Shayla Atkins

Casting Stones: The Men of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined

- Shayla Atkins

While scholars read the issues in Ruined as primarily about the women, one should note the issues also affect the men, both in the play, arguably, in the continuing violence against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other parts of Africa. This essay examines how Ruined also offers a nuanced commentary on the men and the war’s impact on them as well. There is a potential for misreading the work if one does not consider, first, the narrative in cultural context, and second, the portrayal of the Congolese men who are divorced from family and home. An examination of the men’s negotiation of their liminality exposes their efforts to resist the structure.