Study Guide

Driving Miss Daisy What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

Giving Thanks

Hope you like tearjerking endings.

At the end of the film, Miss Daisy's suffering from dementia and confined to an old folk's home. It seems nice for a retirement home. It's clean, beautifully furnished, and the pie looks good. But to see a lady who wanted so much to be in control of her life to be so dependent, no longer able to live in her beautiful home—well, that's plain heartbreaking.

She hasn't quite lost everything though; she still has her friend Hoke. It's not easy for Hoke to visit; he's too old to drive now, too, and relies on taxis or his granddaughter to bring him. But he still comes; it's an act of devotion.

In that scene at the nursing home, Daisy's entirely dependent on Hoke. He even has to help her eat her pie, and he does it in the same kind way he's always treated her. The scene shows us how much she's depended on him all along; she was just too proud to admit it.

In that sweet but get-out-your-handkerchiefs scene of him feeding her, we re-evaluate what we've thought about their relationship and recognize how much the gentle, patient Hoke has been in the driver's seat all along. He's managed to help her be as independent as long as possible without being condescending or controlling. The very last scene is an image of him driving her for the first time long ago, in the red Hudson automobile. He's treated her as "Miss" Daisy to the end.

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