The essay analyses the concept of colonization of the Europeans on the native North America and records an emotional destruction of an individual. The continuous abuse led to addition then people are destroyed. The continuous oppression and mistreatment take them to addiction so that they may find happiness through craving for addiction. The story of Joseph Boyden has described the depressed lives of the oppressed people and records how they find happiness through addiction (David and Derthick 2014).
Here the sugar girl is a symbol of oppression and escape from reality. Primarily she gets abused by the nuns and therefore, chooses the way of addiction in sugar. She finds salvation in the candies (Stark 2013). Gradually she fails to stop herself and start new life but becomes more addict to other substances. The mental oppression she endured since her childhood, leads her to lose self-control, culture and fails to care her on child (Lobo, Talbot and Carlston 2016). For being unable to raise her son in middle life, she continues her cycle of abuse and passes it on to her child. The son again faces same fate as his mother.
The story captures a deeper significance and takes back to the days of colonization. The Europeans invaded North America and took advantage of First Nations people and their goods captured the heart of the natives. The price of the materials that the Whites gathered from the natives were cheap (Lobo, Talbot and Carlston 2016). By paying meagre money they seized control over the people and their land. Again they made the natives addicted to the tasty, unhealthy food and their guns. It was a psychological control that gradually became a cultural issue.
Impose of white culture and religion was a method of ethnic colonization where the children where the Black children were taken to transform white. It was the cultural oppression where white nuns of the residential schools seize the Black culture even language. They punish for using indigenous dialect of showing any native gesture but reward with a candy for obedience. In this story the girl thus became addicted to candy that she was rewarded instead of her cultural sacrifice.
After passing out from the oppressive white school, the sugar girl found herself with no food or money. she failed to meet basic necessities (Franklin 2013) However she was given a little amount of money from the government and found a new addiction in her life. just as she was addicted to candy in her childhood and accepted the cultural dominance over her existence, the sugar girl again found Alcohol that again offered her to sacrifice her individuality. She was driven by the addiction and the narrative says, “There were mornings when the Sugar Girl would wake up sick, wanting alcohol”.
According to the researchers, the sugar girl destroyed herself by sleeping with men thus dies not get a person whom she ca love or who can love her but from the story, it is implicit that the people of her class or generation were deprived of morality and their freedom were curbed. Sugar and alcohol provided her the escape route that took her away from reality and made her forget all her mental and physical sufferings (Bailey, Williams and Favors 2014). She could not understand or make difference between what is good and what is not. The abuse that concealed her original identity and dominated her childhood she passed the same behaviour to her son. The memories of abuse by the nuns were the only knowledge that she was taught for raising a child. The sugar girl completely forgets the memories of the way that her parents used to bring her up and applies the nuns’ method on her son (David 2013).
The addiction of sugar and alcohol was so strong that she started to fall beck in her old days. This mode of addiction that she chose as her comfort, gradually killing her. The son of the sugar girl could not support his mother as he was taken to the same school and destined for the same fortune as his mother (David and Derthick 2014). He also falls in the trap of cultural and psychological colonization that the Europeans imposed upon the natives. It was to serve their own political, social and administrative interest.
The story records the life cycle of a woman who from the childhood faces abuse as well as cultural discrimination. The abuse of the nuns who represented the whites’ oppression to the blacks changed the whole identity of the Black children. The residential schools where the Black children were taken to in the name of education actually was a machinery to produce a generation that cannot go against the colonisers. The pathetic method of punishing the native children by washing mouth with soaps for using a single native dialect among them was horrible (Apple 2017). The idea was to make the children or generation the puppet in the hands of the Whites so that they do not oppose the methods of government or raise any revolt. The concept of abuse that sugar girl inherited in her residential school does not reflect her aboriginal originality. The abuse that she used to control her son was a symbol of the success of cultural dominance of the colonizers.
As mentioned before, the sugar girl chose sugar candies as comfortable alternative to escape the oppression and abuse. However, she perfectly realised the ill effects of her sugar addiction. Her teeth, skin responded against her addiction. In her middle age, he had been gradually killed by alcohol but could not escape from this dominance. Most importantly she did never try to escape the trap that encircled her all in her life (Bailey, Williams and Favors 2014). The story shifts from the life cycle of mother to the child. In the school he also faces similar concept of punishment and reward rather faces more than his mother endured. At the hands of some sick men he faced the worst consequences for being a native.
Apple, M.W. ed., 2017. Cultural and economic reproduction in education: Essays on class, ideology and the state (Vol. 53). Routledge.
Bailey, T., Williams, W. and Favors, B., 2014. Internalized racial oppression in the African American community. Internalized oppression: The psychology of marginalized groups, pp.137-162.
David, E.J.R. and Derthick, A.O., 2014. What is internalized oppression, and so what. Internalized oppression: The psychology of marginalized groups, pp.1-30.
David, E.J.R. ed., 2013. Internalized oppression: The psychology of marginalized groups. Springer Publishing Company.
Franklin, T.W., 2013. Sentencing Native Americans in US federal courts: An examination of disparity. Justice Quarterly, 30(2), pp.310-339.
Lobo, S., Talbot, S. and Carlston, T.M., 2016. Native American voices. Routledge.
May, K., 2016. African Americans and Native Americans in the Cherokee and Creek Nations, 1830s-1920s: Collision and Collusion. Routledge.
Stark, W., 2013. The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought: An Essay in Aid of Deeper Understanding of History of Ideas(Vol. 5). Routledge.