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“No Sugar”: analysis of the play Essay

One people One land that’s how the whites saw it back in the early 19 hundreds of the Australian settlement. They didn’t recognise the aboriginal people to be as people, to them they were but cheap labour. The Australian drama “No Sugar” gives us an insight into this through the lives of a few aboriginal people. The play shows how aboriginal people lose their way and become more reliant on the white man and how the whites used this position of power of them. One cannot survive unless one has ones’ purpose. To aboriginal people their purpose was unrecognised due to the destruction of their past. Which meant that their purpose was lost and without that they faded away with help by the white man.

The play is set in the 1929 in Western Australia, in a small settlement called Moore River. The story behind the play is about an aboriginal family and how they work to gain their purpose and fight to survive. This is well characterised and through it’s characters we are able to see the theme to the play that one must have ones’ purpose in order to survive. Characters like Jimmy Munday and Joe represent the stronger aboriginal, the side that stands up to the white man, the side that don’t step back but take a few steps forward. Their courage and willingness to gain their purpose is passed on to the other aboriginal people throughout the play and help bring the aboriginal closer.

The theme of the play is a very powerful one as it asks the viewer to think and question himself or herself on to what is their own purpose and how could they achieve their purpose if they have not found it. One has to have ones’ purpose in order to survive. For the aboriginal people their survive was weakened for the fact they had no purpose but to server and live like the whites had showed them how. In settlements or on the street not giving them the right to vote the rights whites had because the white people were afraid of them. They thought that if we let one we would have to let them all and if one can do a white persons job better then a white man. Then Aboriginal people would takeover and white people were afraid of aboriginals having power over them. They enforced laws that weren’t set for the white man. Laws that made sure there could only be one power and that was white and not black.

We’ve seen this racial hate, this black against white throughout history. The American civil war, the apartheid in South Africa and now we see it in our own country a place we call free. The aboriginal people saw different they saw only the lines of hate, the lines of white power over black, the segregation that blinded people to think that everything was moral ok. When in fact people were being used as cheap labour and weren’t given a choice, for if you did not accept you were cased into gaol.

I believe that the message to the play is true and that one has to have ones’ purpose in order to survive otherwise one lose everything. For the aboriginal people they lost their way. The way of the dreamtime, the stories that used to be past on to generation to generation was been forgotten and that only the elders knew of the stories, the poems and the songs. The elders were fading away and each time one passed a story or a song was forgotten and without these the aboriginal people lost their purpose and turned to the white man to find a new purpose but all they found was lies.


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