Summary and Analysis
Charles Halloway's secret longing to be young again is revealed in this chapter. He closes the library and makes his nightly stop at the corner saloon for his one-and-only drink. This drink is for the boy-man in Halloway who, although suppressed, is still quite desirous of making a reappearance. This chapter also presents a brief contrast between Will and Jim. Will Halloway is only two minutes older than his best friend, Jim, but not nearly as sensitive and perceptive of the woes of the world. His function in the novel is almost the equivalent of a personal bodyguard for Jim. His father characterizes him as being a good boy. He is "not above peeing off a bridge, or stealing an occasional dime store pencil sharpener." It's just that Will is somehow instinctively and obviously good. Will is the kind of person who will be hurt many, many times in his life, and who will always wonder why. Jim, on the other hand, is a much more daring, realistic, and impetuous young lad.