The question of whether or not Charlie Wales’ demand to have his daughter went back to him is sensible seems fairly clear. The fact that the story begins and ends in a bar, with the alcoholic protagonist having problem with his addiction seems an indication that his satanic force has not been slain. Ambiguities seen in the story lead a reader to think that maybe at this moment it is not affordable.
Charlie views his old haunts as less than attractive in the cold light of sobriety, but still he feels obliged to go and look once again. Yet, while it seems that Charlie genuinely regrets his past the reader also is told that Charlie has actually lost his fortune, which might easily be the reason for his new mindset. Among the twin themes of this story is that an individual is accountable for his own shortcomings, and should pay his charges, so to speak, being held responsible to others.
Charlie states that he never had a problem with alcohol until he started to lose his fortune, seeming in timeless rejection. Charlie does decline that his bouts of drunkenness are the reason why individuals such as Marion behave toward him as they do. He faults Marion’s absence of empathy and her intolerance for their discord. Everyone is out of action but Johnny, so to speak, and Charlie is not willing to accept that is most likely his own actions that trigger the rift between them.
The story ends with Charlie sitting in a bar with beverage in hand, which is a hazardous act for a recuperating alcoholic. Though he has actually refused a second one, it is clear that he is not over his dependency. His life is a disaster, yet he has not demonstrated the ability, by story’s end, to take duty for his own insufficiencies, so the question of his having the ability to care for his young daughter seems moot. For the mentioned reasons, Charlie is not being reasonable in asking for custody of the kid.