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No Sugar

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Chelsea Druce

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of No Sugar

No Sugar
3. Comment on the dramatic conventions used in your scene/ scenes. What do they reveal in relation to character and conflict?

Dramatic conventions:
Dramatic conventions are the specific actions or techniques the writer has employed to create a desired dramatic effect (‘No Sugar’: theoretical conventions)

5. How does your scene/ scenes challenge or reinforce a post-colonial reading position?
Post-colonial theory:
Post-colonialism is an academic discipline featuring methods of intellectual discourse that analyze, explain, and respond to the cultural legacies of colonialism and of imperialism, to the human consequences of controlling a country and establishing settlers for the economic exploitation of the native people and their land.
Background Symbolism
Jack Davis
1. How are the characters constructed? Consider how you are positioned to read there character? How is the conflict represented?
2. What issues are foregrounded in your scenes/ scenes? How does this relate to the wider issues examined in the play?
3. Comment on the dramatic conventions used in your scene/ scenes. What do they reveal in relation to character and conflict?
4. Highlight important quotes. What do they reveal within the context of the play?
5. How does your scene/ scenes challenge or reinforce a post colonial reading position?
Examples of dramatic conventions:
• Dialogue
 To oneself
 Lack of it
 Point it is trying to make
• Lighting
 Lack of light
 Spotlight
• Parenthetical / Introduction(action description)
Tells the actor how to say the line

The Aboriginals are represented by the smaller circles, this is because they were the minority in the land of the whites, and they were also often separated into different 'camps'.
The questions are in the middle as they link up the Aboriginals. It is texts like 'No Sugar' that does not discriminate Aboriginals, but instead it gives the reader an idea of that time, and instigates the reader to question the validity of history.
The circles are placed on a vast land of brown, symbolising the Aboriginals land. The land stretches out into oblivion, implying that we, as readers, are unable to comprehend the vastness of Aboriginal history and culture. The border also represents the way we have enclosed ourselves.
The lighter brown in the middle looks like a light source, or a fireplace, implying that it is the questions and analysis that we do that is keeping Aboriginal history alive today. Although we cannot compensate their losses, studying the real history is a light of justice that the Aboriginals deserve.
ACT ONE SCENE ONE
“SAM MILLIMURRA prepares mugs of tea, lacing them generously with sugar. He passes one to JOE who is absorbed in the special centenary edition of the Western Mail. GRAN and MILLY sort clothes for washing. DAVID and CISSIE play cricket with a home-made bat and ball. JIMMY sharpens his axe, bush fashion.”
• Lack of information
• Could be any race or any family
• Ensures that the reader is not biased
• Trying to prove that it is not the people, but their skin colour that makes whites discriminate them in ‘No Sugar’
• ‘generously with sugar’: first time sugar is mentioned
 - Conflict: ‘No Sugar’
 - Irony
 - Aboriginals are now ‘dependent’ on sugar
 - Illustrates how Aboriginals are forced to be dependent on white society
 - Whites hold the power as they provide the necessities
 - Whites are made to be sound generous, but in actual fact, when they force Aboriginals to ‘accept’ their help, they are placing themselves in a position of power – ability to cut off access to necessities
• Joe is reading the newspaper, contradicting institutionalised stereotypes
 - Cares about surroundings
 - Not an ignorant animal
 - Is educated despite environment and difficulty caused by whites
 - Shows determination and a learning attitude
• Gran and Milly are sorting clothes for washing
 - Very domesticated
 - Stereotypical
• David and Cissie play cricket with a homemade bat and ball
 - Conforming to white society
 - Play their games
 - Yet to not fit, as they are homemade (more homely than whites)
 - Very frugal/ poor, not enough money for little leisure
• Jimmy is the only indication that the family is not white
 - Sharpens his axe: illustrated as dangerous, important element for the Aboriginals
 - Bush fashion: even in his daily life, he is challenging the white society, not wanting to conform

