That Was Then, This Is Now Essay

Topics: Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants, Theme, TheStart Pages: 2 (597 words) Published: September 2, 2012
What are the Themes Explored in ‘That was Then, This is Now?’ That was Then, This is Now is a novel written by S.E. Hinton, published in 1971. It follows the lives of two teenagers named Bryon Douglas and Mark who have been best friends for as long as they can remember. That was Then, This is Now has many prevalent themes including young people maturing, the effects of drugs and young people growing apart as they grow up. These themes can be related to by many teenagers who are the book’s intended audience. As young people mature they often search for meaning and value in their life. This is definitely the case for the main character of That was Then, This is Now Bryon Douglas. At the start of the story Bryon was just a kid who loved to fight and was not mature at all. He was carefree and did not have anything to worry about. Throughout the story his outlook on life changes dramatically. In a way, Bryon is forced to mature as a result of things that happened to him. Because his mum had been in hospital he was forced to smarten himself up and get a job to take care of Mark and himself. Later on he started to take responsibility for his actions and he felt some of the blame for Charlie’s death, unlike Mark. Bryon questioned “What if” he had listened to Charlie and stopped hustling? Would Charlie still be alive? In the end Bryon is completely opposite from the start of the story. He had too many worries and even though he got a promotion at work and his grades were getting better he was not happy. Bryon had to grow up too quickly. Another of the main themes of the story is the danger of drugs. This theme is not really prevalent until about halfway through the book when M&M runs away from home to live in the hippy house. There, he is surrounded by people using drugs. The dangers of drugs really come into focus when Bryon and M&M’s sister Cathy come to get M&M from the hippy house. M&M took some acid and had an extremely bad trip. He was...
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