi dan situasi speaker dan pendengar . Seseorang menggunakan Direct Speech Acts untuk memberikan informasi secara langsung kepada pendengar . Umumnya , pembicara adalah orang yang memiliki posisi lebih tinggi atau sudah memiliki hubungan yang dekat dengan pendengar . Sedangkan penggunaan tindak tutur tidak langsung adalah untuk memperbaiki apa yang ingin Anda katakan dan juga menjaga kesopanan . Sehubungan dengan penjelasan tindak tutur langsung dan tidak langsung , penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui bagaimana aplikasi tindak tutur langsung dan tidak langsung yang digunakan dalam film Titanic . Yang membuat penelitian ini penting untuk dilakukan adalah bahwa dalam film Titanic ada perbedaan latar belakang sosial dan juga berisi dengan berbagai emosi . Penulis menekankan analisis dalam bahasa lisan yang digunakan oleh karakter . Ada beberapa perbedaan dalam penggunaan tindak tutur langsung dan tidak langsung karena mereka berasal dari kelas yang berbeda . Dalam melakukan penelitian ini , penulis menggunakan metode deskriptif kualitatif karena itu menganalisis data dalam bentuk kata-kata yang memerlukan intrepretasi makna , konsep , dan definisi deskriptif . Penulis menjadikan dirinya sebagai instrumen kunci yang mengumpulkan data dari percakapan yang dilakukan oleh karakter dalam film Titanic . Penulis juga menggunakan naskah film Titanic yang diadaptasi dan diperbaiki dengan film untuk membantu penelitiannya . Dengan merevisi penelitian ini , dapat disimpulkan bahwa dalam komunikasi sosial , hal penting yang digunakan untuk menjadi prihatin adalah pilihan dari ucapan kita untuk melakukan percakapan yang tepat dan efektif . Peneliti selanjutnya , terutama di bidang yang sama harus mampu melihat keluar lebih dalam objek penelitian untuk membuat persepsi yang lebih baik .



KATA KUNCI : tindak tutur , langsung , tidak langsung , Titanic film


According to an American language philosopher J.R. Searle (1969: 22) speaking a language is performing speech acts, acts such as making statements, giving commands, asking questions, or making promise.  While doing speech act, people can use direct and indirect speech act.  In making utterance, people sometimes use implicit meaning and sometimes use explicit meaning.  It depends on the condition and situation of the speakers and hearers.  Someone uses Direct Speech Acts to provide information directly to the listener.  Generally, the speaker is a person who has a higher position or already have a close relationship with the listener.  Whereas the use of Indirect Speech Acts is to refine what you want to say and also maintain modesty.  In relation with the explanation of direct and indirect speech acts, this study is purposed to find out how is the applications of direct and indirect speech acts which are used in Titanic movie.  What makes this study important to be done is that in the Titanic movie there are differences of social background and it is drawn by various emotions.  The writer emphasizes the analysis in the spoken language that are used by the characters.  There are several differences in the use of direct and indirect speech acts since they are coming from different class.  In conducting this research, the writer uses descriptive qualitative method because it analyzes the data in the form of words that need to intrepret the meanings, concepts, and definitions descriptively.  The writer made herself as the key instrument that collected the data from the conversation performed by the characters in Titanic movie.  The writers also used Titanic movie script which is adapted and corrected with the movie to help her research.  By revising this study, it can be concluded that in social communication, the essential thing that used to be concerned is the options of our utterance to make a proper and effective conversation.  The next researcher, especially in the same field should be able to look out deeper in the object of the study to make a better perception.



KEY WORDS: speech acts, direct, indirect, Titanic movie




Humans are created as social creature that live along and depend on each other.  Those dependences are none other to fulfill the needs of each individual.  In the effort to fulfill their needs, someone must communicate each other.  Humans cannot be separated from communication because it is an essential thing to exchange thoughts, messages, or information.  We cannot not to communicate.  In every attitude and behavior we processes, we have communication potential (Mulyana, 2000:98).  In communicating with other people, someone needs a tool or intermediary to convey the message.  This intermediary is language.  Language is an inseparable part of our life.  It is an essential tool used to transmit messages, information, thoughts, and opinions.  It puts us in the society we live in; it does also determine our position in various societies.