• Characters:
Jack Davis establishes the characters, showing a typical home, making sure that the reader cannot discriminate them as no race or skin colour is mentioned. He is allowing us to evaluate the family fairly. The characters are shown to be educated and ‘proper’, all except for Jimmy, isolating him and allowing the reader to recognise him as a discord. However, once we learn of their ethnicity, we discover that characters such as Joe is resisting as well, as Aboriginals are not encouraged to have education. Whilst Jimmy protests more vocally, Joe protests are more subtle and intelligent.
• Conflict:
The conflict in the story is stated in the title, ‘No Sugar’. This can be interpreted in two ways. First of all, sugar has always been associated with Europeans, and ‘no sugar’ can mean that the Aboriginals are against the whites. They are literally saying ‘no’ against the whites. The second way it can be interpreted is that there is actually no sugar. That the whites that are supposed to, and wanted to, provide for them, are drawing back of their rations. Both conflicts are associated with the whites, and are the repercussions of colonisation. The title and the script naturalises a post-colonial reading. In the first part alone, it foreshadows the issues that will be brought up in the text. It also depicts that the Aboriginals did fight back for their own rights in their own ways.

JOE: “Aborigines, incog… incongruously… Dancing… to a brass band.”
JIMMY: “Ah! That beats everythin’: stupid bloody black fellas.”
CHARACTER CONSTRUCTION AND CONFLICT
• Conveys to the reader that although some Aboriginals are fighting, others are conforming, or being forced to conform
• Jimmy feels as if the other Aboriginals not supporting their own race defeats their resistance
- Aboriginals stand together, but when forced apart, they are not as resilient. (i.e. family is everything)
- Sets Aboriginals as very united people, but the whites and their ‘culture’ is pulling them apart
• Jimmy voices his opinions and is not shy with it
- Uses swear words from the English language, although in other parts he uses mixed Aboriginal and English language, he curses in the English language to mock the whites, and to ensure that they understand his frustration.
- Aboriginals also have pride and joy that the whites ignore, they can be patriotic for their own nation, but the place they live in is no longer theirs (since they ‘did not have a fence’)
• Aboriginals dancing to a brass band
- An attempt at conforming them and a shot at harmony
- The music is being played by the white, as if the whites are dictating the course of action, while the unwilling Aboriginals are forced to go along with it
- Brass band is pure white culture, and by mixing Aboriginals with that, is a blatant attempt to diminish Aboriginal culture
“He (Jimmy) nicks his finger with the axe and watches the blood drip to the ground.”
CISSIE: “Aw mum, Old Tony the ding always sells us little shrivelled ones and them wetjala kids big fat ones.

CHARACTER CONSTUCTION AND CONFLICT
• Jimmy is in physical pain to be dominated by the whites
• His blood and the ground are one, they are connected to the land spiritually and they cannot be washed away
• Life force is being drained out of his being
• The whites are being constructed as biased and discriminating, the hatred is not only confined to adults but Aboriginal children are hated too
• This illustrates whites as rather childish, but in power, and the Aboriginals are seen as wronged by the injustice of the whites
CHARACTERS AND CONFLICTS:
Jimmy is not afraid of losing blood if it means setting the record straight and he is still very adamant about sticking to his culture and beliefs. Cissie on the other hand, has been conforming, as proven when she was playing the white man’s games, yet is discriminated against. Thus, while Jimmy’s act invokes the reader to question if all the friction is coming from Aboriginals alone, Jack Davis uses a child’s innocence and ignorance to display that it is not so.


“DAVID wears his shirt inside out.”
DAVID: “But it’s clean on this side.”

CHARACTER CONSTRUCTION AND CONFLICT:
• David, like Cissie, is a representation of ‘white Aboriginals’
• They are being moulded to become ‘civilised’ and white
• David starts to act like a white, fundamentally not caring about the uncleanliness of the shirt, only considerate about the appearance
CONFLICT:
Due to the fake exterior that the whites pose to declare themselves superior and ‘sophisticated’, they make themselves fake and distant. Unlike the Aboriginals, they do not value family as much, and their daily lives are dictated by their status in the hierarchy. They try to make the Aboriginals like them, so that they can join the hierarchy as well, but in the lowest ranks. Some conform to make life easy, but others do not, resulting in a conflict.
SUMMARY:
The dramatic conventions used in Act One Scene One are mostly dialogue and descriptive language. The dialogues of the characters reveal their thoughts, beliefs and opinions on their situation. Joe is more passive and realistic, yet he retaliates in his own manner, quietly and smartly. Sam is portrayed as a more down to earth person who is more focused on his survival than politics. He does not like his plight, but makes the best of it. Jimmy is apparently a very vocal person, and is the main voice of rebellion of the Aboriginals. By using the white’s language, he mocks the whites by constantly swearing. He is foreshadowed as a troublemaker due to his tendencies of violence or aloofness towards the whites’ ‘authority’.
David and Cissie, on the other hand, are shown as a pure generation that has been tainted by the whites’ presence. Although they do not take a side, the whites still discriminate them, reinforcing the conflict. They try to be the same, but yet their cricket bat and ball are homemade. Gran and Milly are shown to be domesticated. Gran, however, has an aura of power that drives the family forward. She has authority and clearly holds the power in the group. This is against the whites’ ‘culture’ as those is power are not those with the most experiences and wisdom, but those who were born into it.
The ‘conflict’ revealed in this scene is the lack of conformity. The Millimurras do not abide by the whites rules and laws, while the whites are very strict about those. The character revealed in the text contradicts the stereotypes, presenting them as intelligent and educated, exactly what the whites fear. The whites like to feel as if they are in charge and better, and try to oppress growth of Aboriginals.

