No Sugar

No Sugar

by

Jack Davis

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No Sugar: Act 4, Scene 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Gran sits by the fire down at Long Pool Camp. She looks much older than in the previous scene.
Understandably, Gran has difficulty dealing with the death of Jimmy, her only son.
Themes
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Cissie, David, Milly, and Sam are all quietly playing games. Mary is watching over the Baby. Suddenly, they all hear a whistle from offstage. It’s Joe! Mary embraces him, and David climbs on his back. The rest of the family gathers to greet him.
The family is thrilled to welcome Joe back. They are happy to see him, and they are happy for his sake—that he is free and that he will get to meet his son.
Themes
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Mary brings Joe to meet their Baby. They’ve given him a Nyoongah name, Koolbari, which means magpie, but waited to give him a wetjala name. Joe wants to name the baby Jimmy.
Koolbari honors Joe and Mary’s Aboriginal heritage, but the name Jimmy directly honors Joe’s uncle, who recently passed away, and whose fiery resistance to colonization Joe has inherited.
Themes
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Joe brings gifts for the family. He earned money working in prison, which they gave to him when he got out. He gives Gran and Sam tobacco, Cissie hair ribbons, David a knife, and Milly a needle and cotton. He gives Mary a red dress. She exits to try it on.
Ironically, Joe earned more money in prison, which was supposedly punishment, than he ever could on Moore River, which is supposed to be an institution that cares for its Aboriginal inhabitants. This emphasizes just how bleak life is in Moore River, and how few opportunities there are for personal advancement.
Themes
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
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Mary returns and has Joe do up the back of her dress. He can see the scars from when Neal whipped her and asks what happened. The family explains. Joe is enraged and immediately prepares to run off and confront Neal. Mary holds him back. She doesn’t want Joe to return to jail. She suggests talking to Neal and asking if they can leave Moore River as a family.
Joe is obviously upset by Mary’s scars. Like Jimmy before him, his initial instinct is to repay Neal’s violence with his own.
Themes
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon