These short stories by the late young Southerner evidence Miss O'Connor's brilliance of style and intensity of statement as to the dilemma of man. Imprisoned within his demonic posturings and vestigial innocence, man is driven to a feverish struggle with his own condition. Occasionally the protagonist, earthbound, catches a glimpse of the eternal stars, or leaving life, is held in a purity of existence, a lonely and arid apex, where convergence admits no further ascent. In these stories men battle their mothers or wives, cursing and flailing away at maternally cozened failures; women alone fight for salvation, for justice. Inevitably violence slides over rebellion like a glacier -- the mother, the thin Southern landscape, the social anathemas fall away, and the damned are turned on themselves to flounder in guilt, in blind bestiality, or to suffer half-knowledge in silence, or isolation. Only from children a freshness flowers -- a little girl resists her grandfather's rapacity over a generous nature; a young boy yearns purely for his dead mother. However, they too are destroyed, for like adults, they are used and ill-used children. These are "Southern" stories since they reflect views of a unique social structure, race relations, the Southern "mystique," but the submerged comment, intuition of character, bits of rich humor proceed naturally from a vision sharp and whole.