This essay assignment asks students to compare The Misfit in Flannery O'Connor "A Good Man is Hard to Find" to Perry Smith in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood". This task compels students to read closely focusing on characterization , motive and theme. As it is a comparative analysis of archetypal "villains", students need to have been taught about archetypes, themes such as American Dream, outsider status and nature versus nurture. This is an advanced assignment that has been successful for honors and AP students. If given to college-prep students, I would suggest reading both pieces in class and dissect both thoroughly, drawing parallels throughout as well as making these an in class essay that can be revised. TWO student model essays are included.