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Harry Graser 1/18/12 Driving Miss Daisy: Study Guide

English 10H Per. 4

1. It is suggested that Miss Daisy lives a relatively lonely life, considering the neatness and unoccupied look of her home. Also, her possessions suggest that she is wealthy. 2. Miss Daisy initially rejects the idea of having a driver, and will not even consider the idea. 3. Miss Daisy needs a driver because she is aging, and losing her perception (as seen when she drives down a ledge). 4. Miss Daisy is opposed to having a driver because this would hinder her independence. She doesn't want to rely upon anyone else for her needs. 5. Miss Daisy is Jewish. Her faith establishes her as somewhat of an outcast, especially since she lives in the South. It plays a part in the interaction between her and others. 6. Hoke first meets Mr. Werthan when he fixes an elevator in Mr. Werthan's factory. Hoke appeals to Werthan's faith in an attempt to get a job. 7. Idella's long career with Miss Daisy is made apparent in the way they interact casually. For example, when either of them leaves, they simply say, I'm gone. 8. Miss Daisy is not prejudiced in the sense that she is against rights for blacks. However, it does appear that she is initially ashamed to be seen around Hoke, which is likely a result of her desire to be independent and humble. 9. As Miss Daisy grows older, she loses her ability to drive, made apparent in the opening carcrash scene. Also, later on, she briefly believes she is a teacher, becoming deeply distraught and disappointed with herself. 10. Miss Daisy tries to maintain control of her life by avoiding a driver, preferring to take the trolley. Eventually, when Hoke drives her, she is still quick to correct him or scold him with the slightest provocation.

11. Miss Daisy demonstrates she is humble, at first, by telling Hoke about her childhood. She wants to make it clear that she doesn't associate herself with wealth, and that she knows the value of hard work. When Hoke picks her up after temple, she is angry because his chauffeur appearance gives the impression of wealth. 12. Hoke finally convinces Miss Daisy by telling her that Mr. Werthan pays him to do nothing. 13. The film incorporates subtle humor in Miss Daisy and Hoke's interactions. This helps establish the growing relationship between them, as they become more comfortable around each other (and rely on each other) more and more. 14. Florine prefers displays of status, whereas Miss Daisy is more introverted and humble. One example of this is the flashiness of Florine's Christmas decoration, which Miss Daisy is quick to ridicule. 15. The salmon incident refutes Miss Daisy's beliefs about Hoke. It proves that he is an honest and trustworthy man. 16. Miss Daisy teaches Hoke how to read, which becomes one of the most valuable aspects of their relationship. Also, she challenges his independence by giving him decisions to make. 17. Hoke maintains his independence by making certain decisions himself. For example, he sells the Hudson, and buys a new car with his own money. 18. Hoke and Miss Daisy encounter prejudice and speculation while in the deep South. Hoke is not allowed to use the bathroom at the gas station, and Miss Daisy's temple is bombed. 19. While driving to Alabama, Hoke and Miss Daisy are stopped by policemen, who express obvious skepticism about the pair traveling together. 20. Hoke and Miss Daisy are brought closer together when she teaches him to read. Hoke discovers the compassion that Miss Daisy possesses, and Miss Daisy once again experiences the satisfaction of teaching something.

21. Hoke's need to relieve himself in the woods demonstrates segregation, as well as the policemen's concern with Hoke's presence when Hoke and Miss Daisy enter Alabama. Furthermore, this is apparent in the way Florine treats her maid. 22. Friendship overcomes segregation whenever Miss Daisy becomes closer to Hoke. Examples of this include when she teaches him how to read, when he comforts her during the breakdown, and when he helps her eat at the end of the film. 23. Idella was lucky because she had a good, reliable employer. Also, her death was quick. 24. The temple bombing reveals that life for southern Jews is very difficult; filled with prejudice and uncertainty of the future. 25. Mr. Werthan can't attend the dinner partly because he has a meeting, and partly because he wants to avoid being mocked for going to a civil rights event. 26. Miss Daisy assumes the Hoke wouldn't be interested in attending the dinner. This is ironic because Hoke would actually very much like to attend. 27. Dr. King's speech juxtaposes the camera shots because he is referring to equality while Hoke and Miss Daisy are shown separately. 28. Miss Daisy calls Hoke her best friend because she has no one else left. She relies solely on him, and wants to express how grateful she is. 29. Mr. Werthan continues to pay Hoke because he keeps Miss Daisy company as she ages. 30. Hoke would likely advise the maids to try to find the good side of their employers, and if they can't, they must establish a good side themselves.

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