No Sugar

Assimilation and Paternalism in No Sugar

Postcolonial literature both reveals and challenges the ideals of a dominant culture in their attempt to marginalise and control a minor group. No Sugar is a play set in a period of Australian history known as Protectionism, in which Indigenous Australians were marginalised as primitive beings, incapable of self-dependence and hence protected through forced assimilation. Through the experiences of the Millimurra family, the play effectively exposes the inhumane treatment of Aborigines imposed upon them through the ignorance and prejudice present amongst European Australians and Government policies. The Eurocentric value of assimilation and the paternalistic attitudes of white Australian society at the time are revealed through the way in which characters of the marginalised Aboriginal minority are represented as Other despite their forced attempts to acculturate, as well as the way in which white characters portray them as incompetent through their own condescending treatment of Aborigines.

The value of Assimilation present in white European society at the time the play is set is both revealed and challenged through the way that character Billy Kimberley is marginalised and considered Other by both cultural groups. Throughout...

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