ACT FOUR SCENE FIVE
“MR NEVILLE, MR NEAL, and MATRON are seated on a dais. BILLY KIMBERLY and BLUEY, dressed in new but absurdly ill-fitting uniforms, stand beside a flag pole with a flag furled ready to raise. SISTER EILEEN addresses the assembled population of the settlement, including the Millimurra family. JOE is still absent.”
CHARACTER CONSTRUCTION AND CONFLICT:
• Mr Neville, Mr Neal and Matron are in a position of power, and are physically raised up to emphasize their superiority. They as made to feel far away and untouchable to the reader.
• Billy and Bluey are wearing new uniforms. This represents a new culture that is not fitting, but is instead being imposed on them.
• They are also expected to raise the flag, and they have to act be happy and proud, as if it is an honour. It is turning the Aboriginals on themselves, making some of them raise a flag that is not their own. It demeans that Aboriginals and ‘shows them who is higher in position’.
• The whites often try to justify their actions, and making them raise the flag seems like an inclusion, as if it is proving that they are not discriminating. Yet it is against the Aboriginals’ wishes and the ‘uniforms does not fit’.
• Sister Eileen is seen as a bridge between Aboriginal and whites. She is a person that tries to make a connection and actually cares for the people. Yet she is on stage and thus there is a divide.
CHARACTER CONSTRUCTION:
Within the white community, there is much divide, unlike the Aboriginals. Their ranks and humanity, or lack of it, makes a division that causes the whites to be distant from one another. The higher up the person seems to be, the colder the person gets.
CONFLICT:
All the Aboriginals are seated below and none are in position of power. The only Aboriginals not in the crowd are Bluey and Billy, but both are just pawns, and are not treated as well. They raise the flag for Australia, representing Australia, yet the whites control Australia. This is a clumsy attempt to cover up misdeeds and make it seem as if it is a level playing field. The Aboriginals do not buy it, and are rebellious towards the whites.

NEVILLE: “… pledge our alliance to the King and to celebrate the birth of this wonderful new country that we are so fortunate to be living in… to give thanks to God or what He has provided for us… Mr Neal, Matron Neal and myself, are but His humble servants, sent by Him to serve your needs…”
“NEVILLE rises. The whites clap while the Aboriginals remain silent.”

• Neville states that they are celebrating the birth of a new country, completely disregarding the hundreds of years of history and spiritually connection that the Aboriginals have with the land
• It was not the birth of a new country, but the invasion of a new race
• Neville also gives thanks to God, using religion as a justification, although he is acting against Christianity (this is shown when Neal contradicted Sister Eileen)
• He says that he is thankful the God had provided for him, yet the Aboriginals do not have enough, no meat, no soap nor simple necessities. This makes the Aboriginals feel sceptical and biased against Christianity.

(“Now, King Herod was very angry and very wicked and you know what he did? He ordered his soldiers to kill every first-born baby under two years old. So Mary and Joseph didn’t want them to kill the baby Jesus, so they had to flee from Bethlehem. They wrapped the baby in a blanket and crept away in the middle of the night. They travelled all night and by sunrise they were far away and safe. “)

• King Herod was angry and afraid of another king overtaking his throne.
• He had ordered the massacre of defenceless two years old.
• This is a symbolism of the whites, as they do not want the Aboriginals to gain knowledge or a rebellious attitude. They kill off those who seem to be resistant to their colonisation, or send them to ‘camps’. They feels insecure in a ‘black’s’ presence, and feel as if they have to assert their authority in order to ensure dominance.

