Blame is a major player in A Little Less Girl. See, the people of Raynesville are faced with a teenage girl's suicide, and to make this hard truth easier to swallow, they desperately try to place the blame squarely on someone's shoulders. Hmmm… how about Jake, the boy who rejected her? Yes, he'll do just fine. By piling all the responsibility onto Jake, the rest of the town can make easy sense of Amy's tragic end and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, though, in doing so they fail to identify the true cause of Amy's death. Oops.
Questions About Guilt and Blame
Do you think Jake believes the entire town is right? Why or why not? And is he responsible for driving Amy to an early grave?
Why do you think Mr. Dermott finally confess everything to Jake? Is he feeling a little guilty himself?
If someone has to take it, who do you think should take the blame for Amy's death? Why? Be sure to give evidence from the text.
Chew on This
Jake and Dani both feel guilty for Amy's death, but for different reasons. Jake feels badly for rejecting Amy and Dani feels guilty about not being there for her.
In insisting Amy's death is Jake's fault, the town becomes guilty of something much worse: Letting Mr. Dermott continue interacting with young people.