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That was then, This is now
Transcript of That was then, This is now
This is now The Outsiders Tulsa, Oklahoma Early 70's Tulsa, Oklahoma Late 60's These two books are companions, as they share a common setting and a few characters such as Ponyboy Curtis and the Shepards. Also, Randy, a Soc in the Outsiders, appears in the book as a hippy who gives Bryon and Mark a ride. Themes The Outsiders That was then, This is now Soc vs Greaser Throughout almost the entire book, the main conflict is the one between the Socs, rich kids who live on the West Side, and the Greasers, the poor hoodlums of the East Side. These two groups seem to be polar opposites, but they might not be as different as you think they are. Here are some descriptions of each group. The Socs
The Socs are a gang in The Outsiders. They wear madras shirts(“He had on a madras shirt. I can still see it. Blue madras.” 5) They are very rich and live on the west side(“I’m not sure how you spell it, but it’s the abbreviation for the Socials, the jet set, the West side rich kids.” 2). They have Mustangs,(“The blue Mustang was circling the park slowly.” 54) and are too cool to feel anything. The Greasers
The Greasers are also a gang in The Outsiders. They live on the East side. (“It’s like the term ‘greaser,’ which is used to class all us boys on the East side.” 2) They wear leather jackets.(“...or leave our shirttails out and wear leather jackets...” 3) They drive cheaper cars.(“...we steal things and drive old souped-up cars...” 3)They are poorer than the Socs,(“We’re poorer than the Socs and the middle class.” 3) and wear their hair long and greasy, hence the name greaser.(“My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs...” 3) Personal loss At the end of the Outsiders, both Johnny Cade and
Dallas Winston die, Johnny from severe burns and Dally
was shot by the police. Also, the Curtis' parents died in a car accident, contributing to many of the Curtis' boys problems. If Pony, Soda, and Darry's parents were still alive, they would have a larger source of income and Darry might have been able to college. Doing the right thing One of the major themes in That was then, this is now is
doing the right thing, no matter what. At the end of the book, M&M is changed forever because of drugs. Later that same day, Bryon discovers the way that Mark has gotten money. Mark had been pedaling drugs just like the ones that crippled M&M. Upon finding Mark's stash under his mattress, Bryon confronts Mark and later calls the police, despite the fact that they had been best friends and adopted brothers since childhood. Mark is sent to jail and never seen again by Bryon. Personal changes In the beginning of the book, Bryon is a fight-loving hoodlum who hustles pool. By the end, he is a respectable young man who is mature and knows that he is not a kid anymore. Mark, on the other hand, does not make this change. This is one of the main themes of this novel. Point of View The Outsiders That was then, this is now 1st Person.
The whole book is written from the point of view of Ponyboy Curtis. 1st Person
The whole book is written from the point of view of Bryon Douglas. 1st Person There are advantages and disadvantages to a novel written in 1st person. For example, you are able to sympathize with the main character and get to know them. But, since you only see one side of the story, it sometimes makes it hard to understand other characters. That was then, this is now Bryon Douglas-16-year-old greaser, black hair, big, strong, brother to Mark, boyfriend of Cathy, friend of M&M and Charlie Mark Jennings-16-year-old greaser, looks like a "golden lion" with golden hair and strangely gold-flecked eyes, adopted brother of Bryon, friend of M&M and Charlie Cathy Carlson- 16-year-old, blonde, Bryon's girlfriend, M&M' s sister M&M Carlson-13-year-old, nerdy hippie, long brown hair, glasses, friend to Bryon and Mark, brother of Cathy, very serious Charlie-22-year-old bartender, big and burly, reputation as a tough guy, friend of Mark and Bryon The Outsiders Ponyboy Curtis-14-year-old greaser, long brown hair, brother to Darrel and Sodapop, part of the Greaser gang By the time this book was written, the groups of the Socs and Greasers had evaporated. Bryon talks about being invited to Soc parties, even though he is a greaser. At this point, the only thing separating them is their money. Cherry Valance-16-year-old Soc, hates fighting, red hair, supports the greasers as well as the Socs. Sodapop Curtis-16-year-old Greaser, blonde hair, very handsome, brother to Darrel and Ponyboy, part of the Greaser gang Darrel Curtis-20-year-old greaser, big, tough, brother to Ponyboy and Sodapop, part of the Greaser gang Johnny Cade-16-year-old greaser, long jet black hair and big black eyes, looks like a puppy that's been kicked too much, is neglected at home, part of the greaser gang Plot That was then, this is now Chapter 1-The book begins with Mark and Bryon in Charlie's bar. Then, they go to the bowling alley to meet M&M. When M&M leaves, he is jumped by Curly Shepard. Bryon and Mark save M&M and then Mark suggests that they jump a black man. M&M objects, calling him a hypocrite because they just got done saving M&M from someone jumping him because he is different.