“The Nyoongahs, SAM, JIMMY and JOE, dance with them. BILLY joins in. They dance with increasing speed and energy… The dance becomes faster and more frantic until finally SAM lets out a yell and they collapse, dropping back to their final positions around the fire.”
• This quote is reinforcing post-coloniasation
• Culture and history lost due to post-colonisation
• History of Australia and the Aboriginals are passed down orally or in a form of a dance
• When the white Australians stamped out and oppressed their culture, they lost the secrets and spiritually connection with the land
• After the dance, the men exchange stories, and they discuss the way the whites had been treating the Aboriginals
• Using both English and their native language, they retell stories
• This reinforces the fact that no history is written by the Aboriginals, and the whites do not record down the bits of history that place them in a bad light. Thus it makes you question history.

ACT TWO SCENE SIX
Issues Foregrounded

• Many issues explored within scenes, contributed to understanding of the controversial disputes Aboriginals and English Settlers were faced with during colonization.
• Provided opposing point of view to so-called ‘peaceful’ settlement of Australia, encouraged us to acknowledge the minority and the struggles they were faced with.
• Issues ranged from suppression of Aboriginals, power struggles and rebellion to straight out racism and deprivation of basic human needs.
• Inspired readers to draw conclusions on the reliability of the history books.

ACT FOUR SCENE FIVE
“There is a happy land,
Far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand,
Bright, bright as day:
Oh, how they sweetly sing,
‘Worthy is our saviour King!’
Loud let His praises ring,
Praise, praise for aye!”

“There is a happy land,
Far, far away.
No sugar in our tea,
Bread and butter we never see.
That’s why we’re gradually
Fading away.”

• Set in government well Aboriginal reserve in 1929
• Introduced readers to the idea that aboriginals were the counter discourse through the use of the word ‘reserve’.
• Use of the word ‘reserve’ it makes their region comparable to animal reserve
• Implied that the Aboriginals had to ‘reserve’ their own land, considered awfully unfair by a person of our modern society.
• David and Cissie play of cricket, a sport introduced by the English settlers. Play makes no mention of white children playing an aboriginal game, implies that Aboriginals are the ones who have been compelled to follow English traditions and culture.
• Joe was slowly reading out an English newspaper article, showing the English settlers were making no effort to include Aboriginal language or culture in their society. Aboriginals had to learn English instead.
• Relates to the wider issue of lack of compassion towards the aboriginals and their culture. Recognize the ignorance of white society and the unwelcomed colonization of Europeans at that time.

• Racism towards Aboriginals highlighted, puts emphasis on the inequality between two races.
• Both races toss about derogatory nicknames towards the other cultural group in everyday conversation, not an uncommon thing.
• Aboriginals:
- “wetjala” debased version of the English ‘white fellow’
- “black fellas” Aboriginals
• “Old Tony the ding always sells us little shriveled ones and them wetjala kids big fat ones”.
• Racial prejudice puts even children at risk of an adult’s dispute, Racism continues throughout generations.

• Although to the colonisers Australia’s a ‘happy land’, the cost of them living there is the Aboriginals
• The Aboriginals are not given anything in exchange for their land, just because their culture is different
• Due to colonisation, another race is lost, and the dominant one keeps expanding
• It supports a post-colonial reading, as if there is only one race, it makes the reader question if the race would thrive.
• For example, since the whites are cold and distant from one another, if there is a lack of another race to keep them united, will the white race fall apart?
• The post-colonial theory encourages different races, and discourages a single dominant, ethnocentric race.

• Build-up of tension as a result of the racial discrimination Aboriginals is fore-grounded using minor, but effective means to fore-shadow the rebellion that was to come.
• Imposition of Aboriginal language on the English language.
• “You… dawarra you mirri and get them clothes down the soak”. Translated “You… badmouth, hurry and get your clothes down to soak/wash”.
• “Koorawoorung!” English equivalent ‘no way!
• Combination of two or more characters merging the two languages implied exhibiting signs rebellion against whites and preserving Aboriginal culture.
• Accretion of hostility from Aboriginals
• Jimmy drove an axe “savagely” into a log. Even though it was not aimed towards anyone, still gave off impression the he had built-up tension
• Aboriginals weren’t happily accepting the white, instead put in a situation where resisting the whites would prove dangerous meaning they had to be careful in the way they chose and carried out their ‘battles’.
• Use of language as a way of combating beliefs of the whites shows that they weren’t just savages, instead were capable of using language to effectively express the lack of control white people had.
• Forceful settlement which involved the suppression of an entire race.
• Challenged the white’s views on the settlement of Australia.


