Characterization in S. E. Hintons That Was Then, This Is Now

In the story That Was Then, This is Now, the main character was a 16 year old boy named Bryon. Being 16 and living in the 50’s would obviously give anyone a very trendy look. You could either be a “Greaser” or a “SOC”. In the novel, Bryon was a greaser. He always wore things such as jeans, and Tee Shirts. With his brown hair, and blue eyes Bryon had his share of girlfriends. Bryon didn’t have the same personality as most of the other greasers, he was nice, and more mature. Even though he still had that rugged, rebel personality he still had a side of kindness. Another Character in this book was Mark, Mark was Bryon’s best friend since they were 5. They almost acted like brothers. While Bryon was the nice more sensitive one of the duo, Mark was the “bad boy.” He always got into fights, and he had a serious criminal record from stealing cars. Mark was always getting into to trouble but luckily he always had Bryon there to help him out. Mark wasn’t quite as tall or as muscular as Bryon was, but he was still considered handsome by all of the girls. Mark had red hair and a thin face, unlike Bryon. I don’t really think that I relate to Mark a whole lot. I have never considered

In the novel That Was Then This is Now the main conflict has to do with friendship. It has to do with the fact that sometimes you do things that can ruin your life but you don’t realize it at the time. The main conflict in this particular novel was this: Bryon and Mark had been best friends for their entire life. They did everything together, as if they were brothers. But, when they got older they started to see their friendship slipping away. It seemed to slip away because of differences between them, and because of other people. In the novel, Bryon was the type of guy who went out with girls just so he could have a good time. But then one day he met this gorgeous girl named Cathy. Soon Bryon was spending more time with Cathy and less time with Mark. And on top of that the family was losing money and growing dangerously close to being flat broke, so Mark and Bryon decided to get jobs. As Bryon worked ar a grocery store Mark was bringing in a lot of money from an unknown profession. Soon after Bryon discovered some pills under the mattress in Mark’s room. Bryon looked at the pills and realized that Mark had been selling drugs. Astounded and bewildered at the fact that his best friend Mark was a crook, he called the police and told them about Mark. Soon after the police arrived and took Mark off to court where he would have a trial. Considering his police record the judge sentence him to 5 years in a juvenile reformatory. After 1 year Bryon went to the reformatory to talk to Mark, as Bryon and Mark talked, Mark showed that he hated Bryon for what he did and that he would never forgive him. Heartbroken, Bryon left and in the end, forgot about the guy who used to be his best friend. The weird thing about this story is the fact that the conflict doesn’t get resolved. Everything turns out in the worst possible way. In the end Bryon ends up losing Cathy, and he also ends up developing a hatred for Mark. Personally I did not like this resolution at all. I think that it was much too sad and that everything should have turned out happier. In the story the main characters, unfortunately, had no control at all over the outcome of their lives, all the events seemed to have happened as if they were actors in a play with their lives written down on paper.

Just like almost all of the novels by S. E. Hinton, That Was Then, This is Now takes place in the 50’s on the “East Side”. It was the type of place where the “greasers” hung out, back in the time where ice cream was five cents. In the novel there is no specific date, or city, the only thing you know is the time period, although it could have taken place in any city or state. The setting of this novel is nothing like the setting in which I live today. Today, life is very different than it was in the 50’s. However, I kind of enjoyed reading a story based in the 50’s because I got an appreciation of what it was like living back then. Now I can read other stories that take place in the 50’s and be able to understand what is going on. Despite the fact, that I don’t know what it is like to live in the 50’s. I do know that many of the conflicts that occurred within this novel could have happened at any point in history, showing the true timelessness of this story. I can relate to Mark because he always does what he thinks he will benefit from the most. He never plans ahead and he just goes for things that he wants. Now that I think about it, I realize that I want to be more like Bryon: Thinking things out, and planning ahead. I also think that I relate to Mark or Bryon because I have gone through a point where I had a best friend who was basically the same as me, and unfortunately our friendship deteriorated.

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