First of all, I do not agree with Mark. From everything he had been through, he saw both his drunk parents kill each other when he was only 9 years old. On another hand, his opinion might change if we consider how M&M’s life have become. He is only 13 years old and because of all the insanities that his own father told him he was, he decided to run away at a young age. Cathy even had a suspicion on him using harder drugs and knowing how easy he is to influence, he wouldn’t be able to overcome any problems alone. At 13 also, he used to be his little brothers and sisters role model since he was the one babysitting them. He had bigger responsabilies when he’s still a kid and not being able to express the way he would like to be, he decided to go to the hippie house.
In my opinion, Bryon’s mother didn’t do a good as being a mother. Yes, as it is mentionned in the book, she loved Mark and Bryon, but she had never set any groud rules whatsoever in order to keep them in the right path. If she had been more present in Bryon’s life, he would have been able today to know what is good and acceptable to do or not. The only adult who made an impact on them was Charlie. Also, by not being so close to his mom, the boys didn’t know how to respect properly a girl. Yes, there was Angela and Cathy, but mainly all the other girls whom Bryon dated never interested and for him it was only a game. Another thing would be that she never put a curfew or check their grades or anything like that. Not having any authority on the, they used to come in late and fight a lot since they were kids and even didn’t bother about their education. The main consequence of the absence of their mother would be that they didn’t have someone to support them and to get out of their economic and social problems. It took something really hard to make Bryon realize that he had to do something but for Mark, it doesn’t seem that he bothers. Lastly, without the parent figure, Mark and Bryon would always do something, it could be good or bad, but they wouldn’t think about how it might come back in the future. By example, when Bryon cut off Angela’s hair, even though all he wanted was a little bit a revenge towards her, he didn’t think that she had her brothers and would probably be beaten up later on.
In my opinion, M&M chose to ran away because he felt like he didn’t fit in, that he was too different. He tried making a point about how violence was not the right solution, but no one would actually care about what he would say. Also, he is not happy at home and he’d rather be anywhere else than be in the same house as his dad. Cathy even described him as being someone who is easily influenced and could easily be addicted by hard drugs. He is known for being someone who isn’t stable since the beginning of the book, and by running away, he will actually find peace on what everybody say about him. He couldn’t take any of what people use to tell him anymore, so in my opinion, he ran away partly because of that.
In Chapter 6, we can see how Mark and Cathy’s relationship evolves. Being the two most important people in Mark’s life, we would thnk that they would actually get along pretty well. This is not the case during the sixth chapter. Cathy isn’t impressed at all when Mark had one of his impulses and hit the guy in the Corvette who had made an obsene comment. On another hand, she doesn’t really approved how Mark and Bryon used to drink at such a young age. We can conclude that Mark and Cathy don’t really like each other throughout the chapter and are not ready to make any effort to get along either. They are both fighting for one person: Bryon.
I was a bit surprised when Charlie died in Chapter 5. I had a feeling that someone was going to be hurt somehow, since Charlie warned the boys that those cowboys were dangerous, but I didn’t expect him to die. He had it all figured out and it had to end up in a really bad way for him. In my opinion, it will have a huge impact on Bryon and Mark’s life, since they are somehow involved Charlie’s death and it wouldn’t had happened if they didn’t hustle on that night. They’ll eventually feel guilty, but also will affect a part of them, since Charlie was one of the few who cared for their well being and their security. They were also pretty close , which will make it even harder for the boys. I think it is the first time that someone’s death will affect them, since those shootings are pretty much present at that time in history.
In Chapter 4, we discover more about how life used to be for Bryon and Mark. Since they know each other from a young age, they shared a lot of experiences together and while Mark is still recovering, they had a reminiscing moment.
Mark had a a great memory- better than mine, which is pretty good- and he brought up little goofy things we had done when were young that I’d forgotten about.
It was a different time back and that is why the book’s title is relevant to the story, because it tells us that they are going through different phases, and things don’t remain the same. They are both struggling and are on their way to accept the fact that life goes on.
Do you ever get the feeling that the whole thing is changin’? Like somethin’ is coming to an end because somethin’ else is beginning?
Some things ends, while new things begin, and that is what Bryon refers too, that was then, this is now.
In chapter 3, we can define more Mark and Bryon’s relationship after many events such as the dance . At the bar, while talking to Charlie, Mark was straight and honest when he was talking about how Bryon could be and it didn’t bother Bryon, he actually took it well and laugh about it. We can see that they are honest towards each other. Mark also knows that Bryon likes Cathy and got him Mark a shirt. On another hand, during the night of the dance, Mark was attacked while he tried to defend Curtis. When Mark learned what happened, he ran outside to find it and stayed with from that moment. Bryon was nearly crying because Mark is his brother for him and seeing him hurting like that for the wrong reasons. We can conclude after ther dicussions that they are real partners and mean a lot to each others.