Trudgill (in Khosyi’ul: 2007:1) states that:

 Language is a social phenomenon.  Society can be reflected through language.  There are three factors reflected in language, those are physical environment, social environment, and social values.  Physical environment is a circumstance or a place in which group live; people who live in a small group have differences in speaking from one that live in town and small groups.  Social environment can be reflected in a language especially in the field of vocabulary and pronunciation.  Social values are a set of norms and tradition owned by a society.  The norms and tradition can be reflected in a language because society’s norms and tradition are different from other societies.


Society has a big role in determining the proper way of language use.  In certain circumstances, a person should be able to apply the language on its appropriate usage.  We should understand when the message is delivered, with whom we are speaking, what topics are raised, and how the message is delivered.  Proper use of language is very important for communication as to avoid misunderstandings and the listener is not offended.  According to an American language philosopher J.R. Searle (1969: 22) speaking a language is performing speech acts, acts such as making statements, giving commands, asking questions, or making promise.  While doing speech act, people can use direct and indirect speech act.  In making utterance, people sometimes use implicit meaning and sometimes use explicit meaning.  It is depend on the condition and situation of the speakers and hearers.

Someone uses Direct Speech Acts to provide information directly to the listener.  Generally, the speaker is a person who has a higher position or already has a close relationship with the listener.  Whereas the use of Indirect Speech Acts to refine what you want to say and also maintain modesty.  Usually someone using the Indirect Speech Acts because he hesitate to say directly or because it the speaker and listener are distant.  When people using direct and indirect speech acts, they sometimes also use slang word and imagery.

In this research, the writer use Titanic movie to be analyzed because it gives an overview of various conditions and situations of human life.  Titanic movie also presents cultural and social differences that lead to form a language and communication.  The characters in the movie show both direct and indirect speech acts according to the situation and condition.

Titanic is an epic movie in history – simultaneously the most expensive and the most successful movie ever made, costing $200 million and grossing over $3.7 billion worldwide as of January 1999.  The record setting movie “Titanic” is based on the true history of the Titanic includes the love interest of the main characters, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.  The romantic story is not original, but this is not a bad thing.  The director, Cameron re-invents the story to fit the time period and its characters.  As everyone knows the true history of Titanic, it strucked an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic, killing 1500 of the 2200 passengers on board.

In this movie, Jack and Rose’s love story is being the point of the plot and story.  But actually this movie is not just the tale of remarkable love story about Jack and Rose.  It is a story of humanity presuming to tame the fortune and nature.  The researcher also concerns about the setting which is taken by Titanic.  This movie represents the social condition under King George V monarch in Great Britain.  There is quite a lot of industrial unrest in Britain.  The creation of Titanic becomes evidence about the development of Britain’s industry.  Titanic, the ship of dreams is also known as unsinkable, and it was sunken on its first voyage.  The society at that time thinks that everyone who rides on Titanic are the luckiest man ever.  Titanic is built after the Olympic and Britannic as the first and second ships produce by White Star Line.  Titanic is constructed as the biggest, largest, and, the most luxurious ship. 

In Britain at this time, racial prejudices are still high.  There is still a huge gap between social classes and also gender equality.  Money and status is the power to control the society at that time.  The society also really concerns about appropriate communication and behavior use.  The main highlight of this movie is about the love story between Jack and Rose.  Their love story becomes a conflict because of difference social class.  Jack Dawson is a poor artist who lives with no rules and does anything he wants to do freely.  While Rose DeWitt is a rich girl who lives in a strict society which is full of rules and really concern with every word and behavior conducted.  Rose leaves her fiancé Caledon Hockley, a selfish and arrogant man for this poor artist.  But when the Titanic strucks the iceberg on April 14th, 1992, and then when the ship sinks on April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning, Jack dies and Rose survives as she promises to Jack that she will survive and do better life.  Finally, Rose and 700 other in lifeboats are saved and taken to Carpathia.   The Carpathia immigration officer asks Rose what her name is and she says her name is not Rose DeWitt Bukater, but her name is Rose Dawson.  She does this because she loves Jack so much and because she has promised him to get a better life, since admitting her real name which leads her life back to Caledon will not make a better life.  She sees Cal looking for her, but he does not see her, and they never end up together.  Her mother, Cal, friends, and families think that she died on Titanic.

In accordance to the story above, the writer use Titanic movie to be analyzed because the movie is very phenomenal and familiar.  And for, in the Titanic movie, there are so many emotions drawn in the various characters which are shown in the movie.  Also there are many certain circumstances in which determined their way to speak.  We can imagine that there is various direct and indirect speech acts existed as the concern of this study.  By using easy-understanding language, the writer aims to give a view of direct and indirect communication, the use of those, and how the application in the daily life based on the theory.



This research is classified as a descriptive qualitative method because the following reasons.  First, it aims to find out, describe, and explain the speech acts focuses on direct and indirect speech acts between higher and lower class in Titanic movie based on George Yule’s theory.  Second, the data are in form of explanations or symbolic one, not number.  The data are interpreted and displayed presented descriptively and systematically based on the supporting theory.

The source of data in this research is Titanic movie.  The data of this study are in the form of English words, phrases, and sentences collected from the conversation used by the characters in the movie which are included the direct and indirect speech acts.  Besides, to make data clearer the writer needs to find out other related sources, such as from internet that focused on everything about Titanic and also direct and indirect speech acts.

The subjects of this research are speech or word both verbal and nonverbal produced by all the characters in Titanic movie.

As the research instruments the writer the writer included herself in the key instruments.  In additional, the writer also used movie script of Titanic movie to help her research.  By using the script, the writer can analyze the specific problem stated easier word by word.

After acquiring the subjects of the study, the writer collects the data from the speeches used by all the character in Titanic movie.  The data of this research are collected through the process as follows: (1) Watches Titanic movie and correct the movie script, (2) Reads related texts, and (3) Chooses the conversation.

Data analysis in this research was done by identifying speech acts occupying in the movie, the purpose of the speech act in the movie, and also the speech acts used in the movie.  The writer arranges some steps as follows: (1) Watching and collecting information from the movie, (2) Reading and understanding the text of Titanic movie, (3) Identifying the speech acts from each scene used in the Titanic movie, (4) Discussing and classifying the speech act from each scene in the Titanic movie into direct and indirect speech acts, (5) Summarizing and concluding the research finding.




According to Yule (1995: 4), pragmatics is the study of language from the point of view of the users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects their use of language has on the other participants in an act of communication. Pragmatics is about how people understand other’s thought and idea which are expressed through verbal communication.

Furthermore, Mey (2001:42) stated that pragmatics is the study of the conditions of human language uses as these are determined by the context of society. Levinson (1996:21) added that pragmatics is the study of the relations between language and context that are basic to an account of language understanding. So pragmatics can be defined as a study talking about the relationship between language and context, in which the contextual meaning of an utterance can be different from the grammatical meaning.



According to American language philosopher J.R.  Searle speaking a language is performing speech acts, acts such as making statements, giving command, as making statements, giving commands, asking questions or making promises.  Searle states that all linguistic communication involves linguistic (speech) acts.  In other words, speech acts are the basic or minimal units of linguistic communication (1976:16).  They are not mere artificial linguistic constructs as it may seem, their understanding together with the acquaintance of context in which they are performed are often essential for decoding the whole utterance and its proper meaning.  The speech acts are used in standard quotidian exchanges as well as in jokes or drama for instance.

J.L. Austin is the first linguist who proposed the theory of speech act; his theory of speech act was adopted and developed by the subsequent linguists.  George Yule (1996) includes speech acts classification, performatives, felicity condition, direct and indirect speech acts.

Yule (1996:47) proposes that speech acts is performed action via utterance. Another definition from Crystal in Soekemi (1995:121) mentions that speech act is a theory which analyses the role of utterance in relation to the behavior of speaker and listener in interpersonal communication. In brief when speakers are saying words, they not only produce utterance containing words and grammatical structure, but they also perform action in those utterances.

                Austin in Yule (1996:48) described kinds of acts; they are locutionary act, illocutionary act and Perlocutionary act.

Locutionary Acts

This component of the speech act is probably the least ambiguous. Bach and Harnish (Bach and Harnish 1979: 19), commenting on Austin’s work, point out that Austin distinguish three aspects of the locutionary act.  Austin claims that to say anything is:

A. Always to perform the act of uttering certain noises (a phonetic act)

B. Always to perform the act of uttering certain vocables or words (a phatic act)

C. Generally to perform the act of using that [sentence] or its constituents with certain more or less definite ‘sense’ and a more or less definite ‘reference’, which together are equivalent to ‘meaning’ (rhetic act).


From this division it follows that the locutionary act comprises other three “sub-acts”: phonetic, phatic and rhetic. This distinction as well as the notion of locutionary act in general was often criticized by Austin’s followers. Searle even completely rejects Austin’s division and proposes his own instead (Searle, 1968: 405).  Searle (Searle, 1968:412) warns that Austin’s rhetic act is nothing else but a reformulated description of the illocutionary act and he therefore suggests another term, the so-called propositional act which expresses the proposition (a neutral phrase without illocutionary force). In other words, a proposition is the content of the utterance. 

Wardhaugh offers this explanation. Propositional acts are those matters having to do with referring and predicating: we use language to refer to matters in the world and to make predictions about such matters (Wardaugh, 1992: 285).  Propositional acts cannot occur alone since the speech act would not be complete.  The proposition is thus expressed in the performance of an illocutionary act.  What is essential to note here is that not all illocutionary acts must necessarily have a proposition (utterances expressing states such as ‘Ouch!’ or ‘Damn!’ are “proposition less” as Searle observes (Searle 1976:30)).  Having defined the proposition and propositional acts, Searle modifies Austin’s ideas and states that there are utterance acts (utterance acts are similar to Austin’s phonetic and phatic “sub-acts”, Searle (1976:24) defines them as mere uttering morphemes, words and sentences), propositional acts and illocutionary acts.  

Utterance acts together with propositional acts are an inherent part of the theory of speech acts but what linguists concentrate on the most is undoubtedly the issue of illocutionary acts.

Illocutionary acts

Illocutionary acts are considered the core of the theory of speech acts. As already suggested above, an illocutionary act is the action performed by the speaker in producing a given utterance. The illocutionary act is closely connected with speaker’s intentions, e.g. stating, questioning, promising, requesting, threatening, giving commands and many others. As Yule (Yule, 1996: 48) claims, the illocutionary act is thus performed via the communicative force of an utterance which is also generally known as illocutionary force of the utterance. Basically, the illocutionary act indicates how the whole utterance is to be taken in the conversation.  

Sometimes it is not easy to determine what kind of illocutionary act the speaker performs.  To hint his intentions and to show how the proposition should be taken the speaker uses many indications, ranging from the most obvious ones, such as unambiguous performative verbs, to the more solid ones, among which mainly various paralinguistic features (stress, timbre and intonation) and word order should be mentioned.  All these hints or let’s say factors influencing the meaning of the utterance are called Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices, or IFID as Yule, referring to previous Searle’ s work, calls them (Yule, 1996: 49).

In order to correctly decode the illocutionary act performed by the speaker, it is also necessary for the hearer to be acquainted with the context the speech act occurs in.  Mey (Mey, 1993: 139) says that one should not believe a speech act to be taking place, before one has considered, or possibly created, the appropriate context.  Yet, Searle’s classification helped to become aware of basic types of illocutionary acts and their potential perlocutionary effect on the hearer.


