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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Flies

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

See "What's Up With the Title?" for all the juicy details…Time and Time again in The Flies, men are described as animals. Not pleasant, fuzzy, comforting animals either – we're talking...

Setting

The Flies takes place in the town of Argos in Ancient Greece, sometime in the 12th or 13th century B.C. As we discuss in "In A Nutshell" Sartre is working with an ancient myth rendered many times o...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author's point of view, they don't all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece of literature...

Genre

As we discuss in "In A Nutshell," The Flies builds on the Greek myth of Orestes and Electra. Because it does so theatrically, it falls into the "Drama" genre as well. The parable aspect of the play...

Tone

Because Orestes embodies Jean-Paul Sartre's idea of the existential hero, he acts as an instructive example for readers. The Flies seems to say, "Be more like Orestes!" or maybe, "Don't be like Ele...

Writing Style

Because The Flies is a play, the only language we can look at is the dialogue of the characters. Sartre writes his play in the tradition of the Greek tragedies that came before it. The language is...

What's Up With the Title?

The Flies takes place in the town of Argos, Greece, a city plagued by a huge swarm of flies for much of the play. Based on information we gather from the god, Zeus, and the townspeople, it seems th...

What's Up With the Ending?

In order to fully grasp what's going on with the ending to The Flies, as well as what's happening in the rest of the play, it's important to understand something of Sartre's theory of radical freed...

Plot Analysis

Orestes arrives in Argos with the Tutor.The early stages of The Flies are focused on the setting and mood: what is Argos like? Who are its citizens and how do they live their lives? Because we watc...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest

The Call happens before the play starts.We'll admit that The Flies isn't exactly a classic quest tale. So if you want to try and fit it to the classic quest plot, you've got to take some liberties....

Three Act Plot Analysis

Orestes arrives in Argos, meets his sister and mother, and discusses the situation with Zeus. The act ends when he commits to staying in town.Electra tries to save the people of Argos – to no...

Trivia

Does anyone else think this Twilight Zone episode was inspired by The Flies? A group of townspeople are horrified at the prospect of visitor raising the dead, since they have all in some way wronge...

Steaminess Rating

There isn't much sex going on here. There are, however, sexual allusions. When Zeus harasses an old woman in the first scene, he gives her a hard time regarding her response to Agamemnon's murder f...

Allusions

While these texts are never explicitly referenced in The Flies, Sartre's play builds on the three Greek tragedies, which were founded on the same ancient myth. These works are:Electra, by Sophocles...
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