That Was Then, This Is Now Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

That Was Then, This Is Now book cover
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What are traits of M&M from That Was Then, This Is Now? 

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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M&M is described as an affable, sensitive adolescent who is very trusting and compassionate. He gets his name from constantly eating M&Ms, and Bryon mentions that he is a bit strange. M&M is Cathy Carlson's younger brother who is revered by his numerous siblings. M&M is also portrayed as a young hippie who is peaceful and trustworthy. M&M also enjoys literature, and the first time Bryon and Mark see him, he is reading a Newsweek magazine in the drugstore. He also offers to give Mark fifty cents and does not complain about his meager allowance because he enjoys babysitting his siblings. M&M is also depicted as an outcast in his family and is criticized by his father for his long hair and low grades. M&M ends up running away from home and staying with his friends, who enjoy smoking pot and taking drugs. Unfortunately, M&M is impressionable and ends up trying LSD, which seriously alters his mind and permanently affects his personality.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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M&M is Cathy Carlson's 13 year old brother in S.E. Hinton's teen novel That Was Then, This Is Now. M&M gets his nickname from his love of the candy of the same name. Unlike Bryon and Mark, M&M is a young hippie: He has long hair and wears an old army jacket with a peace symbol hanging from his neck. He seems to be popular with just about everyone except his father, who nags him relentlessly about his bad grades. Bryon particularly likes M&M because Bryon is interested in M&M's sister, Cathy. M&M likes smoking pot, and he eventually runs away from home, ending up in a "hippie house," where he is given another nickname, "Baby Freak." He eventually turns to LSD. Bryon and Cathy finally locate him at the house, where he is suffering from a particular bad trip in which spiders have been eating at him. The bad trip has a lasting effect on M&M: His grades have gotten worse and he has memory lapses.

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