S.E. Hinton "That Was Then, This Is Now"

995 words - 4 pages

S.E. Hinton: That Was Then, This Is Now SUMMARY Bryon, the novel's sixteen-year-old narrator, and his friend Mark grow up in an American inner city district during the early seventies. Since Mark's parents have shot each other in a drunken argument when he was nine years old, Bryon's mother decided to take him home in order to take care of him. Bryon and Mark have been as close as brothers from this moment on, both living in a harsh world of gang fights, alcohol and drugs: "It was great, we were like a bunch of people makin' up one big person, like we totaled up to somethin' when we were together." It turns out that Bryon and Mark are not only used to brutal street fights, but also to ...view middle of the document...

g. long hair) and life style find no approval in his family, he decides to run away from home. As it turns out later, he takes refuge in a house which is inhabited by a bunch of hippies. When Cathy and Bryon find M&M after weeks of search, they must realise that M&M has lost his identity. A bad LSD-trip has changed the trusting M&M into a suspicious, nervous and disoriented stranger. Cathy and Bryon drive M&M to the hospital, where they have to learn that he will mentally never fully recover.Bryon, who feels about M&M like a brother, has to realise that things are changing in a way he does not like. When he comes back from the hospital he makes a shocking discovery about his friend: Under Mark's bed he finds pills "" knowing that he does not take any drugs, he concludes that he sells them. "I wondered tiredly why I had never seen it before: Mark had absolutely no concept of what was right and what was wrong; he didn't obey any laws, because he couldn't see that there were any. Laws, right and wrong, they didn't matter to Mark, because they were just words." Then Bryon faces a decision which will change both of their lives forever: Understanding that people like Mark caused somehow the misery in which M&M now is, he calls the police. Eventually, Bryon leaves not only Mark, who goes to jail, forever, but also his girlfriend Cathie.INTERPRETATION S.E. Hinton is known for her autobiographical novels about youth. The most celebrated novel, however, was her first one:...

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