Chapter 2-Bryon and Mark catch a ride to the hospital from a hippie named Randy to visit Bryon's mother. In the snack bar, Bryon meets Cathy. He also talks to a kid named Mike Chambers who nearly got beaten to death. Mike tells his story. He saw a black woman being picked on by some gangsters. He stands up for her and gives her a ride home. When they get there, she tells her friends to kill him. This makes Bryon think about the perpetual cycle of violence. This is the first time Mark's unknown income is mentioned. We later learn that Mark is selling drugs.
Chapter 3-Bryon asks Cathy to the dance. While they are at the dance, Mark is hit in the head by a beer bottle when he stepped between Ponyboy and another man, hired by Angela, Bryon's ex-girlfriend, trying to attack Ponyboy. He is taken to the hospital to be cared for. Bryon starts to get along with Pony.
Chapter 4-Mark and Bryon discuss what has changed. Bryon says that the difference is "that was then, this is now", hence the title of the book. Bryon also talks about his Soc friends and how no one can tell the difference between a Soc and a greaser anymore. Mark gets caught stealing the principal's car to see his probation officer.
Chapter 5-Bryon and Mark hustle pool off of some Texans, but are attacked just as they leave Charlie's bar. Luckily, Charlie comes to save them, but is shot and killed by the Texans. Later, Bryon realizes that he is changing but Mark isn't.
Chapter 6-The two Texans were found and sentenced to a life in prison. Cathy suspects that M&M is smoking marijuana. Cathy,Mark,Bryon, and M&M all go to the Ribbon to drive up and down and talk. M&M gets out of the car and runs away from home.
Chapter 7- It has been a week and M&M has still not come home. Bryon gets a job at the supermarket, and Mark is bringing in more money than ever before. When Bryon and Mark are at the Ribbon, Angela gets in their car. She is very drunk, and she later passed out. Mark cuts all her hair off for setting Ponyboy up. Bryon learns that Mark knew where M&M was all along. Bryon and Mark talk about Charlie's death. Mark feels no guilt or remorse at all, where Bryon realizes he died to save them.
Chapter 8-Mark and Bryon go to the hippie house where M&M is staying. He wasn't there, but one of the hippies said he was "flying" and was going to crash. Bryon decides not to tell Cathy. He is then set up at Terry Jones' place. While he is waiting, Tim and Curly Shepard come and beat him up for cutting Angela's hair, even though it wasn't him. He wakes up with Mark and tells him not to get revenge on the Shepards.
Chapter 9-Bryon tries to explain to Mark that he doesn't hate the Shepards for attacking him. This makes Mark angry because it was his fault in the first place that Bryon was beat up. Bryon goes to Charlie's grave to pay his respects. Cathy and Bryon go out to the hippie house. They find M&M in the middle of a serious LSD hallucination. They were sickened by his condition. Cathy and Bryon took him to the hospital.
Chapter 10-The doctor said that M&M may never mentally recover. When looking for a cigarette, Bryon discovers Mark's stash of drugs that he has been selling at the hippie house. He is shocked. He immediately called the cops. Bryon confronts Mark and Mark tries to make excuses, but nothing he says can change Bryon's mind. When the cops come, Mark finally understands what is happening.
Chapter 11-When Cathy comes to visit Bryon, he is very rude to her. He told her that he needed to be alone. Bryon testified in court against Mark. Bryon talks to M&M, who has gotten better but is still different. He says that Cathy liked Bryon more than anyone. Bryon got straight A's in school and got promoted at his job. He goes to visit Mark but Mark makes it clear he hates Bryon. Mark is sent to state prison for bad behavior. Bryon is very confused, and wishes he was a kid and had all the answers. The Outsiders and That was then, this is now are similar, but also different. They are both among the best books I have ever read.