The Question and Answer section for That Was Then, This is Now is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Themes are the big ideas that the author is trying to convey.
Connie harbors a deep bitterness and resentment toward white people. She has been abused by white men before. Mike is the only white man she knows. Even though he saves her, Mike is the only person Connie can project her anger onto.
Cathy is of course beautiful but cares about others and has an independent spirit.