Jack Davis’ 1986 drama No Sugar is a realist play which examines the tests. trials and eventual endurance of Millimurra-Munday household through the Great Depression as they are forcibly removed from their fatherland in Northam to Moore River Native Settlement. The endurance of their civilization is dependent on the manner that persons shape their individuality and in this drama Davis shows how household is the basis on which individuality can be maintained even in the most traumatic of fortunes.
Jimmy Munday survives and thrives as an person because he has the support of his drawn-out household. He finds his individuality within his household and this security allows him to critically measure and notice on the motivations behind authorities determinations such as the moving of Autochthonal people from the Government Well Aboriginal Reserve in Northam to Moore River. ‘Whole town knows why we’re goin’ . ‘Coz wetjalas in this town don’t want us ‘ere’ ( p. 50 ) . Jimmy’s individuality and endurance are built on outward protest but other members of his household happen more elusive signifiers of protest.
Gran Munday is the materfamilias and basis of her household. She refuses to absorb into the Indigenous individuality determined by ‘white’ people. She looks after her household supplying them with a sense of cultural and practical cognition as is demonstated when she delivers Mary’s babe ( p. 102 ) . Although Gran is a subsister who passes on cognition and linguistic communication to her kids and grandchildren. Billy Kimberley is an illustration of person who has lost his household and sense of individuality. .
Bing the last of his folk and people. Billy Kimberley has no household. or extended household and can be seen to be culturally caught between two universes and missing a true sense of individuality. It is dramatically dry that he is a ‘successful’ paradigm of assimilation yet is rejected by both ‘white’ and Indigenous societies. The kids even mock him and name him a treasonist or ‘black crow’ ( p. 90 ) Ultimately. Jimmy’s line will decease out with him and therefore non merely will he non survive and the civilization. traditions and line of his household will decease with him besides. It is this fact which besides seems to expect Mary Dargurru whe we foremost meet her in the drama.
Mary is a immature miss from the Kimberley part whose possible destiny can be paralleled to that of Billy who is from the same part. However. when she meets and falls in love with Joe Millimurra. she finds a new household in the Millamurras. She non merely finds her ain individuality through household but has the potency at the terminal of the drama to go through that individuality on through her household to her ain kid. babe Jimmy.
As a immature adult male on the cusp of manhood Joe Millimurra has a sense of his ain fate as shaped by his household and their connexion to civilization and their fatherland near Northam. He learns from his household that he must stand up for what he believes in and this shapes his individuality and endurance. At the terminal of the drama. Joe. Mary and their new born babe Jimmy travel off with supplies and an empty sugar bag. non filled with the short term sweet cliches of ‘white’ press releases. force and superciliousness but with a supplies. a homemade knife and a sense of household. civilization and individuality that is hopefully plenty to assist them hammer a new hereafter in an old fatherland.
No Sugar is a drama finally about household. individuality and endurance. Through the character of Jimmy Munday. Davis provides us with an Autochthonal adult male. who although troubled by the unfairnesss and eviction thrust upon him. is still able to happen a sense of intent in his household. He does non last physically but his bequest will populate on through his nephew and his nephew’s boy who bears his name. Gran Munday is shown to be a basis crucial to the resiliency and endurance of all of her household through the connexion she provides to their civilization. This can be seen to be contrasted with Billy. an Autochthonal tracker from the Kimberley who has lost his household. his civilization and his individuality and seemed doomed to a destiny of non lasting and ‘fading away’ . But the ultimate subsisters of the drama are Joe and Mary who both gain a sense of individuality through household. It is this sense of individuality gained through household that seems non merely important for their endurance as they go reclaim their ‘place but which will hopefully go the basis for endurance and hopes of the following coevals of Autochthonal people as symbolized by their babe boy. Jimmy.