No Sugar

No Sugar

by

Jack Davis

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A white man and Superintendent of the Moore River Native Settlement, he is married to Matron Neal. Although Neal’s job is to protect and care for the Aboriginal families under his jurisdiction, he is more interested in suppressing and controlling them. He explicitly tells Sister Eileen that he disapproves of her teaching Indigenous children to read and write because he thinks it will make them more rebellious, and he seems to enjoy beating any members of the Aboriginal community who stand up to him. Neal also likes to prey on young indigenous women, assigning them to work in the hospital and then using their proximity to him as an excuse to sexually harass them. This behavior is an open secret in the Moore River Native Settlement—Mary knows (and rejects his offer to assign her to work in the hospital), as does his wife.

Mr N. S. Neal Quotes in No Sugar

The No Sugar quotes below are all either spoken by Mr N. S. Neal or refer to Mr N. S. Neal. 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 2 Quotes

As I mentioned, I was a little concerned to see so many dirty little noses amongst the children. I’m a great believer that if you provide the native the basic accoutrements of civilisation you’re half way to civilising him. I’d like to see each child issued with a handkerchief and instructed on its use. […] I think some practical training from yourself and Matron in its correct usage would be appropriate. If you can successfully inculcate such basic but essential details of civilised living you will have helped them along the road to taking their place in Australian society.

Related Characters: Auber Octavius Neville (speaker), Mr N. S. Neal, Matron Neal
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 4 Quotes

Mary: I don’t like the way [Mr. Neal] looks at me.

Joe: Well, you got me now, for what I’m worth.

Mary: He’s always hangin’ around where the girls are workin’; in the cookhouse, in the sewin’ room. And he’s always carryin’ that cat-o’-nine tails and he’ll use it, too.

Joe: Bastard, better not use it on you or any of my lot.

Mary: He reckoned he was gunna belt me once.

Joe: What for?

Mary: ‘Coz I said I wasn’t gunna go and work for guddeah on a farm.

Joe: Why not? Be better than this place.

Mary: No! Some of them guddeahs real bad. My friend went last Christmas and then she came back boodjarri. She reckons the boss’s sons used to belt her up and, you know, force her. Then they kicked her out. And when she had that baby them trackers choked it dead and buried it in the pine plantation.

Related Characters: Joe Millimurra (speaker), Mary Daragurru (speaker), Mr N. S. Neal, Matron Neal, Sister Eileen
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 8 Quotes

MATRON: Apparently you told [Mary] she was going to work at the hospital and stay in the nurses’ quarters.

NEAL: Who told you that? [Yelling] Billy!

BILLY: [off] Comin’, boss.

MATRON: It seems she was terrified at the prospect of working in the hospital.

NEAL: They’re all scared of the dead.

MATRON: I think she was scared of the living.

Related Characters: Mr N. S. Neal (speaker), Matron Neal (speaker), Billy Kimberley (speaker), Mary Daragurru
Page Number: 72-73
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

NEAL: Just a moment… There’s another matter I’d like to discuss with you. I believe you’ve been lending books—novels—to some of the natives.

SISTER: Yes, I have.

NEAL: There’s a sort of unofficial directive on this is; it’s the sort of thing which isn’t encouraged by the Department.

SISTER: What do you mean? That you don’t encourage the natives to read?

NEAL: That’s right.

SISTER: [incredulously] But why? I’d intended to ask your permission to start a small library.

NEAL: I’m sorry, Sister, but—

SISTER: [interrupting] It won’t cost the Department a penny, I can get the books donated. Good books.

NEAL: It’s quite out of the question.

SISTER: But why?

NEAL: Look, my experience with natives in South Africa and here has taught—led me to believe that there’s a lot of wisdom in the old adage that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’.

Related Characters: Mr N. S. Neal (speaker), Sister Eileen (speaker)
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 5 Quotes

SISTER: It gives me great pleasure to be with you all on this very special day, when we gather together to pledge our allegiance to the King and to celebrate the birth of this wonderful young country […]. We must remember today not just our country and King, but the King of kings, the Prince of princes, and to give thanks to God for what He has provided for us […]. 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. Mr Neville is going to say a few words before leading us in a song of praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

[NEVILLE rises. The whites clap while the Aborigines remain silent.]