QUESTIONS
• Illustrates white’s side of dispute in a negative way
• Sister and Neville are ignorant
• “celebrate the birth of this wonderful young country that we are so fortunate to be living in”, arrogant statement loosely used the terms “birth” and “young” as though country only began to exist when English colonised it
• “birth of this nation of Australia one hundred and forty-six years ago at Sydney Cove in the Eastern States” once again refers to Australia only being one hundred forty-six years old (specifying the English settlement in Sydney)
• Complete disregard and insensitivity towards the original occupants of the land provokes abhorrence from the reader
• “take your place in Australian society” and begin “living like the white man, to be treated equally”, made Aboriginals seem like outsiders
• Also contradicts himself, spoke of living equally, yet distinguished between people based on their skin colour as though they were unequal.
• Statement about Aboriginals taking place in ‘Australian society’ makes assumption that the Aboriginals are out of place and that Australia is white people’s land now.

• Australian history portrays Aboriginals as docile people who didn’t mind Europeans taking their land.
• Aboriginals start to openly defy the orders of Neville. It began very marginally at first, by not clapping for Neville as he stands, despite the fact that the whites were clapping, foreshadowed the conflict that was about to take place
• Rise in volume of their voices shows their discontent.
- JIMMY: [muttering] yeah, weevily flour.
- JIMMY: [a little louder] Too bloody right.
• Aboriginals gaining confidence beginning to stand up for their people.
• Parody of the hymn ‘There is a Happy Land’ along with singing it louder when asked to stop Shows that they had decided that they had had enough of the false sense of happiness being forced upon them and started to fight using the power of words.
• Last lines in the hymn: “that’s why we’re gradually fading away”, strong and effective choice of words which implied that white society was winning and the Aboriginals being supressed

• Reversed the situation and made the aboriginals seem ungrateful, like they’d have been helpless without the help of the whites.
• “fortunate enough in being provided for with adequate food and shelter”, as though they should be happy that the whites are barely providing them with their basic needs and they have to fight in their own country to feed their family.
• Sister seems to force her religion on children. Shows lack of morals, you should never use a child’s inexperience as a means of spreading your religion.
• “give thanks to God for what He has provided for us”, clearly not taking into account how this may affect the cultural identity of those children.
• the whites, as noted by Jimmy, aiming towards creating a “nice, white little town”. Either literally a town with no Aboriginals (suggesting genocide), or a town where all the Aboriginals meekly follow European traditions and culture and abandon their own.
• Also implies that the only ‘nice’ town is one without Aboriginal culture.

Act 1: Scene 1
Act 4: Scene 5
Thank-you for listening~
- Rika Lee
- Chelsea Druce
- Samantha Zinko
1. How are the characters constructed? Consider how you are positioned to read these characters. How is conflict constructed?
SCENE 1, ACT 1:
In the beginning scene of “No Sugar”, every character is introduced in a different way through different dialogues and actions. For example, the characters David and Cissie are like normal kids – they play games, have fun, and are naïve; Jimmy is shown to be strong and outspoken, whereas Sam is passive and submissive, and Gran and Milly are always doing something domestic, where its cooking or cleaning. In this scene, we see a normal – albeit stereotypical of the 1930’s – family, regardless of the colour of skin. This is one reason why we are positioned to side with the Millimurras, as they seem to be ‘white’ in terms of family roles. Also, due to the fact that this scene shows us the characters feelings, attitudes and actions immediately, people can relate to some characters. We can understand some hardships that this family face, which results in empathy, and when we don’t, we still sympathise for the characters. One example of a hardship in this scene is the lack of money; Milly give David and Cissie twopence each, saying that it’s all that she has got. Most people, particularly parents can relate to this, as money can be very hard to juggle. Due to these reasons, this is why the reader does not see the family in a negative way.



Although there is no action of conflict, dialogue is used to help spark ideas, thoughts and feelings. One of the most important lines in this scene is when Jimmy states: “You fellas, you know why them wetjalas marchin’down the street, eh? I’ll tell youse why. ‘Cause them bastards took our country and them black fellas dancin’ for ‘em. Bastards!” This introduces Jimmy’s thoughts when it comes to the wetjala, and although there might not be any conflict in this opening scene, the reader themself may feel conflicted. This is because Jimmy states that “them bastards (the white people) took our country…” Many people may disagree with this statement, as it is possible that they believe that the British did not take the country, only merely ‘upgraded’ it. Other readers however, may seriously consider Jimmy’s statement, and thus might challenge their own views. This is how conflict is established within this opening scene; although it seems as though there is nothing conflicting, a person’s morals may bring up new questions.

