She fails to understand these traditions and Christian customs, and makes it a point to mention to Hoke when giving him Zaner Method Writing on Christmas Day that,
"This isn't a Christmas present. You know I don't give Christmas presents It's not a Christmas present. Jews have no business giving Christmas presents. You don't have to go yapping about this to Boolie or Florine. This is between you and me."
This scene however also goes to show the growing affection for Hoke, and maybe in some form she tried to respect them by giving him a present. This affection towards a Christian tradition however is very subjective and is only shown towards Hoke and not towards his son or his wife who are celebrating this, and goes on to say that,
"I hope I don't spit up."
Another event that is very crucial in establishing the views and perceptions of the general public about Jews and African-Americans as well is the incident that occurred on the trip to Mobile for Miss Daisy's cousin's 90th birthday. They are approached by two police men, who ask about who they are and for their registration and license. When done, the two pass a comment which is not only rude, but also disrespectful to the two individuals, although it is said out of earshot. The comment passed,
"An oId nigger and an oId Jew woman riding down the road together. Now that is one sorry sight."
is not only racist, but is also based on the dislike for the race and color of people other than those belonging to the White American race. However, the scene doesn't show that the incident was in any way particularly disturbing for Miss Daisy, whose name was quite unusual to the two police men. For Hoke however, his gestures seem to suggest, that the incident was scary on some level. This can be due to the social standing of Blacks in American society who are harassed and abused by the police quite often.
It is in this trip also that Miss Daisy it seems has started to trust and lose some of her confident air of I-can-manage-anything. This scene is important since it depicts an important step and element in their relationship. On the one hand, she is actually shown to feel more secure in the company of Hoke, which is clear when Hoke has to make a stop and excise himself in the field since,
"You know colored can't use the toilet at any service station, Miss Daisy."
However in the same scene earlier, she simply refuses to let him be excused, despite the fact that she has the realization that he too is old and is of an origin that is much prejudiced against in America.
Despite the many incidents in which they are shown to having a growing affection for each other, it seems that Miss Daisy is adamant on maintain a certain distance from Hoke, which can be for any reason. It can be because of the class difference or because of race; however, it can be argued that in an American society of 70's people made little to no difference in the two. Being African-American projected a certain image which implied that the person was poor, dirty, and illiterate and even a thief. This prejudice or distance which Miss Daisy is persistent in maintaining, is shown in the manner in which, despite being alone and lonely, she refuses to share her meal with Hoke and both of them eat separately.
However, there is one event that seems to draw great parallels to both of them simultaneously about how they are the minority and how the various events in their lives make them very much alike. These events were the bombing of the temple and the story that was told by Hoke about his friend's father being lynched. The bombing of the temple was a strong blow to the secure way of thinking that Miss Daisy had about herself, and it seems that it was this event that seems to really disturb her. The story of Hoke's friend's father being murdered took place when he was only 10 or 11 years old. And it no doubt impacted the mind of the young child to a certain degree, so much so, that he threw up at the spot.
The parallels were more clear to Hoke than Miss Daisy who is very much naive about the worldly affairs (Komisar), which is understandable, since he is a person who has seen the world more and have lived daily with the prejudices (Vogel) that exist against his race. As compared to that, there is no doubt that "a rich, Jewish Lady' has seen less of the world and has experienced much less prejudices on a personal level.
The height of this prejudice in the entire storyline, and even on a personal level, was the incident that took place between the two when they she was going for the Martin Luther King Dinner. There is no doubt in the mind of Miss Daisy that things are changing and that change is coming to America. She even seems excited about the event, but is disappointed by the fact that her son cannot join him for it. It is suggested by Boolie then that she takes Hoke alone, which makes sense considering what Martin Luther King was preaching. It is here that the relationship or the lack of understanding by Miss Daisy of the prejudice that exists within her seems to come out. She, as an individual who always sees herself as a liberal and partial, refuses to understand that the event meant a lot for Hoke for its historical importance, and therefore doesn't invite him inside in a more decent manner than is shown in the film.
There are many times when the Jewish prejudices in the society are exhibited, some of which have already been discussed above. However, some events which have been missed include the change that seems to come inside Boolie as his career advances. This change is subtle but no doubt crucial to explain how the power and money play was clearly an element in advancing and promoting many of the injustices that took place against African-Americans and Jews.
One of the times when this event occurs it is in the words of Boolie when he refuses to go to the King dinner because he thinks it would upset the business community and people at the commerce club and they might give their business away to the Jews of New York. The conversation between the mother and the son regarding this event is clear and indicative of the Fears that exists within him and are stopping him from taking the right step forward.
"But a lot of men I do business with wouldn't like it. They might snicker a little. Call me Martin Luther Werthan behind my back. Maybe I wouldn't hear about certain meetings at the Club. Old Jack Raphael at Ideal Mills, he's a New York Jew instead of a Georgia Jew. All the really smart ones come from New York, don't they? Some might throw their business to Jack instead of old Martin Luther Werthan. I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't happen. But sometimes that's the way things work."
Despite the up and downs of the relationship between Hoke and Miss Daisy, the bond that develops is no doubt a strong one and it is therefore that in the end, in a moment of venerability, she declares to him that,
"You're my best friend"
This moment and this friendship are further affirmed by the way Miss Daisy takes the hand of Hoke in her own. Miss Daisy eventually ends up in a senior's home as she is gripped by dementia and can no longer live her on her own. Despite this, the friendship never lingers away and Miss Daisy, when visited by Hoke, is much possessive about Hoke, trying to spend the maximum of time with this friend of hers than her son.
This connection and deep relationship has only been made possible, not only by the time that they have spent together, in which he has seen her in the most private of her moments, example when she visits her husband's grave, when she is scared on the trip to Mobile when he has to excuse himself, when she shares her childhood story with him, the moment when she cries after the temple is burned, etc. But more than this, it is the parallels of their stories which draw them closer to each other and they feel like they have something solid on which they can build upon their friendship.
The film is more or less about the prejudices that were carried forth in the American society before the change took place that we see today in the society. But this doesn't mean that…