This book is a comprehensive examination of the development of the female figure in Heinrich Böll's fiction. The woman moved from the periphery in his early works to the central role, marked by important changes in her nature. Böll's ideal woman refuses to compromise her individual sense of morality. Even in a materialistic society she alone is able to survive with her innocence and Nächstenliebe intact. A significant part of this study focuses upon the numerous parallels that exist between Catharism, a heresy which prevailed in the Middle Ages, and the philosophy Böll embraces in his later works.