There are various ways in which information and messages can be conveyed to different people. One of these methods is through literature. Literature in itself contains several ways to pass information from one person to another. In the literature, we have plays, poems, essays, and even short stories as methods of communicating to readers. Another difference amongst means of passing information will occur depending on the context of the message. Different contexts of information will require certain forms of literature to enable readers’ understanding. For instance, reading a play concerning sexual violence against women will differ from reading an essay or poem about the same subject matter. As supporting evidence for the information in the paper, a close analysis of Ruined by Lynn Nottage will be utilized. According to linguists, various benefits will arise from reading a play rather than reading from an essay or poem.


In describing the subject of sexual violence against women, the authors will have to consider several aspects of writing which will ensure proper conveyance of information. According to Ruined, the author revolves around the predicaments of a group of women in the civil war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The use of language is relevant because the readers need to understand the tales from the authors, contexts. For instance, a short story utilizes the same type of language that any reader of their time and culture may use to write a story. In the event of poetry, the language structure differs because poets employ various techniques like rhyme and techniques. The difference in reading sexual violence against women in plays and not poems or essays comes in because of the use of language in writing. Sexual violence against women is a subject, which requires in-depth analysis and description. For this reason, the medium used by the writer should be one, which allows for this description and analysis without restrictions. Plays influence the readers understanding of the subject as the author utilizes in-depth description and analysis. The reader, through play, can easily contextualize the subject and even relate with the characters of the play. Plays have the benefit of allowing the author to convey information directly from the characters context without having to distort information. In writing, there are various differences between poetry and plays especially in the use of language. Poetry often has a formal structure or even a cadence while reading on any subject. On the other hand, plays are like action-packed drama with the reader having the ability to visualize the subject matter of the article. Sexual violence against women is a broad subject, which calls for the wide description of the context. Reading the subject in a play will allow for a great presentation of the information, breaking it down to all the areas which make the topic complete. In this case, plays will cover anything, which poetry or essays fail to cover. Poetry needs the writer to abide by the formal structure of the literature and chose words more carefully. The subject of sexual violence against women is one, which will call for feelings, identification of characters, and explanation of the setting. Ruined centers on the lives of the women working in a bar and their determination to continue to exist regardless of the mayhems they have undergone.

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Authors associate various benefits to using plays in describing certain subjects like sexual violence against women unlike using poems and essays. Plays come in acts and scenes, which is more advantageous because the reader can understand the subject from the characters point of view. For example in the play, Ruined the author subdivides the literature in different acts and scenes, which provide a chronological order of events. The first scene provides a description of the setting of the play. “A small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is midafternoon at Mama Nadi’s bar, a worn-looking establishment; nonetheless a lot of effort has gone into making it look careful” (pg 9). From the above statement, readers can contextualize the setting of the play. People have ideas of what underwent in the war in Congo and therefore opening the scene with the statement helps the reader to visualize the setting of the play. More so, the statement describes in-depth the state of the surrounding in which the play is staged. Readers can visualize the poverty aspect of the characters in the opening scene. Another notable advantage of plays as a literature medium is that it allows for use of natural language to convey information. Other forms of literature like poetry insist on use of techniques such as alliteration, rhythm, rhyme, meter, and assonance. The application of these techniques restricts the authors from using natural language, which is necessary in plays. Plays, in simple definition, mean ordinary talk between ordinary people using ordinary language. In this case, verbs, nouns, adverbs, and other techniques play their role in literature. The perfect example of this advantage is visible in the play Ruined which allows the characters to use their natural language without sticking to the English language. “Your fucking country, some drunk child doing his best impersonation of a rebel soldier liberated my shoes. Every time I come here I have to buy a new fucking pair of shoes” (Act One, Scene 2, pg 11). From the above discussion, it is clear that plays allow the use of language especially in its original context. Plays allow for the use of any form of language even if it is provocative. Other forms of literature such as poems cannot allow the use of words such as “fucking”. However, plays do not distort any information from the characters and the readers get the direct information.  In the event this context was in a poem or essay, there would be much restrictions on the use of language.

Apart from the advantages stated above, plays have their own demerits, which make authors to choose other forms of literature like poems. Plays allow use of any form of language, which can be detrimental to the readers’ understanding of the subject. For instance, the subject of sexual violence against women may utilize language, which can be abusive or provocative to the readers. “Love. What’s the point in all this shit? Love is too fragile a sentiment for out here. Think about what happens to the things we “love”. How easily they are snatched from us. It is not worth it” (Act Two, Scene 7, pg 19). To other readers this can be a provocative statement, as the characters do not choose their words carefully. According to linguists and people sensitive to the use of language may find this provocative and an abstract way of expression. Any forms of literature need to be accommodative of all people’s ideas and feelings. In addition, plays need a lot of time to read and comprehend which can be tiresome to the readers. Some people need precise and straight literature which will make reading an interesting affair. In the case of plays, there are too much details, which can prove to be boring.     


The subject of sexual violence against women requires a more liberal form of literature in order to properly convey the message. Plays allow characters to express themselves without any restrictions on language use and application. More so, the form of literature allows for detailed description of events, actions, and setting. Ruined by Lynn Notage is a piece of literature which explores the subject of women undergoing torture and the use of plays allows readers to understand the undertakings of the time. All forms of literature have their advantages and demerits but majorly rely on the context of the literature. 

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