Death and Children

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Death affects young children much differently than it affects adults. Most children see death as this weird and confusing thing that makes everybody sad and they know that their friend or family member is never going to come back. Adults look at death as an inevitability and as the end, so they want to get out and enjoy life as much as possible. The unique thing here is that death is something that can happen to anyone at any given time. It can happen to a kid just as easy as it can to an adult, thus proving that death's unpredictability is what makes it so terrifying. Just because a child may not understand death, he will still feel the full effect of it, especially if he experiences it firsthand such as Bruce Weigl in his short story entitled Spike. "My father half turns his head away when the policeman draws the hammer back and squeezes off a round into the rat dog's brain. This is the end of things, I think. Nothing can go on from this. . . . I stand on the porch and let wash over me all the grief and fear and love that keeps blossoming, even now, inside me.(Weigl 1494)" All he felt as a child was pain and sorrow for his loss, yet the adults felt like in had to be done, and do not regret killing the dog. In some instances, death has been used as a form of entertainment for adults in ways children would never find entertaining. A good example of this would be in ancient Rome in the days of the gladiators, where thousands of people would flock to the stadium for a show that would include the death of at least one gladiator. Another example is in the short story "Shooting an Elephant". "[The whole population of the quarter] had seen the rifle and were all shouting excitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant.(Orwell 1484)" The tragedies described in "The Sorrow and the Terror" shows just how easily one can die. These tragedies such as 9/11 really demonstrate to us how tomorrow is never guaranteed. Anything could happen...
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