No Sugar

No Sugar


Jack Davis

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James “Jimmy” Munday Character Analysis

A middle-aged Aboriginal man. He is Milly’s brother and Gran’s son. Jimmy likes to drink, and often becomes argumentative and violent when he does, lashing out at anyone who gets in his way, including his family. While most members of his family are more willing to comply with the orders and instructions of the white bureaucrats (Neal, Neville) and law enforcement officials (the Sergeant, the Constable) constantly monitoring the lives of the Aboriginal community, Jimmy is rebellious. He sees the racism and hypocrisy of the Sergeant, Neal, and others, and is unwilling to cooperate with people who clearly do not have his or his family’s best interests at heart. Jimmy is punished for his defiance. The community knows him as a troublemaker, and during the play he is imprisoned once, but has been imprisoned multiple times in the past. Jimmy moves from Government Well to Moore River with his family midway through the play, but because of a heart condition he is forced to take the train instead of walk. His heart condition, and his rebellious nature, eventually kill him; Jimmy grows overexcited at an Australia Day event, during which he begins an argument with Neville about his treatment of the Aboriginal community, but collapses and dies from the heat, the stress, and the excitement of the moment.

James “Jimmy” Munday Quotes in No Sugar

The No Sugar quotes below are all either spoken by James “Jimmy” Munday or refer to James “Jimmy” Munday. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Currency Press edition of No Sugar published in 1998.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

JOE: ‘The—blood—was stirred…as if by a trumpet… by the history-ical…Headed by a tab-leau… […] ‘…Commemorating the pioneers whose lives…’ […] ‘…Were a steadfast performance of duty in the face of difficulty and danger. With them was a reminder of the dangers they faced, in the shape of three lorries…carrying Aborigines.

[They all stop what they are doing and listen.]


JOE: All right! ‘…Dancing…to a brass-band.’

SAM: Koorawoorung! Nyoongahs corrobereein’ to a wetjala’s brass band!
JIMMY: Ah! That beats everythin’: stupid bloody blackfellas…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 blackfellas dancin’ for ‘em. Bastards!


JOE: ‘The pag…page…page-ant pre-sented a picture of Western Australia’s pre-sent condition of hopeful optimum-optimis-tic prosperity, and gave some idea of what men mean when they talk about the soul of the nation.’

SAM: Sounds like bullshit to me.

Related Characters: James “Jimmy” Munday (speaker), Sam Millimurra (speaker), Joe Millimurra (speaker)
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1, Scene 10 Quotes

CONSTABLE: You’re being transferred to the Moore River Native Settlement.

GRAN: I ain’t goin’.

CONSTABLE: You’re all goin’. You’re under arrest.

GRAN: What for? We done nothin’ wrong.

SERGEANT: It’s for health reasons. Epidemic of skin disease.

JIMMY: Bullshit, I’ll tell you why we’re goin’.

CONSTABLE: You wouldn’t know.

JIMMY: You reckon blackfellas are bloody mugs. Whole town knows why we’re goin’. ‘Coz wetjalas in this town don’t want us ’ere, don’t want our kids at the school, with their kids, and old Jimmy Mitchell’s tight ’coz they reckon Bert ’Awke’s gonna give him a hidin’ in the election.

Related Characters: James “Jimmy” Munday (speaker), Gran Munday (speaker), Sergeant Carrol (speaker), Constable Kerr (speaker), Jimmy Mitchell
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

MILLY: Who’s gonna look after our dogs?

CONSTABLE: We’ll attend to them.

MILLY: Yeah, we know that.

JIMMY: With a police bullet.

GRAN: [frantically] You’re not gonna shoot Wow, you’re not gonna shoot Wow Wow. You hear me, Chergeant? I’m not goin’.

[GRAN is frantic now. She tears her hair and throws plates and mugs about.]

SERGEANT: Oh Jesus, take your bloody mangy Wow Wow, whatever you call it. Take the bloody lot, just remember to be ready to move out tomorrow morning.

[The police escort JIMMY away. The family looks on in stunned silence. CISSIE clings to her mother and cries.]

Related Characters: James “Jimmy” Munday (speaker), Gran Munday (speaker), Milly Millimurra (speaker), Sergeant Carrol (speaker), Constable Kerr (speaker)
Page Number: 51-52
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 6 Quotes

[He picks up inji sticks. The Nyoongahs, SAM, JIMMY and JOE, dance with them. BILLY joins in. They dance with increasing speed and energy, stamping their feet, whirling in front of the fire, their bodies appearing and disappearing as the paint catches the firelight. The dance becomes faster and more frantic until finally SAM lets out a yell and they collapse, dropping back to their positions around the fire. JIMMY coughs and pants painfully.]


BILLY: This country got plenty good dance, eh?

BLUEY: Wee-ah!

JIMMY: Ah, yuart, not too many left now. Nearly all finish.

BILLY: No, no, no. You song man, you fella dance men. This still your country. [Flinging his arms wide] You, you, you, you listen! Gudeeah make ’em fences, windmill, make ’em road for motor car, big house, cut ’em down trees. Still your country! Not like my country, finish… finish.

[He sits in silence. They watch him intently. JOE puts wood on the fire. He speaks slowly.]

BILLY: Kuliyah. [Miming pulling a trigger, grunting] Gudeeah bin kill ’em. Finish, kill ’em. Big mob, 1926, kill ’em big mob my country.

Related Characters: James “Jimmy” Munday (speaker), Billy Kimberley (speaker), Bluey (speaker), Sam Millimurra, Joe Millimurra
Page Number: 66-67
Explanation and Analysis:
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