In the short story It's Just too Late, written by Calvin Trillin, we are presented with the story of FaNee Cooper, a troubled teenager searching to find her place in the world. Her parents once believed her to be the perfect child but now they find themselves with a rebellious introverted daughter. FaNee begins to hang with the "wrong" crowd and ultimately finds herself falling off the track. It all begins with smoking cigarettes and ditching class and then it escalates into drug use and staying out all night. On one particular night, Mr. Cooper attempts to chase down the car that FaNee and her friends are in. This ensuing chase causes the car in which she is riding to roll over and this results in her death. Now, the question arises of who is at fault for the death of the young girl.
My first thought was to place the complete blame for the accident on the father. After all, he was the one who was driving the pursuing car that caused FaNee's friend to crash and end her life. If he had never given chase his daughter would still be alive. However, when I thought about the story in its entirety, I began to see things more clearly. This is not to say that Mr. Cooper is totally absolved of all blame, but that this tragedy is the result of several prevailing forces. First, FaNee's friends and their rebellious influences play a large role in her untimely death. The fact that they introduced her to drugs along with introducing her to environments that were not appropriate for high school students all contributed to her demise. .
There were also societal pressures placed on the young girl. These pressures resulted in her seeking out an alternative life style. Her glasses and braces made her self conscious and caused her to turn to alcohol and drugs to escape her feelings of rejection. With this in mind, we can therefore see that it was not only Mr. Cooper and her friends that were responsible, but FaNee herself was indeed responsible as well.