Childhood is a priceless time in someone's life, it determines who the infant will grow into. A happy carefree youth will most likely shape the child into becoming a cheerful, hardworking adult. However, a depressing, gloomy youth will most likely carry the child to a future he wants nothing to do with. One cannot put a price on youth. A child that is ripped away from his carefree childhood would become a completely different adult. Society today targets children and tries to shape their minds. .
The short stories " The Rocking-Horse Winner", "The Lottery", and "War", all focus on sadness that results when children lose their innocence pre-maturely.
In the short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, the residents in a small farming village gather each year in the center of town for an annual lottery. In what seems to be a peaceful community, the village is actually filled with corruption and twisted rituals. The community takes part in an annual ritual where one unlucky person is sacrificed in order to guarantee good crops. The winner is chosen by a ballot, and in an ironic twist, the winner becomes the loser. The villagers, even family members, show no resistance in killing friends or family. The townsfolk, including her family members, stone Mrs. Hutchinson to death. Children are given stones and encouraged to throw them at Tessie, not truly understanding what is happening, they gladly cast the stones. These children are exposed to death and murder at such a young age; it will corrupt their minds and influence the way they think throughout the rest of their lives. They are brought up to fear death, while they should be afraid of monsters and the dentist.
In the short story "War" by Timothy Findley, a Father enlists in the army and leaves his family to do what is best for his country. The youngest child in the story feels he is being abandoned and feels violated. His Father will be absent for some time, and most likely will never return home.