No Sugar Essay

1827 words - 7 pages

The play, No Sugar by Jack Davis seeks to expose the racist attitudes faced by Australian Aborigines at the hands of white authority whilst also promoting the strength of the Aboriginal culture and people in coping with these attitudes. Davis has manipulated narrative and theatrical elements such as characterization, symbol and costume within No Sugar in order to present the plays many issues throughout the text.Davis has chosen to present his Aboriginal beliefs in the form of a reversionary text, that is a text that challenges the common beliefs held by society. The text can be classified as a "jarring witness" for it attempts to disrupt, subvert and question existing versions of Australia's history. Davis has attempted to challenge the whites' accounts of West Australia's history and undermine their version with a Nyoongah's version of the past. In order to present reliable information Davis has used both official documents and the personal and communal memories of the Aboriginal people in order to create a dramatic narrative that presents the Aboriginal point of view.The text targets a black and white audience, however, endeavours to challenge only the white person's expectations of the aboriginal culture. The play also strives to let the white audience learn of the extreme injustices encountered by the Aborigine's during the white colonization. In doing this it also attempts to let the white audience to experience the inability faced by the Aborigines in terms of power and freedom by the use of the Nyoongah language and manipulation of other theatrical and narrative elements.The opening scene attempts to establish setting by making clear reference to the poverty the Millumara family lives in (a run down camp e.g.. of poverty, a soak where they must wash their clothes and themselves time after time) however the family appears to be cheerful and under the circumstances act much like a normal white family. This is done by Davis so as the audience can relate to the family being normal.The Millumara's take part in white activities such as cricket, reading and washing clothing and the play makes references to other stereotypical "white things" such as tea, sugar, apples and currency in order to show the state of oppression they live in with regards to the white culture but more importantly shows how the Millumara's cope by accepting the white culture to be a part of their lives and developing a strong family unit that all work together so as they can survive.The family at the centre of the play is the Munday-Millimurras. They are a strong aboriginal family used by Davis to show the difficulty of living in the time of a white oppression. Jimmy Munday is an angry, displaced and frustrated person due to the restricted life he must lead at the hand of his white oppressors. Although Jimmy is well aware that he is powerless in the society in which he lives he is well aware of the white settler's actions and almost seeks to make trouble because of it. An...

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