abstract profiles of main characters Byron and Mark

That Was Then, This Is Now

by S. E. Hinton

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What is the setting of the book, That Was Then, This is Now?

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Like most of Susan E. Hinton's novels, That Was Then, This is Now is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma (though, like Hinton's prior teen novel, The Outsiders, the city is never identified). It tells the story of Bryon Douglas and his best friend and foster brother, Mark. Like the main characters in The Outsiders, the two boys are greasers--poor boys from the wrong side of the tracks. Like the Curtis brothers in The Outsiders, Bryon and Mark have a rough home life and spend most of their time on the streets. With Bryon's mother in the hospital, the two underage boys are on their own, and they hang out in bars (Charley's Place) and on the strip known as The Ribbon. There is little time for school, although the two boys do attend a dance at the gym where Ponyboy Curtis (the main character of The Outsiders) also appears. Other locales include a "hippie house," where most of the inhabitants do drugs; and, later, a reform school where Mark is held.

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What is the setting of That was Then, This is Now?  

Setting deals with the time and place that a story is taking place.  That was Then, This is Now takes place in Oklahoma during the 1960's.  That's a very broad stroke to describe the setting though.  More specifically the story is about two Greaser boys, Bryson and Mark.  Because of the main characters, the story takes place in the rougher parts of town.  The two boys live in the same house, so parts of the story take place there.  Other parts occur in a nearby bar called "Charley's Place."  Bryson's mother gets very sick at one point in the novel, so sequences of the novel take place within the bounds of the hospital too.  Despite being about two teenage boys, very little of the story takes place at school.  The only exception is a dance that the boys attend.  

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