Study Guide

A Good Man is Hard to Find What's Up With the Title?

By Flannery O'Connor

What's Up With the Title?

As wildly original as this story is, O'Connor didn't invent the title "A Good Man is Hard to Find." It's actually the title lyric of a song composed and performed by Eddie Green back during the time of piano rolls (1918). The song was a hit when it was first written, but became even more popular as a signature tune by Sophie Tucker.

O'Connor probably expected her readers to know the song, or at least the lyric that comes next:

A good man is hard to find
You always get the other kind


Yup: that certainly seems to be true in this story.

The title is also a line of dialogue; it comes into play when Red Sammy and the grandmother are talking about how no one is trustworthy anymore. Red Sammy makes the assertion that a good man is hard to find, and the grandma heartily agrees. She doesn't, unfortunately, know that she'll "get the other kind" in short order.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...