The Flies is an allegory of the German occupation of Paris during World War II. Systems of authority such as the Nazis (but also religion and other political or ideological organizations) are criticized and ridiculed in the play. By imposing their ideology on others, Sartre argues, these institutions attempt to strip individuals of their freedom – the very thing that makes us human. The Flies condones both resistance and rebellion on the grounds that human freedom can't be taken away; rather, we can only be deceived into thinking we are not free. No one has power over you, argues Sartre, until you willingly give it to them.
Orestes's decision to leave Argos at the end of the play is a retreat into bad faith.