Driving Miss Daisy Drama Vocabulary appalling: horrifying competence: state of being capable demolish: wreck derivation: origin dubiously: in a doubtful way Vocabulary perpetual: lasting forever recoil: to draw back reprisal: retaliation sniping: attacking in a sly way upholstery: fabric on furniture Background This drama, which takes place in the South between 1948 and 1973, is about a wealthy Jewish widow and the African- American chauffeur who works for her. Reading a Screenplay When you see the movie Driving Miss Daisy, you will understand where the action occurs just by watching. In the screenplay, changes in time and location are written. Each new scene is marked by a word or phrase in capital letters that tells where it takes place. Since the play spans many years, the year, if it has changed from the previous scene, is named next. Read all of the stage directions carefully so that you can keep track of when and where the action occurs. Reading a Screenplay When you listen to the movie, you will have no trouble understanding the dialect spoken by the actors. In the script, the author shows dialect by omitting letters and respelling words. If you come to dialect that seems confusing, try reading it aloud. For example, Hoke says, “You doan’ mean! Oscar say you need a driver for yo’ family. What I be doin’? Read the lines aloud and you will “hear” the meaning Element Foil: is a character who provides a striking contrast to a main character. Foils help to draw attention to certain qualities in the main character. Vocabulary Idiom – What does ―you‘re a doodle‖ mean? P. 422 – You‘re a silly person Cultural Sidelight Mah-jongg is an ancient Chinese game that is still played in many parts of the world. It is similar to rummy, except that 136 or 144 tiles engraved with Chinese symbols and pictures are used instead of cards. P. 423 Inference Why is Daisy reluctant to take the book and refuses the extra peaches and watermelon? – She knows that she can‘t carry them all and walk home? Character What is your first impression of Hoke? – He is competent, experienced and resourceful, he speaks in an honest, straightforward manner, he is an independent thinker. Review What is the meaning of Hoke‘s story. Why does he talk about wrestling hogs at this moment? – He is indirectly comparing Daisy to a stubborn hog. Even if she resists him, he will persist in trying to get her to cooperate. Inference Why do you think Daisy is so strongly against having a chauffeur? – She says he‘ll eat all her food and run up her phone bill. If Daisy were really worried about Hoke‘s eating or phone habits, she would jusxt lay down the law to him and make sure her rules were followed. There must be another reason. Inference Daisy wants to be independent. Maybe Daisy resists a chauffeur because she doesn‘t want to admit she can‘t be totally independent any more. She doesn‘t want to see herself as a helpless old woman who must depend on others. Character What does Hoke‘s response to Daisy reveal about his character? – He is sort of like Daisy—she won‘t talk about some thins and he won‘t either; Hoke can be very friendly but also knows when to keep his mouth shut; he has a strong sense of dignity. Character What does Daisy‘s insistence on taking Highland Avenue show about her? – She is a creature of habit; she does not wish to change her ways so late in life; she will assert her will in small details since she has made the ―major‖ concession‖ of letting Hoke drive. Review Look at the stage directions. How much time has passed? How do you know? – About two months. The story opens in August 1948, and it is now autumn. Review How does Hoke‘s idea about wealth contrast with Daisy‘s? P. 433 Use your Venn diagram to complete this question. Review How does Hoke‘s idea about wealth contrast with Daisy‘s? She says it is vulgar to display He would be proud of being Wealth and she does rich Not want to admit that she is rich Evaluate To whom is Daisy referring when she says ―they all take things?‖ Does Daisy‘s statement reflect prejudice? If yes, why? P. 433 Historical Sidelight Literacy was even more wide spread n the era of the play than it is today. The inability to read may have been the result of bad schools or a need to drop out of school in order to work. African Americans were often prevented from learning to read by poverty, segregation, and the unavailability of public schools. End of part one 1. Daisy often reacts to situations with anger and impatience. Why do you think she does this? End of Part one 1. Daisy often reacts to situations with anger and impatience. Why do you think she does this? 1. She resents having to rely on someone else to get around. She resents her loss of privacy and independence, and the constant threat of changes in her routine. She maintains her authority by getting angry She. End of part one What is your opinion of how Hoke handles Miss Daisy? End of part one 1. What is your opinion of how Hoke handles Miss Daisy? Hoke deals with Daisy‘s antagonistic attitude with skill, patience, and understanding. Hoke has more patience with Daisy than Boolie expects; he lets Daisy insult him too much and allows her to act out her prejudice. End of part one How would you describe Daisy‘s attitude toward Hoke in the first part of the play? End of Part One 1. How would you describe Daisy‘s attitude toward Hoke in the first part of the play? 2. Daisy is annoyed and short-tempered with Hoke and is rude to him; Daisy at first distrusts Hoke but later softens her attitude toward him and allows him to help her End of Part One Why do you think Daisy and Hoke have different attitudes about Daisy being rich? End of Part One Why do you think Daisy and Hoke have different attitudes about Daisy being rich? Daisy sees her wealth in contrast with her youthful poverty, whereas Hoke cannot imagine getting past his own poverty. Daisy is still insecure about her wealth while Hoke is realistic about it. Driving Miss Daisy Part 2 Review of Part I Driving Miss Dais Review Using your Venn Diagram, find Similarities between the way that Florine speaks to Boolie and the way that Daisy speaks to Boolie. Review Find Similarities between the way that Florine speaks to Boolie and the way that Daisy speaks to Boolie. Both demand his attention Both speak to him in a bossy way Conflict Describe the conflict between Boolie and Florine. Florine is jealous of Daisy Boolie doesn‘t like Florine making critical remarks about his mother Florine can tell that Daisy doesn‘t like her, so she takes it out on Boolie. Active Reading What does Daisy mean by her comment, ―If I had a nose like Florine‘s I wouldn‘t go around saying, ‗Merry Christmas?