The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Wertham, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke. Miss Daisy immediately regards him with disdain and he, in turn, is not impressed with his employer's patronizing tone and, he believes, twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other.
Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady. By the end of the play, it is movingly clear that they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible—and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit.