The question of which conditions and rules are required for successful conversation is important for a speech act analysis. Appropriateness conditions provide an answer to this question. Searle suggests felicity conditions for individual speech acts. For conversational purposes, Grice suggests the Cooperative Principle; Leech submits Interpersonal and Textual Rhetorics; Bach and Harnish pose three presumptions and mutual contextual beliefs, and Pratt adds the notion of display text. These concepts are all realisations of appropriateness conditions. Before closely analysing the text of John 9, this chapter will consider the entire story itself in the light of these conditions. As part of this consideration, Johannine symbolism and the motif of suffering will also be discussed.
As for these appropriateness conditions, I would like to remind my reader again that my speech act approach recognises the importance of contexts, namely historical, social, cultural, religious, linguistic, literary, and so on, because the contexts for a specific speech situation play an important role in interpretation, especially in determining the meaning of a certain utterance, passage or section (cf. Significance of context, section 3.1 in Chapter 2). Findings and insights concerning these contexts from previous works, including those from historical criticism, will greatly help my analysis. Therefore, I shall attempt to identify the most plausible contexts for John 9, summarising the views of other scholars, conversing with them, and providing my own assessments, where necessary. It is hoped that identifying the most plausible contexts could form a basis for a moderate example of the attempt to combine the use of historical and literary approaches. This is a strength of my approach, and should not be viewed as a redundant representation of arguments by secondary sources