This is a comparative analysis of two short stories by Boleslaw Prus, 'Antek' and 'The Sins of Childhood'. The principal aim of the argument is to demonstrate that the publication of the latter story marks a watershed in Prus' writing. The novelty of 'The Sins of Childhood' is indicated by both the changes in the way the writer creates his main character and handles his social environment and a shift in Prus' approach to literary fiction. Whereas 'Antek' remains alienated and autonomous, the main character of the other story is given to mimicking his peers and, to an even greater extent, the adults. On the level of social behaviour, 'Antek' shows the expulsion of the title character, an action which goes on unopposed, while 'The Sins of Childhood' demystify unjustified persecution.