As Shmoop's Aunt Zelda told us, getting old is not for cowards. If there's one thing Driving Miss Daisy does exceptionally well, it's the depiction of old age. Jessica Tandy, who was 80 years old at the time, and Morgan Freeman, who was 52, were unafraid to show the difficult parts of aging: losing your independence, losing loved ones, and losing your mind.
Of all these, losing independence was most difficult for Daisy, who saw herself as a woman who coped with poverty when she was young and was able to succeed on her own. She revolts against giving up her right to drive and tangles with Hoke whenever he tries to help. Seeing this once feisty lady so helpless and dependent at the end of the film is hard to watch. As Hoke gently helps her eat that piece of pie, well…we can't even.
Questions About Old Age
- Why is Miss Daisy stubbornly opposed to letting Boolie hire a driver even though she's been having accidents?
- How does the film depict the passage of time?
- How do Miss Daisy and Hoke change as they get older? How do their personalities change?
Chew on This
Age is the great equalizer. Miss Daisy and Hoke are different in race and class, but old age takes its toll on both of them.
Miss Daisy stays as healthy as she is because of her relationship with Hoke. She initially didn't want him because it would mean losing her independence, but in the end, he keeps her going.