Consistent with Heinrich Böll's admission that his characters and their inner processes are of primary interest lo him, character analyses have assumed a prominent place in Böll criticism. As one might expect, most such studies have emphasized Böll's positive characters. The few appraisals of their negative counterparts often present oversimplifications of complicated issues. Even as late as the 1960s, for example, authorities such as W.E. Yuill were of the opinion that Böll's characters were divided rather rigidly into separate camps of villains and victims.



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