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The Flies

The Flies


by Jean-Paul Sartre

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?


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 Electra!" When you take into account the social commentary woven into the play – the allegorical nature of the myth and its connection to the Nazi occupation of Paris – The Flies becomes even more of an instruction manual on how to live your life. Unambiguously, the play promotes resistance and rebellion against forces like the Nazis.

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