Appropriately, Ralph’s defeat comes in the form of the hunt, which has been closely associated with the savage instinct throughout Lord of the Flies . Ironically, although hunting is necessary to the survival of the group—there is little other food on the island aside from fruit, which has made many of the boys sick—it is also what drives them into deadly barbarism. From the beginning of the novel, the hunters have been the ones who have pioneered the way into the realm of savagery and violence. Furthermore, the conflict between Ralph and Jack has often manifested itself as the conflict between the interests of the hunters and the interests of the rest of the group. In Chapter 3, for instance, the boys argue over whether Jack’s followers should be allowed to hunt or forced to build huts with Ralph and Simon . Now that Jack and the forces of savagery have risen to unchallenged prominence on the island, the hunt has thoroughly won out over the more peaceful civilizing instinct. Rather than successfully mitigate the power of the hunt with the rules and structures of civilization, Ralph becomes a victim of the savage forces the hunt represents—he has literally become the prey.
The Hardy Boys Canon . If you’re looking for the originals, be sure to buy those published before 1959, the year in which the publisher began editing the early installments to excise potentially offensive racial stereotypes, but also to make the already accessible books even easier reads — length was lopped off, descriptive language streamlined, and old slang and vocabulary words judged too meaty were removed. Overall, the project dumbed the books down and the result was almost universally panned; McFarlane felt the books had been “gutted,” while one modern critic opined: “The quality of the revised stories is generally so far below that of the originals that it can only be considered as an act of literary vandalism.” Look for originals on eBay.