SCENE 5, ACT 4:
As I have mentioned before, the use of dialogue and the actions of the characters help to construct the characters in the text. As it is a play, dialogue is the most important way in which a writer portrays different opinion and morals, with the actions of the characters helping reinforce their opinions. For example, Jimmy, who is very outspoken, ends up yelling at Mr Neville during the Australia Day event. Most readers can agree to what Jimmy is doing, as the Aboriginal people have been oppressed for too long, and they are appalled by the white people; we cannot help but see Mr Neville as some sort of ‘tyrant’. We also understand Jimmy’s actions, as we have followed his and his family’s

4. Highlight important quotes. What do they reveal within the context of the play?
In the play “No Sugar”, the historical context of the play is the time period of the Great Depression, which occurred in Australia from 1929 to 1932. During this time, financial strife was occurring not only for Australians, but for people worldwide. In this text, both the Aboriginal and white people are affected by this event. As well as being a time of economic hardship, Australia during the late 20’s and early 30’s still had policies that were prejudice towards Aboriginal people, such as the 1905 Act. This positioned white people in a more powerful and more dominant position, as these laws and policies were created to oppress the Aboriginal peoples. This is evident in the text, as the Aboriginal people are constantly being looked down on and mistreated by the white people, such as the Sergeant, Constable and Mr Neal. It is interesting to note that if the British hadn’t come to Australia, then the Aboriginals would have been unaffected by the Great Depression. This is because they had no communication with the rest of the world, and had no knowledge of economic systems.
Through the following quotes, the context of the text is revealed through the use of dialogue and the actions of the characters.

SCENE 1, ACT 1:
Cissie:
“Aw mum, Old Tony the ding always sells us little shrivelled ones and the wetjala kids big fat ones.”
Joe:
“With them was a reminder of the dangers they faced, in the shape of three lorries…carrying Aborigines…Aborigines incog…incongruously…dancing…to a brass-band.”
“The pag…page…page-ant pre-sented a picture of Western Australia’s pre-sent condition of optimimum-optimis-tic prosperity, and gave some idea of what men mean when they talk about the souls of the nation.”
Milly:
“David, where you goin’? Gimmie that shirt, its filthy.”
“Come on, you two, get to school. Here’s twopence, you can buy an apple each for lunch.”
“It’s all the money I’ve got.”
Sam:
“Koorawoorung! Nyoongah’s corroboreein’ to a wetjala’s brass-band!”
“Sounds like bullshit to me. Come on, let’s get these rabbits.”
Jimmy:
“You fellas, you know why them wetjalas marchin’down the street, eh? I’ll tell youse why. ‘Cause them bastards took our country and them black fellas dancin’ for ‘em. Bastards!”

These quotes from the opening scene of the play are all important to introducing the characters’ way of life and views due to the context of the play. For example, the character Jimmy appears to be quite violent, possibly due to the Great Depression and the racist laws and regulations that have been enforced. The quote of “you fellas…” shows the reader what Jimmy thinks about the white people. He calls them “bastards” and states that the white people “took our (the Aboriginal’s) country”. The character Sam however, appears to be the opposite of Jimmy. Although he may not like the white people, he is more passive and submissive than Jimmy. We can see this through another quote: “sounds like bullshit to me. Come on, let’s get these rabbits.” Sam states his opinion calmly, and then gets on with what needs to be done. He does not dwell on the issues that the Aboriginals face; he merely accepts them, feeling as though there is nothing anyone can do to stop the whites. Also, he can see the irony in the Aboriginals when they are “corroboreein’ to a wetjala’s brass-band.” These two characters reveal different attitudes that the Aboriginals during the time of the play had. Jimmy represents the Aboriginals that are still angry and upset about the invasion of the whites, whereas Sam symbolises Aboriginals that have accepted their predicament.
Other characters such as Milly replicate the stereotypes of the decade; she is assigned motherly qualities, such as cleaning and being in charge of the kids. One quote which shows this is: “David, where you goin’? Gimmie that shirt, it’s filthy.” She also reveals how Aborigines lived. Through the line: “it’s all the money I’ve got,” the reader can see that this family, although somewhat privileged in being able to have an education by sending the kids to school, still has to endure the hardships that the Great Depression has caused. Although they live away from the city, the Millimurras still have money, albeit not a lot. The reader is reminded of how poor most Aboriginal families are through this piece of dialogue.

