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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Freedom and Confinement

The Flies is an exploration of Jean-Paul Sartre's ideas on radical personal freedom and radical personal responsibility. Sartre argues that every man is free in every sense. No one has authority ov...

Choices

Because existentialists believe in radical personal freedom, everything is a matter of choice. We choose our values, we choose our identities, and we even choose to be alive. In creating and contin...

Philosophical Viewpoints: Existentialism

The Flies is an existential work of fiction that explores Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophical ideas. Sartre's existentialism maintains that existence precedes essence. Man, Sartre says, is nothing inh...

Power

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 criti...

Guilt and Blame

The Flies tells the story of a town in Ancient Greece consumed by remorse over a crime committed fifteen years earlier. The guilt is imposed by the kingdom's rulers – King Aegisthus and Zeus...

Identity

Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialism proposes that the self is created and re-created in every moment of life through choice manifested in action. The Flies explores this idea through dramatic fiction...

Man and the Natural World

The Flies explores the fundamental difference between man and everything else in the universe. According to Jean-Paul Sartre and his existentialism, man exists in a way entirely different from othe...

Transformation

The Flies revolves around the central transformation of its main character, Orestes. While Orestes begins the play free of responsibility, commitment, and any sense of self, he soon encounters his...
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