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"No Sugar" By Jack Davis And 7 Stages Of Grieving By Debrah Mailman And Wesley Enoch How Do These Reflect Both Social And Cultural Issues In Australia?

2488 words - 10 pages

Today, most White Australians are sensitive and distinctively aware of the social and cultural issues related to Aborigines. This must be credited to playwrights such as Jack Davis and Wesley Enoch&Deborah Mailman as they reveal the brutal discrimination, abuse to Australia's Indigenous people and their sacred culture through their pieces No Sugar and 7 Stages of Grieving. Both plays utilise the theatrical techniques of Western theatre in conjunction with their tradition way of story telling to convey themes of struggle, prejudice and the destruction of Aboriginal culture. First wave playwright, Jack Davis writes the lives of the Millimurra family in their struggle to survive the Depression early in the 20th century No Sugar, while 7 Stages of Grieving focuses on the lives of the modern generation of Australian Aboriginal. This time gap will reflect the changing cultural, social and political issues in Australia.No Sugar was written in a period when the majority of Australians were completely unaware of their situation and became influential along with other texts such as My Place by Sally Moran, which also discloses the reality of Aboriginal people. No Sugar is the second play in a trilogy called " The First Born", which traces the history of the Aborigines in Western Australia from the first White settlement, or in their perspective, invasion, in 1928 to the lives of urban Aboriginals today. The first play Kulluck (Home) shows the destruction of the Nyoongah people as a community and the social and economic oppression they suffered with the arrival of Europeans. Davis wrote this play in 1979 as an angry response to the celebration of Western Australia's 150th anniversary of White 'settlement'. No Sugar was written just two years before the national celebration of the Bicentenary and depicts the lives of post-tribal or pre-urbanised Aborigines people who were caught between assimilation and segregation. In the last play The Dreamers illustrates Aboriginal people today, their nostalgic longing for what is lost as well as their acceptance that it will not return. Being the middle of a trilogy, the characters in No Sugar are also caught in the middle of the process of transformation. The resultant of this process is assimilating into the white society; however, it is merely a replacement term for a second-class citizenship. In the 1970's and 80's, Jack Davis' plays facilitated the raising Black consciousness among the White Australians.No Sugar is a realist play based on real people. Jack Davis used the technique of the documentary theatre of Agitprop which uses real historic events to recount history. This is done dramatically in speeches and newspaper articles and the narrative of characters who remembers the past. To a White audience this may seem to be too political but for a Black audience, this element is vital in the essence that the truth is finally being told in their point of view. This play is also written in an episodic form, a...

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