What are some conflicts in That was Then, This is Now?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One significant conflict is the growing change between Mark and Bryon.  At first, "inseparable troublemakers," Bryon begins a process of distancing himself from Mark.  Part of this comes out of his own maturation and reflection about things, something that Mark does not share.  Another part of it comes from a time orientation where Mark wishes to live in the past and Bryon emerges from it.  The premise of Bryon's idea of "that was then, this is now" helps to bring out this conflict.  It reaches its apex when Bryon betrays Mark to the authorities for his dealing drugs.

Another conflict is within Bryon himself.  Bryon emerges in the narrative as someone who is fundamentally distant with the world around him.  He is immersed in reflection about the world and his place in it.  This causes him to experience distance with Mark and Cathy.  Both people were individuals towards whom he felt a great deal of affection.  Yet, as the narrative progresses, he loses these feelings towards them and becomes inwardly driven.  This condition is what causes Bryon to lose the ability to care, reflecting a conflict within himself.