Perlocutionary Acts

Perlocutionary acts, Austin’s last element in the three-fold definition of speech acts, are performed with the intention of producing a further effect on the hearer.  Sometimes it may seem that perlocutionary acts do not differ from illocutionary acts very much, yet there is one important feature which tells them apart. There are two levels of success in performing illocutionary and perlocutionary acts which can be best explained on a simple example. 

Would you close the door?

Considered merely as an illocutionary act (a request in this case); the act is successful if the hearer recognizes that he should close the door, but as a perlocutionary act it succeeds only if he actually closes it.

There are many utterances with the purpose to affect the hearer in some way or other, some convey the information directly, others are more careful or polite and they use indirectness to transmit the message.



The classification of illocutionary acts propose by Searle (1976) is a development of ideas that appears in Austin’s theory. They are five basic kind of action that can perform in speaking by mean of the following five types of utterance that is developing by Yule (1996:53-54), they are:

  1. Assertives: speech acts that commit a speaker to the truth of the expressed proposition, i.e. reciting a creed.
  2. Directives: speech acts that are to cause the hearer to take a particular action, i.e. requests, commands, and advice.
  3. Commisives: speech acts that commit a speaker to some future action, i.e. promises and oaths.
  4. Expressives: speech acts that express the speaker’s attitudes and emotions towards the proposition, i.e. congratulations, excuses, and thanks.
  5. Declarations: speech acts that change the reality in accord with the proposition of the declaration, i.e. baptisms, pronouncing someone guilty or pronouncing someone husband and wife.


In exploring what it is we know about taking part in conversation, or any other speech event (e.g. debate, interview, various types of discussion), we quickly realize that there is enormous variation in what people say and do in different circumstances.  In order to begin to describe the sources of that variation, we have to take account of a number of criteria.  For example, we would have to specify the roles of speaker and hearer (or hearers) and their relationship(s), whether they were firiends, strangers, men, women, young, old, of equal or unequal status, or many other factors.  We would have to describe what the topic of conversation was and in what setting it took place.



The data is taken when higher class people gathering in a big hall for dinner.  Cal, meanwhile, is accepting the praise of his male counterparts, who are looking at Rose like a prize show horse.

Sir Cosmo             :  Hockley, she is splendid.

Cal                          :  Thank you.

Gracie                    :  Cal’s a lucky man.  I know him well, and it can only be luck.

Ruth                       :  [Steps over and takes Cal’s arm].  How can you say that Colonel?  Caledon Hockley is a great catch.


After sees Rose who is really beautiful Sir Cosmo says ‘Hockley, she is splendid’ to Cal.  It is included to illocutionary acts because he does not tell directly that Rose is beautiful to her but he tells it to Cal.  Sir Cosmo’s utterance has a purpose not to give an opinion about Rose appearance but he is actually praising or giving compliment to Cal to have a very good woman.  It proved by Cal’s replies with saying ‘Thank you’ instead of saying yes to show that he is agreeing with Sir Cosmo.  Cal’s reply is included in perlocutionary acts.  According to those explanations, Sir Cosmo’s utterance is classified into indirect speech acts because Cal as the hearer managed to capture the implicit meaning of Sir Cosmo’s phrase.  Cal’s reaction is exactly what Sir Cosmo want.  The reason why Sir Cosmo performs an indirect speech act when he praises Cal is because of the influences of Speech Events, he comes from a noble and educated family so he should speak carefully and orderly.  Besides, Sir Cosmo also wants to show his respect to the Cal because both of the come from blue-blooded family.  This is the proofs that Sir Cosmo is considered about the appropriate condition and relationship in performing utterances.