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr N. S. Neal Character Timeline in No Sugar

The timeline below shows where the character Mr N. S. Neal appears in No Sugar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
In his office, Neville finishes his letter and dictates a thank you note to Mr. Neal for hosting him at the Moore River Native Settlement. While Neville compliments Neal’s hospitality, he... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
...will be sending limited supplies of toilet paper to the Settlement, and that it is Neal’s job to teach the Aboriginal people under his care how to use it. Neville suggests... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Mary doesn’t mind Matron and Sister Eileen, but she doesn’t like Mr. Neal. She finds him scary and predatory. He often hangs around the Aboriginal girls when they’re... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Mary reveals that Mr. Neal threatened her once, because she didn’t want to go work for a white farmer. Mary... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
One morning at the Moore River Settlement, Jimmy wanders around outside Mr. Neal’s office as Neal, hungover, arrives for work. Neal chastises Jimmy for leaving quarantine, and Jimmy... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neal promises to deal with Jimmy later, and enters his office. Matron Neal is angry that... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
The Matron says the dogs are the only true health hazard in the camp. Neal agrees, and calls Billy into the room. Neal grabs a gun and ammunition from his... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...and they embrace. They sit together, and Mary begins to cry. She tells Joe that Neal is trying to make her work at the hospital, and that this means her wants... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Joe wants to marry Mary, but they need Neal’s permission and fear they will not get it.  Joe decides they should run away and... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 8
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The next day, Neal sits in the Superintendent’s Office reading the West Australian newspaper. It is April 10, 1933,... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Matron Neal enters and tells Mr. Neal she has some news. He assumes she’s talking about politics,... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Neal calls Billy into the room and tells him to chase down the runaways. Billy takes... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 9
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Billy says Mr. Neal wants them to return, but Joe doesn’t care. Joe grabs Billy’s whip and chokes him... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 10
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Billy enters Neal’s office. Neal and the Matron, who enters behind Billy, are shocked by Billy’s condition. Neal... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neal decides the handcuffs are a job for the blacksmith. The Matron tells Neal to send... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
The Matron enters Neal’s office and announces that Billy and Mary, who is visibly pregnant, have arrived. Mr. Neal... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Billy brings Mary into Neal’s office but is ordered to wait outside while they talk. Mr. Neal tells Mary she... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...Gran gathers some medicinal leaves and the two women comfort Mary. Jimmy threatens to kill Neal, while Sam wonders if they should take Mary to the hospital. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Neal has summed Sister Eileen to his office. He wants to know what hymn she has... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Neal then criticizes Sister Eileen for lending books to the Aboriginal families at the Settlement. He... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Before Sister Eileen leaves, she tells Neal that she doesn’t like that attendance at her Sunday School classes has been violently enforced.... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
It is Australia Day, 1934. Neville, Neal, and the Matron sit on a platform above the crowd. Billy and Bluey, wearing ill-fitting... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
...also asks the crowd to remember to give thanks to God. She says she, Matron Neal, and Neal are the Lord’s servants, and Jesus Christ himself has sent Neville to speak... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville and Neal accuse Jimmy of being a troublemaker and a ringleader. Jimmy invites Neville to come eat... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...orders Billy and Bluey to help take him to the hospital. The group exits as Neal assures the white crowd “he’s only fainted” before exiting in the other direction. Sister Eileen... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Neal sits in his office reading the newspaper, which shows that today is Monday, January 30,... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Milly and Sam approach Neal’s office. They ask if Joe can come to the funeral. Neal says no, although they... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
As the couple leaves, Neal comments that this is a “classic case of emotion com[ing] in through the door and... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 9
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Joe waits outside the Superintendent’s office as Neal rifles through his drawers. Neal finds the paper he was looking for and calls Joe... (full context)
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Neal calls Billy in to act as witness. He asks if Billy understands the paper. Billy... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...gift. Joe gives Billy some cigarettes in thanks. Joe walks off and Billy stays behind. Neal calls to him, and Billy answers. (full context)