abstract profiles of main characters Byron and Mark

That Was Then, This Is Now

by S. E. Hinton

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Student Question

In "That Was Then, This Is Now," what does Bryon say he has become?

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After calling the police on Mark, Bryon's personality drastically changes. Bryon understands that he has possibility ruined his relationship with Mark and feels numb. He mentions that he goes through his days mechanically and cannot feel any type of emotion. Byron no longer cares about anything and even breaks up with Cathy. After testifying against Mark, Byron is emotionally exhausted and keeps to himself. Bryon also seems more mature and says that he has become "a mixture of things" that he had picked up from Charlie, Mark, Cathy, M&M, Mom, Mike, and the Shepards (Hinton 155). Bryon comments that he has learned something from everyone and doesn't feel like the same person he was just a year ago. Bryon also says, "I was mixed up" (Hinton 155). At the end of the novel, Bryon is left with numerous questions and regrets. He says that he has become "too mixed up to really care" and feels unsure about a lot of things in his life. Bryon's traumatic experiences have left him numb and searching for answers. However, he has become mature and realizes how fragile life and relationships really are. Bryon used to find breaking the law and acting reckless fun to be fun, but his numerous negative experiences have left him feeling mixed up and confused.

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