Cissie’s line however, reveals the racism that Aboriginal children have to face. She states: “Aw mum, Old Tony the ding always sells us little shrivelled ones and the wetjala kids big fat ones.” This shows how biased the white people are; they give people of their own skin colour generously sized pies, whereas the Aboriginals only get ‘little shrivelled ones’. This shows that no matter how old a person may be, in this time period, a person’s race appears to be the only thing that defined you and enabled you to have success and freedom. It is important to note that ‘ding’ is a derogatory term that is used for describing Italians; even though Cissie appears to be racist, through the previous piece of dialogue, the reader can see that Europeans are just as racist as the British. This is most likely because of their skin colour, thus creating superiority over Aboriginals.
Lastly, Joe’s dialogue reveals to the reader what society thinks of Aboriginal people. He reads –although brokenly - from the newspaper: “With them was a reminder of the dangers they faced, in the shape of three lorries…carrying Aborigines…Aborigines incog…incongruously…dancing…to a brass-band”; “The pag…page…page-ant pre-sented a picture of Western Australia’s pre-sent condition of optimimum-optimis-tic prosperity, and gave some idea of what men mean when they talk about the souls of the nation.” Through this, the reader is shown how the white people of this time period dismiss the issues that Aboriginal people and other minorities face. For example, one quote says: “…pre-sent condition of optimum-optimis-tic prosperity…” This does not apply to the Aboriginals, including the Millimurra family. They are allowed no opportunity to have prosperity, thus Joe’s line suggests that Aboriginal people are not included when it comes aspects relating to wealth; they are only discussed in a derogatory way.

