No Sugar

No Sugar


Jack Davis

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Themes and Colors
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
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in No Sugar, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence

The Millimurra-Munday family, the Indigenous (or Aboriginal) Australian protagonists of No Sugar, are forced to endure racism daily, both personally and institutionally. They are taken advantage of and abused, forced to accept unequal treatment and invasive government control simply because white Australians have political and social power, and they themselves are not white. Davis clearly illustrates the impact that racism can have on the lives of minorities, but he also takes a broader view…

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Government, Civilization, and Religion

Throughout No Sugar, the white civil servants who control the lives of the Aboriginal Australians constantly justify their authority and their actions by claiming that they are merely helping to civilize the Aboriginals and bring them into the twentieth century. For these white men and women, most notably Matron Neal, Mr. Neville, and Mr. Neal, religion and so-called civilization are tools of control and oppression, which they can use to disenfranchise…

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White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit

Family is incredibly important to the Millimurra-Mundays, the Aboriginal Australian protagonists of No Sugar. From the very first scene, in which they are demonstrably poor, with few physical belongings, they are shown to be rich in love and affection for each other, with each member of the family doing his or her best to alleviate the suffering of the others. Additionally, the definitions of family are loose, and the Millimurra-Mundays are easily able to…

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Language and Culture

In No Sugar, both white and Aboriginal Australians use language to reinforce their own racial and cultural identities. Although all of the characters in the play predominantly speak English, the Millimurra-Munday family peppers their speech with Nyoongah, an Aboriginal language. When reading the play, readers can turn to the glossary for definitions of over one hundred words and phrases. However, for those watching the play, the frequent Nyoongah vocabulary is likely unfamiliar and…

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