‘‖ P. 437 Active Reading What does Daisy mean by her comment, ―If I had a nose like Florine‘s I wouldn‘t go around saying, ‗Merry Christmas?‘‖ She is making reference to an old stereotype about Jews having big noses. Daisy means that Florine looks and is Jewish and should not be celebrating a Christian holiday. Active Reading Do you remember a previous time when Hoke made a similar comment to: ―Dat for him and me to know?‖ P. 438 Active Reading Do you remember a previous time when Hoke made a similar comment to: ―Dat for him and me to know?‖ He said it to Daisy when she asks how much Boolie is paying him. Active Reading What can you infer from the stage directions: “Daisy’s Kitchen, June 1957. Idella, in her eighties and looking worn, is taking fried chicken out of a skillet. Daisy enters. Two years have passed since the last scene. We know that Daisy is also in her eighties since she and Idella are the same age. Cultural Sidelight The musical My Fair Lady opened in New York on Broadway in March 1956. As with many hit Broadway shows, people had to order tickets many months ahead of time. Since the time in the play is now June 1957, My Fair Lady has been running for fifteen months in New York. Cultural Sidelight A Pullman Porter is a railroad car with small private rooms. A porter is a railraod employee who takes care of passengers on the train. For many years, most Pullman porters were African American. Evaluate The trooper is insulting both Hoke and Daisy by calling them derogatory names based on their race and religion. How did that make you feel when you read those lines? Why do you think the author included those lines? What is your impression of the trooper when he says these words? Pejorative Term The word ―boy‖ is a derogatory term when used by white people to refer to an African American male. It implies a superior and intimidating attitude on the part of the speaker. Active Reading Why do you think Daisy nods gratefully at Hoke? P. 442 Active Reading Why do you think Daisy nods gratefully at Hoke? Daisy and Hoke shared a scary trip together Because he got her there safely Because he too is part of her family Character What does Hoke‘s conversation with Boolie indicate about Hoke‘s character? He has cleverly engineered this conversation to get himself a raise Just as he has become assertive with Daisy, he is also more assertive with Boolie He is unafraid to ask for what he feels he deserves He knows how to negotiate. Infer ―A BAPTIST CHURCH. The congregation is black, except for Daisy, Boolie, and Florine, who sit at the rear.” What has happened in this scene? Idella has died. Daisy’s family and Hoke are attending her funeral. Active Reading Why is Daisy surprised to see Hoke? The weather is bad. End of Part 2 Have your feelings about Hoke or Daisy changed? How? How has Hoke and Daisy‘s relationship changed? How would you describe Boolie‘s relationship with his mother? Why do you think Daisy and Florine resent each other? Driving Miss Daisy Part 3 Historical Sidelight In the fall of 1958, a temple in Atlanta was bombed. The playwright has taken literary license by setting this bombing some years after the actual event upon which it is based. Temple bombings have been a major tool of anti-Semitic terrorists around the world. Cultural Sidelight Judaism has three main branches: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. The Orthodox branch adheres to all the traditional Jewish laws and beliefs, and the Conservative branch follows some of them. The Reform branch replaces most ceremonies and customs with more modern and personalized religious expression. Historical Sidelight Hoke would have been eleven in 1899. After the Civil War there was a period in the South when blacks briefly wielded political power. Then a upsurge of white resentment against blacks resulted in violent terrorist acts by such groups as the Ku Klux Klan. Lynchings, or random killings of blacks by whites, became common. Historical Sidelight Dr. Martin Luther King was an Atlanta minister who led marches and protests in the 1950s and 1960s to gain civil rights for African Americans. In the play, King is being honored at the United Jewish Appeal. Active Reading Why do you think Boolie will not go to the King dinner? He is afraid his business associates will disapprove. Active Reading Why does Daisy assume that Hoke knows Dr. Martin Luther King? Because both Hoke and King are African American. She may think there are not many African Americans in Atlanta and that they all know each other. Active Reading Why does Hoke say that things aren‘t changing that much? He thinks that Daisy didn‘t ask him to the dinner because he is black He means that even if things are changing, people are still prejudiced Active Reading Explain what has happened to Daisy. Daisy is experiencing a condition that occurs in elderly people, when their minds suddenly take them back to an earlier time in their lives. Climax Explain the significance of Daisy‘s comment: ―You‘re my best friend… No. Really. You are. You are…‖ Daisy finally admits her feelings for Hoke Her character undergoes a major change at this point Admitting how she feels about Hoke shows how vulnerable she feels. Cultural Sidelight Goodwill Industries is an organization that offers job training and employment to people with disabilities. Workers with disabilities repair furniture and other household items that have been donated to Goodwill. These items are then sold to the public to help support the organization. Active Reading What significant event has happened that Goodwill has taken away Daisy‘s furniture? Daisy has moved out Possibly she is dead Active Reading Do you remember in the beginning of the play when Boolie called his mother a doodle? Why do you think that the author has used the same term here? By using the same expression here, the playwright has found a subtle way to tie the beginning and end of the play together.