SCENE 5, ACT 4:
Mr Neville:
“…As I drove through Guildford, Midland and Bullsbrook, I saw men on the road, hundreds of men, and I was reminded that the world is in the grip of depression and that many people are suffering from hunger and deprivation of many essential elements which make for a contented existence. But you, in this small corner of the Empire, are fortunate in being provided for with adequate food and shelter… It doesn’t hurt to remind yourselves that you are preparing yourselves here to take your place in Australian society, to live as other Australians live, and to live alongside other Australians; to learn to enjoy the privileges and to shoulder the responsibilities of living like the white man, to be treated equally, not worse, not better, under the law.”
“Stop this nonsense immediately… I’m appalled by this disgraceful demonstration of ingratitude. I can tell you that you will live to rue this day. There will be no privileges from now on…And there will be no Christmas this year! No Christmas!”
“I’ve got reports on you. You’re a troublemaker, and a ringleader. You must listen to me.”
Mr Neal:
“Ah! He’s only fainted.”
Jimmy:
“He’s talkin’ outa his kwon”  He’s talking out of his arse.
“Rotten spuds and onions?...What, a dried up orange and a puddin’?”
“Did you vote for Jimmy Mitchell’s lot?...Nothing to do with bloody scabies. And that’s why we got dragged ‘ere so them wetjalas vote for him. So he could have a nice, little white town…”
Sam:
“Dubakeiny wahnginy, gnoolya.”  Talk steady, brother in law.
Sister Eileen:
“…to give thanks to God for what He has provided for us because our sustenance in life is provided by Him. Even we here today, Mr Neal, Matron Neal and myself, are but His humble servants, sent by Him to serve your needs. The Lord Jesus Christ has sent His servant, Mr Neville, Chief Protector of Aborigines, to speak to us on this special day…”
In terms of Scene 4, Act 5, the dialogue in the play reveals more of the context in regards to the attitudes of the white Australians. For example, the character Mr Neal dismisses Jimmy when he collapses. He ignores the severity of the issue, most likely because of the differences in races. If Jimmy had been white however, Mr Neal may have been more inclined to assist. In addition to the inequality of races, the character Mr Neville says in his speech: “…It doesn’t hurt to remind yourselves that you are preparing yourselves here to take your place in Australian society, to live as other Australians live, and to live alongside other Australians; to learn to enjoy the privileges and to shoulder the responsibilities of living like the white man, to be treated equally, not worse, not better, under the law.” This implies that Aboriginal people are deemed as not being Australian, and have to work to gain the same privileges that white people receive. It also states however, that this will be done under the law, yet the laws and regulations that have been created are prejudice against Aboriginal people. This links to the context of the time; as I have stated earlier, during the time period of the late 20’s and early 30’s, prejudice was still a very big issue for Aboriginal people and other minorities. Regulations that were made were racist in that they did not allow certain things for Aboriginals, but allowed the same things for white people. Through Neville’s speech, the reader can see how he enforces some aspects of institutionalised racism, and deems himself better than the Aboriginal people. It is ironic to note that Mr Neville is ‘appalled by the disgraceful demonstration of ingratitude,’ yet it is disgraceful that Mr Neville, Mr Neal and other powerful characters believe themselves to be of higher stature than the Aboriginals. He also punishes them with the threat of having no Christmas. The Aboriginal people, before white settlement, did not have much of a care for material possessions, so this threat is almost amusing. It shows that most white people feel that material things such as Christmas matter to everyone.
Sister Eileen only represents the majority of Australia’s religion, which, during this time, was Christianity. This character’s quote constantly makes reference to God, and believes that ‘our sustenance in life is provided by Him’. She enforces the religious views of Australia’s society, and although she may feel as though she is doing the right thing by educating Aboriginal people, she is ultimately contributing to the decimation of the Aboriginal’s culture.
When the reader compares Jimmy and Sam in this scene, again we can see the differences in attitude: Sam warns his brother-in-law to ‘talk steady’, but Jimmy does not listen. His interjections go from being muttered to being shouted, and he eventually becomes silenced due to an assumed heart attack. As I have stated before, the two ‘types’ of Aboriginals are explored in the text through the characters of Jimmy and Sam. Jimmy’s lines of: “He’s talkin’ outa his kwon”, “rotten spuds and onions?” and “what, a dried up orange and a puddin’?” are used in order to help articulate his outspoken nature. Although it appears to be getting smart with Mr Neville, what he is saying appears to be true, and he seems to know more about the white people more than themselves. For example, he figures out about the politics of Jimmy Mitchell, and the reason behind the movement of the Aborigines from Government Well. When he tries to elaborate further on the matter, he is silenced, which what generally happened when Aboriginals would try to speak out about their rights. Its almost as if Mr Neville’s line of ‘…a ring leader. You must listen to me,” is a forewarning, as if he is saying that ‘unless you listen to me, something bad will happen,’ which it does.

journey through the story. Most people agree that what is being done to them is unfair, so Jimmy’s outburst seems justified.
Our morals help to shape our views on this matter; for example, a person who is a white supremacist might believe that Jimmy has no right in talking to Mr Neville in a disrespectful and angry manner. An Aboriginal activist however, may feel empowered by Jimmy’s cry for equality. It is up to the readers own morals to help with the positioning of the characters in scene 5.
In this scene, conflict is constructed by the confrontation of Jimmy and Mr Neville; it is built up by Jimmy, as he starts off by mumbling, and then shouting his views. This progression helps to build up the tension, as the reader can feel as though something bad is going to happen because Jimmy is 'acting out'. The juxta-positioning of power versus the oppressed is another way in which the conflict and confrontation is constructed. Through this tension, the conflict becomes one of the most climatic points of the text, ending with the death of the voice of the Aborigines in the text – Jimmy.

4. Highlight important quotes. What do they reveal within the context of the play?

In the play “No Sugar”, the historical context of the play is the time period of the Great Depression, which occurred in Australia from 1929 to 1932. During this time, financial strife was occurring not only for Australians, but for people worldwide. In this text, both the Aboriginal and white people are affected by this event. As well as being a time of economic hardship, Australia during the late 20’s and early 30’s still had policies that were prejudice towards Aboriginal people, such as the 1905 Act. This positioned white people in a more powerful and more dominant position, as these laws and policies were created to oppress the Aboriginal peoples. This is evident in the text, as the Aboriginal people are constantly being looked down on and mistreated by the white people, such as the Sergeant, Constable and Mr Neal. It is interesting to note that if the British hadn’t come to Australia, then the Aboriginals would have been unaffected by the Great Depression. This is because they had no communication with the rest of the world, and had no knowledge of economic systems.
Through the following quotes, the context of the text is revealed through the use of dialogue and the actions of the characters.
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