Study Guide

Driving Miss Daisy Old Age

Old Age

DAISY: It was the car's fault.

BOOLIE: […] You backed the car into the Pollacks' yard.

DAISY: You should have let me keep my LaSalle. It wouldn't have behaved this way.

BOOLIE: Mama, cars don't behave. They are behaved upon. You demolished that Chrysler by yourself.

DAISY: Think what you want. I know the truth.

Daisy's reluctant to give up any of her independence, so she tries to blame her accident on the car, not driver error. We get the feeling that Boolie has been talking down to his mother for a long time, as if he's the parent and she's the child. In this instance, he's right.

HOKE: Say she done gone around the bend a little bit. Well now, that'll happen as they get on.

Hoke assumes Daisy can't drive anymore because she's getting senile. This line is a bit of foreshadowing of the end of the movie, when Miss Daisy does develop dementia. But at this moment, Boolie assures Hoke that it's not that she's "not all there." She's "too much there."

DAISY: Idella was lucky.

Daisy's already thinking about getting old and losing your capacities. She thinks Idella was lucky because she died quickly, without a lengthy illness or gradual deterioration. That's the fear of all elderly people.

DAISY: Find those papers, I told you! It's all right if you moved them. I won't be mad at you. But I've got to get to school. I'II be late. Who will take care of my class? They'll be all alone. Oh, God! I do everything wrong!

Daisy exhibits a sudden episode of confusion and agitation. She remembers Hoke, but she thinks she's a teacher who misplaced her students' papers, and she's panicking. This is our first look at her developing dementia.

HOKE: Now look at you. You rich. You're well for your time. You got folks who care about what happen to you.

DAISY: I'm being trouble. I don't want to be trouble to anybody.

She doesn't snap at him this time for calling her rich, so you know things are bad off. Daisy's still with it enough to know that something is seriously wrong. The thought of being a burden to others is devastating to her. That's another big fear for elderly folks.

DAISY: How are you?

HOKE: I'm doing the best I can.

DAISY: Me, too.

HOKE: Well, that's about all there is to it then.

Hoke and Daisy bond over the issues of getting older. They're both pretty philosophical about it—that's just the way it is, and you make the best of it and don't waste time dwelling on it. This scene's an 11 on the tearjerker scale.

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