how does Charles Halloway seem conflicted
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Charles is defeated and older than his years and feels empty inside. Seeing the boys running away from the library, Charles is struck with a sense of loss for the days when he himself was a kid, and "a shadow turn[s] mournfully over" inside him. At the bar, he has a drink of alcohol - the Elixir of Life - not for himself, but for the kid inside of him. Charles feels that the boy inside of him his faded and perhaps even died, and his drink is an attempt to bring it back to life.