After hearing Sir Cosmo and Cal conversation, Gracie then joined in.  His utterance ‘Cal’s a lucky man.  I know him well, and it can only be luck.’ is an illocutionary acts.  By looking from his expression, he does not want to give compliment to Cal about his luckiness but he is teasing Cal.  He actually wants to inform that Cal is not a really good person for Rose because he knows Cal really well.  He feels weird that Rose accepts Cal’s desire.  The evidence which explains that Gracie is using indirect speech acts in teasing Cal can be represented by Ruth’s reaction.  Ruth finds out that Gracie is teasing Cal about incongruity between Cal and Rose.  She also notices that Cal is feeling offended.  Ruth then links her hand into Cal’s arm and threats him as if Cal is a good man who can take a good care of Rose.  Her action is strengthen by her statement ‘How can you say that Colonel?  Caledon Hockley is a great catch’.  Ruth’s statement also gives meaning that she denies about Gracie’s opinion which says Cal is not good enough for Rose.  Ruth’s reaction is a perlocutionary acts as the reply of Gracie’s utterance.  This description indicates that Ruth uses indirect speech act to denying Gracie’s statement.  She uses it to show politeness and modesty.



The data is taken when Jack and Fabrizio is rushing to reach Titanic which about to abroad.  Officer Moody is about to close the gate.

Jack        :  Wait!!  We’re passengers!! [Flushed and panting, he waves the tickets]

Moody   :  [Hold the door].  Have you been through the inspections queue?

Jack        :  Of course!  Anyway, we don’t have lice, we’re American.  [Glances at Fabrizio]  both of us.

Moody   :  Right, Come abroad.

Jack and Fabrizio                :  [Entering the ship]



In the first utterance performed by Jack, ‘Wait!!  We’re passengers!!’ indicates a locutionary acts.  His utterance and action directly show that he and Fabrizio is a passengers and he wants Officer Moody to wait for them.  In response to Jack’s utterance, Officer Moody stops to close the door then foccuss on Jack and Fabrizio.  The action which is taken by Officer Moody is perlocutionary acts.  Jack’s utterance is included in direct speech acts because he states clearly what he wants from the hearer, then the hearer affected to do exact action as the utterance.  Jack uses direct speech acts to Moody although Moody is in higher position and authority than him.  It is caused by Jack’s situation in which he is in hurry and  needs to enter the ship as soon as possible.  The other reason is because of the influence of Jack’s background.  Jack is a lower social class people who does not speak in manner and modesty.  He utters what he wants to say without concerning the structure or the politeness.  As the officer, Moody does not mind if Jack says a direct command because he already knows how people in lower social class speak.

The next utterance which is produced by Moody is locutionary acts.  ‘Have you been through the inspections queue?’ is an interrogative structure used to give a question.  Moody’s question is directly intend to ask Jack and Fabrizio if they already have been checked or not and it needs only “yes” or “no” answer.  In response to Moody’s question, Jack then say ‘Of course!’ or “Yes” which means that it is an answer and evidence that Moody’s utterance is a direct speech acts.  Moody uses direct speech acts to give a question to Jack and Fabrizio because he wants to show his firmness and authority as officer in the ship.  And also, he is talking with lower social class people who does not affect or concern if he is given a rude or impudent words.

When Moody states ‘Right, come abroad’, he produces a locutionary acts.  His intention is already mentioned through the utterance.  He commands Jack and Fabrizio to come abroad.  As the response, Jack and Fabrizio pass the gate and enter the ship.  Their action is perlocutionary acts.  Because there is a link between speaker’s utterance and hearer’s action, it is included in direct speech acts.  The action which is taken is exactly the same as the speaker commands.  The motives Moody uses direct speech acts is because he is in an urgent situation and want to end the argument.  The ship is about to leave, and if he does not tells the instruction directly it will spend more time and create a confusion.



The data is taken after Rose almost fall from the edge of the ship.  Jack is someone who helps Rose, then he gets his reward from Cal for his heroic action.

Colonel Gracie     :  Well!  The boy’s a hero then.  Good for you son, well done!  [to Cal] so it’s all’s well and back to our brandy, eh?

Cal          :  Let’s get you in.  You’re freezing.  [Cal is leaving without a second thought for Jack].

