Jack Davis creates stage images that illustrate the poverty of the Millimura family during the depression. The “home-made bat and ball” show that they are self-sufficient despite not having money, and the various other details and features of their domestic life show that they have limited means, but have figured out how to get by on very little. We see them sitting by the fire, cooking with very few ingredients, playing homemade games, chopping wood, and collecting water.
In the middle of the play, the Aboriginal men throw a corroboree, a traditional ceremonial dance in which they paint their bodies, dance around the campfire, and speak candidly with one another. It is one of the few moments in the play in which we witness the Indigenous characters truly connecting with their traditions; most of the play we see them trying to better fit into white society and scrape together a way of life on underserved reservations.
In the scenes with the white authorities, Jack Davis employs the dramatic device of the perambulant model to show simultaneous scenes at once. We often see Neville and Carrol's offices alongside one another on the stage, with the respective characters going about their business at the same time. In this way, we are able to see different happens at the same moment in time.
Billy is a curious figure in the play, because he is an Aborigine, but he works for the white authorities and often behaves violently towards the Aborigines in his charge. He is seen first at the beginning of Act 2, holding a clay pipe and carrying a whip, a menacing figure at the Moore River Native Settlement.
No Sugar Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for No Sugar is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.