Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry is one of the brightest and most heartfelt stories, filled with warmth, light, kindness, and a friendly atmosphere. Consequently, Hoke and Miss Daisy are the main actors in the work, the friendship between which is revealed from hatred to love, respect and recognition. Without any doubt, under the outer shell of racial, social, and financial differences between the two heroes, there is an inner, close and deep connection, which they will learn about closer to the finale. Hoke is Miss Daisy’s best, most loyal and most devoted friend in terms of a kind soul, identical views of the world, and common experiences.
Firstly, Hoke is an excellent conversationalist, psychologist, partner, and adviser – a real man among men. He is a simple-minded, honest and respectable working man who will never be rude or criticize the employer. Secondly, this driver can perfectly keep other people’s secrets; Hoke does not tell anyone about Daisy’s childhood memories (Uhry 29). Thirdly, he knows how to be caring and loving; he will not leave Daisy under challenging troubles but will always help and support her not only with kind words but also with a good deeds. For instance, the manifestation of naturally friendly consideration occurs at the moment when Hoke feeds Miss Daisy pumpkin pie (Uhry 45). Fourthly, Hoke gives the lady enough time and attention, does not ignore her, and always fulfills her requests. When Daisy shares her stories from the past, the driver similarly tries to keep up the conversation by sharing his own experiences from previous work or experienced prejudices.
Fifthly, Hoke is generous enough, patient, and tolerant; he knows how to understand and forgive Daisy for her grumpy character and senile whims. He is not offended when the strict and prim lady accuses him of stealing a can of salmon. In this situation, Hoke admits he ate the fish and offers her a replacement can. Sixthly, this man does not manipulate Miss Daisy due to her mental retardation and does not use her illness to achieve his own goals. Seventhly, Hoke’s positive outlook, gentleness, and sincere kindness gradually soften the strict, prim, and quarrelsome nature of the elderly lady. If, at the beginning of the acquaintance Miss Daisy is annoyed even by the presence of the new black driver, then before she dies, she will confess to him: “You’re my best friend” (Uhry 42). Consequently, Hoke’s strong character and kind, bright soul allowed him to build a solid and long-term friendly relationship with Miss Daisy. Furthermore, he “forced” the once querulous woman to relent and admit that Hoke is her best friend in the world. Hence, the driver’s external simplicity and inner nobility easily charmed the harmful petty old woman and turned her into a noble elderly gentlewoman.
Identical Views of the World and Common Experiences
Firstly, like Miss Daisy, Hoke is far from young; he has a wealth of life experience, which also allows him to evaluate some situations with a sober eye. Secondly, they practically look at some things without harboring any extraordinary illusions and hopes. Thirdly, the man is also forced to face similar physical, mental and psychological “ailments” to Daisy’s: loss of energy, deterioration of health, difficulties adapting to society, and much more. Fourthly, together with the friend, Hoke is forced to fight discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, or national origin. For example, in one of the episodes, Hoke says to Daisy’s son, Boolie: “I’d druther drive for Jews (Uhry 12). In particular, their experience with prejudice is easily visible in the scene in which a police officer uses derogatory language and stereotypes for Miss Daisy and Hoke.
Fifthly, the driver shares Daisy’s desire for radical changes and new orders in society. Sixthly, both Hoke and Daisy had a difficult childhood amid poverty. Seventhly, two characters seem to replace and complement each other, supporting each other. Therefore, Daisy and Hoke depend on each other to some extent, either financially or in terms of driving abilities. For example, Hoke discovered a completely different facet of actual reality for Daisy, showing the genuine attitude of society towards her family and her identity, and on the contrary, Daisy teaches him to read. Eighthly, in the final scene, they continue living together peacefully for the remaining days in the retirement home.
Summarizing the information mentioned above, the author of this paper must state that Hoke is a great friend and faithful comrade of Miss Daisy. He has a robust, hardened character and a kind, the bright, pure, and unblemished soul that has melted Daisy’s “inner ice.” This man is always ready to help the lady in difficult moments, will not ignore her, and will never refuse her requests. Moreover, together with Daisy, they went through “fire and water” they had a challenging life experience, and due to this aspect, they look at things similarly. Their beginnings in poverty, the eventual openness to friendship, the changes that come with old age, and experiences with prejudice are shared factors that form their identities and relationship with each other. The common ground instills change in them both, though Miss Daisy undergoes the most development and begins to facilitate liberal views as the story continues. Thus, one can safely say that Hoke deserves the role of Daisy’s best friend.
Uhry, A. (1993). Driving Miss Daisy. Theatre Communications Group.