abstract profiles of main characters Byron and Mark

That Was Then, This Is Now

by S. E. Hinton

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What are the conclusion, falling action, and resolution of That Was Then, This Is Now?

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S.E. Hinton's young adult novel That Was Then, This Is Now follows the friendship of Bryon Douglas and Mark Jennings, two boys who are brothers in spirit if not in blood. After Bryon's mother (who has also adopted Mark) is hospitalized, the boys are thrown into a bit of a dire financial situation. Both boys must start working to provide for their makeshift family. Mark starts to bring in money, but refuses to tell anyone where or how he is making it.

The climax (beginning of the conclusion) of the story happens when M&M, a young Hippie boy, overdoses on acid that Mark has sold to him. When Bryon finds drugs in Mark's room, he makes the difficult decision to turn Mark in to the police.

The falling action of the story involves Mark being sentenced to five years in a state reformatory and Bryon slowly distancing himself from his old friends.

The resolution occurs when Bryon visits Mark in the reformatory, at which point his pleas for forgiveness and the reinstatement of their brotherhood are denied by Mark. The book concludes with Bryon pining for his childhood and the days of the past when he used to feel like he had the answers to life's problems.

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CONCLUSION (CLIMAX).  After finding Mark's secret drug stash, Bryon decides to turn Mark in for selling drugs. He realizes that Mark has been selling drugs to residents of the hippie house, and that M&M has overdosed on Mark's drugs.

FALLING ACTION.  Bryon visits the reformatory in order to see Mark, but Mark tells Bryon that he hates him. When Bryon mentions the good times they had together, Bryon tells him "that was then, this is now."

RESOLUTION.  Mark is somewhat uncertain of the decisions he has made, replaying the past year in his head. He wishes for the return of his younger days, when life was simpler and he had all the answers.

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