The main character in That Was Then, This Is Now is Bryon, A sixteen- year-old greaser. The writer starts off describing him with dark hair and eyes that girls love. “I'm a big guy, dark hair and eyes--the kind who looks like a Saint Bernard puppy, which I don't mind as most chicks cannot resist a Saint Bernard puppy” (pg 13). His casual attitude about hustling and fighting shows how immature Bryon is especially when he is around his best friend Mark.. “Mark and me went down to the bar/pool hall about two or three blocks from where we live with the sole intention of making some money” (pg 9). As the story continues the writer shows how Bryon begins to question everything about the way he lives when his role model Charlie dies. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind, Charlie’s warning us about hustling, can’t you see? This ain’t some story, some TV show, bang! you're dead, big deal. This is real thing. Charlie is dead!” (pg 86). As the writer introduces new characters in the story each one is an important factor in his development. He falls in love with a girl name Cathy, the writer show us that Bryon begins to care about other people more than himself.
The writer begins the story with Bryon and Mark (both 16 years old) being the best of friends like brothers that are involved in gang fights, hustling people and not having to follow any rules. As the story continues, the writer shows us how both boys begins to take a different path from each other. When Bryon gets beat up for covering for what Mark done to Angela., Bryon doesn’t want Mark to get even with the people that hurt him. “I don’t want to keep this up, this getting-even jazz. It’s stupid and I’m sick of it and it keeps going in circles” (pg 129). The writer also show us that Mark wants things to stay the same and continue to show us this when Mark started selling drugs to make money. At the same time Bryon gets a job in a supermarket to make money and was cleaning up his act. “I got a job in a supermarket and I did a pretty good job of changing my attitude, outwardly at least. I couldn’t help thinking smart-aleck things, but I could help saying them. Sacking groceries wasn’t the most fun job in the world, but I was bringing in money” (pg 107). Bryon realizes that life changes a lot as we all go through it even when we wish it won’t. In the end the writer shows us he is changing but Mark wasn’t.
Here are 10 words I think are important from the book:
1: “Changing”(pg:88) Denotative: to become different. Connotative: scary and fearful to feel like. “Changing important because in the book “Changing” happens to the Bryon in the book since he is getting older.
2: “Truth”(pg:71) Denotative: the real facts about something : the things that are true. Connotative: The feeling of trusting and loyalty. “Truth” is important in the book because Bryon had to tell the truth even when it the easiest
3: “Brothers”(pg:63) Denotative: a boy or man who has one or both of the same parents as you....