No Sugar Essay (Intro and Conclusion) by Jack Davis

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The paucity of power is one struggle which many marginalised groups experience. Repeatedly, the "inferior" individuals are forced to collude with the dominant culture's practices and beliefs. Jack Davis' play, No Sugar, relates the various ways in which different characters react to the pressure to conform to contemporary Australian society, and the effect this has on their survival. The initial behaviour of characters such as Sam, Jimmy, Billy, David and Cissy sometimes foreshadows their ultimate fate of survival or demise. The power dominant white males in authority exhibit over other characters in the text, particularly and specifically the Aboriginal community, plays a key role in conveying the unequal power relations of society, and the way in which this behaviour forces minority groups to assimilate into society's expectations by losing their own cultural identity.

The unbalanced superiority that white males in authority exert over the Aboriginal community is distressingly evident in this realist play. Davis has succeeded in revealing to the viewer the way in which marginalised groups are forced to collude with the individuals in dominance. Those characters that consent to this collusion, such as Sam Millimurra and Billy, survive; yet lose something else that is of equal importance – their voice and their cultural identity. The character of Jimmy Millimurra, in contrast, shows how those who refuse to conform and risk losing their freedom and way of life, pay the ultimate price; a downfall which is brought about because of the world of unequal power relations in which they live.
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