“Devoid of hope, No Sugar is Jack Davis’ lament for the loss of indigenous autonomy and identity”
No Sugar by Jack Davis explores the plight of Millimura/Munday family struggling to survive during the 1930’s Depression Era in Western Australia. Although, No Sugar depicts the loss of Indigenous people’s rights, it also highlights the hope for Indigenous future through their retention of culture and heritage. Aboriginal people were constantly discriminated against at many levels, exposed to abuse and exploitation due to white authorities’ prejudiced acts. Despite the struggles, they manage to retain their culture and identity through their maintenance of Nyoongah language, assertion of traditional skills and practices. Therefore, a say that the play, No Sugar, is a devoid of hope, is invalid.
The discriminatory act is clearly emphasised when white authorities reduce the Aboriginal people’s ‘rations’. Despite the reduction, being given the ‘rations’ itself, suggests that the Aboriginal people are exposed to poverty and are continuously deprived of their own rights. The further exclusion of future “meat.. and soap” from the rations implies a dehumanisation that the Aboriginal people excruciatingly suffer from. Regardless the deprivation of essentials to live by, the invitation to a happy and almost idyllic family in the first scene suggests that poverty is clearly not a calamity for them; yet even so, Davis...