Colonel Gracie     :  Ah... perhaps a little something for the boy?

Cal          :  Oh, right.  Mr. Lovejoy.  A twenty should do it.

Rose       :  Is that the going rate for saving the woman you love?

Cal          :  Rose is displeased.  Mmmm... what to do? [ Cal turns back to Jack.  Appraises him condescendingly].  I know. [To Jack] Perhaps you could join us for dinner tomorrow, to regale our group with your heroic tale?

Jack        :  Sure.  Count me in.


When Colonel Gracie says ‘Ah... perhaps a little something for the boy?’, he is produces illocutionary acts.  In his utterance he actually does not ask a question, but his pupose is giving a request to Cal to give Jack money or reward for his efford in saving Rose.  In response Colonel Gracie’s utterance, Cal then say ‘Oh, right.  Mr. Lovejoy.  A twenty should do it’ which means he gets what Colonel Gracie wants so he gives command to Lovejoy to give money to Jack.  Cal’s response indicates to perlocutionary acts.  Because there is a hidden intention behind Colonel Gracie’s utterance, his utterance is included into direct speech acts.  He uses direct speech acts to give a request to Cal because he wants to apply politeness.  He also worries if he speaks too direct to Cal who comes from higher social class will make Cal feels offended and angry due to his impudent.

After hear what Jack will get, Rose then says ‘Is that the going rate for saving the woman you love?’  She is actually does not ask a question about the currency or rate which is Cal given to Jack, but she purposes to ask him to increase the reward for Jack.  Rose’s utterance is illocutionary acts because there is an intention behind her utterance.  In response, Cal says ‘Rose is displeased.  Mmm... what to do?’ to show that he is understand what Rose wants and thinks for a better reward.  Cal’s action is perlocutionary acts.  Cal able to catch the intention behind Rose utterance and do the action which is wanted by Rose.  By this evidence we can conclude that Rose is performed indirect speech acts.



In accordance with previous chapter, the conclusion of this research can be drawn based on the formulated research question.

Speech acts is an utterance that has performative function in language and communication.  Based on George’s Yule theory, speech acts can be divided into two ways of speaking.  They are direct and indirect speech acts.  Form the analysis in Titanic movie, there are assertives, directives, commisives, expressives, and declarations speech acts exist. According to the analysis, higher and lower social class use both direct and indirect speech acts to communicate.  The use of indirect speech acts can show the politeness and fine words of an utterance.  It is really appropriate used in the conversation in which it is a formal and sacred circumstance.   Indirect speech acts also can be used to show pride, wealthy, and educated background.  By using indirect speech acts, people will be looked honored.  While indirect speech acts can be used both in casual and urgent situation.  The use of direct speech acts in casual situation is to show intimates, while in urgent situation it is used to avoid confusion.  The use of this speech act is related to the social background of uneducated and liberal society.

It does not mean that a certain social class is only use one form of speech acts.  Both of higher and lower social class can use direct and indirect speech acts as long as it is appropriate with the circumtances.  Direct speech acts can be used to show the seriousness and firmness, while indirect speech acts used to show politeness and respectful.  According to this function we can conclude that both higher and lower class can use both of them.

In addition, accordance to the direct and indirect speech acts theory, it can be concluded that the message conveyed is not coded directly on actual meanings.  Those are iddentified as parable or imagery.  Parable itself is thought as two blades which could have made a word more polite, but it could also be a sharp satire to the listener.

Analyzing direct and indirect speech acts of Titanic movie gives several significant improvement and knowledge.  The most significant contribution that the writer gets is, she can improve the ability in interpreting an utterance.  Morever, the extremely importance for the writer is she can choose the appropriate speech act in certain context, certain purpose or certain person.





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How to Cite
MAGHFIRA, I. (2014). The Use of Direct and Indirect Speech Acts between Higher and Lower Social Class in Titanic Movie. LANGUAGE HORIZON, 2(1). Retrieved from
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