Study Guide

Driving Miss Daisy Friendship

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Huck and Jim; Thelma and Louise; Dorothy and the Scarecrow. Some of the closest friendships are forged on the road.

Driving Miss Daisy features two people who are in the same car, yet seem to be on two totally different roads. Those two roads are running parallel to one another and it feels like they might never meet.

Relationships between white employers and their black servants could be extremely intimate, especially if the employer was a relatively decent person like Daisy. (Contrast to some of the white women in The Help, who were downright abusive.) After all, they spent an enormous amount of time together; Daisy saw more of Idella and Hoke than she did of her friends. Still, these relationships were bound by the rules; employers typically didn't socialize with the servants or their families. There was always the risk for the "help" that they'd overstep their boundaries and be accused of not "knowing their place."

As different as their social status is in the film, Daisy and Hoke see themselves in each other to some extent as time goes by. They're both old and proud and stubborn; they both grew up poor and know the sting of prejudice; they're both perceptive and clever. Both are witnessing a sea change in the cultural order of the South. Sounds like this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Why does Miss Daisy say Hoke is her best friend? Does Hoke feel the same way about her?
  2. Can you be friends with someone you have to call "Miss"?
  3. Does Daisy have any friends? How would you describe her relationship with the ladies she plays mah jongg with?
  4. Why might it be hard for Hoke to call Daisy a friend?

Chew on This

Friendship requires vulnerability. It's only when Hoke sees her vulnerable that she can finally admit that she thinks of him as a friend.

Hoke's careful about assuming too much about his relationship with Daisy because she's white. In the past, he could've gotten killed for something like that if someone took offense.

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