The Blind Side Essay

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The Blind Side Essay
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  • University/College:
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  • Words: 726

  • Pages: 3

The Blind Side

“The Blind Side” written by John Lee Hancock is based on true life events about Baltimore Ravens NFL player, Michael Oher. This sport related comedy drama will not only warm your heart but can also change your perspective on love and family. It’s an excellent example of how one person can change their fate with determination and the moral support of others. Michael Oher’s story begins with him occasionally homeless and staying with his inattentive drug addict mother in a broken home with a remote father. His luck turned as his dad’s friend helps him get into an all Christian private school where Coach Cotton sees potential in him as a future football star. As Michael looks for another place to sleep and keep warm, he is found by worrisome, overprotective mother Leigh Anne Tuophy who asked Michael where he was staying that night. Her motherly instincts took over and invited Michael to stay the night, despite her having no knowledge of his background. His one night stay turned into a long term close relationship between him and the Tuophy. He now lives with a family of four, Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock), Sean (Tim McGraw), Collins (Lily Collins), and Mj Tuophy (Jae Head) and they help Michael carefully pick up the pieces that was originally broken from his past.

The family aid Michael get on the right track by shaping him to be a football star, guided him to a better education and treating him as if he was blood; He began to live like a Tuophy. Passionate and loving mother, Leigh Anne Tuophy is played by actress Sandra Bullock who has been in well known movies such as Gravity, Miss Congeniality, and many more. She plays a successful interior designer, a mother of two, and a loving wife to co-star Tim McGraw (Sean Tuophy). She demonstrates within this movie the realism of modern motherhood coupled with a compassion that stretch’s far beyond ones expectation of a typical foster parent scenario. Within the context of this relationship we see a schema developing that in cooperates and display the fundamentals of human relationship that transcends the foundation of love. Within the ethos of this film, characters such as Michael Oher played by Quinton Aaron, contributed to the construct and in turn augmented the overall atmosphere of the script. Overall, the entire cast complimented each other which in turn produce what critics and the audiences express as an inspirational stellar production. As I watched this movie, a flood of emotions overcame me.

The most intriguing part was when they sat around the dinner table and Sean proposed to Michael as to whether he would like to become a part of this family. Michael responded with “I kinda thought I already was”. Its astonishing how this particular scene displays the strength of actions and the power of family. Another moment that I found extremely heart warming was during the nearly fatal accident in which Michael saved MJ by preventing the airbag from exploding onto MJ. It was this scene that had left a profound affect on me. The family component will remain intrinsic since it mirrors the values and beliefs that exist within my life. I will forever look at this movie and look at myself and see a reflection of the world that I would in vision being a part of. A valuable lesson to take away from this movie is that everybody regardless of religion, race, gender, income level, needs compassion, love, and above all, family! “The Blind Side” captures the viewer immediately since it has various scenes that a majority of people can relate to such as those who have been isolated, neglected or in need of support. Audiences who have a passion for Football or just like happy endings may take more interest to those aspect that are prevalent to the plot as well as individuals looking for a movie that captures deep moral issues. I would give this movie a rating of 3.5 out of 5 for its overall production and story. Although it is rated as a PG-13 I believe that this film is suitable for all age group since it educates the value of love and family.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 432

  • Pages: 2

The Blind Side

‘Our surroundings can be both threatening and comforting. Discuss in relation to the behaviour of Michael Oher in the film.’ Some settings we encounter in our lives are both familiar and dangerous to us. John Lee Hancock shows this particularly well through the character of Michael Oher in ‘The Blind Side’. Settings such as the Touhy house, the Christian school and the suburb of Hurt Village, where Michael’s mother lives, serve as examples of these contradictory places.

Briarcrest Christian School is a place where Michael originally feels threatened, but becomes a place of comfort for him as the movie progresses. When he first moves to the school, Michael does not know anyone, and is daunted by the lack of diversity in the students. He does not seem to understand the work, or wish to do it, and his teachers do not try to help him. This is evident in his poem ‘White Walls’, which is found in the rubbish by one of his teachers. In his writing Michael outlines that “[he looks] and [he sees] white everywhere, white walls, white floors, and a lot of white people.” Here Hancock refers to Michael’s race and how lonely he feels at the school. Michael also says that he ‘[has] no idea of anything [the teachers] are talking about’ and that they ‘[expect him] to do the problems on [his] own’, implying that he is not confident with working independently.

The scene where the teachers hear his poem is when things start to change. They realise that Michael needs help, and start to provide him with it; letting him take tests orally and giving him extra support. The teachers discover that ‘Michael Oher is not stupid’ and his grades start improving. This implies that he does want to learn, and is becoming more acclimatised to the work and school. Through his friendship with SJ, he becomes more socially accepted and school is no longer so lonely for him. As the film progresses, Michael grows to be comfortable at the school, and with his grade improvement, feels like he belongs with his peers.

Another place Michael finds both comforting and threatening is the suburb where he grew up. He lived there with his mother during his early childhood, and yet ironically it is one of the places where Michael is most likely to be hurt. He feels a sense of duty to his mother, and returns to her despite.

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  • University/College:
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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 799

  • Pages: 3

The blind side

“The Blind Side” is based on the remarkable true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive left tackle Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron). Michael grew up in the inner city housing projects with his mother in Memphis, Tennessee aptly named “Hurt Village”. Michael’s story begins with him being homeless and coming from a broken home with a drug-addicted mother, and an absentee father.

Because of his family circumstances, Family Services took control of his life as he was growing up. Unfortunately, he was being bounced around in and out of foster homes, and now as a teenager he has taken it upon himself that he would rather be homeless. By a stroke of luck, and the coach’s wish for a player the size of Michael, he ends up enrolling in a private Christian school where the Tuohy kids go. Michael is a quiet person.

He is shown to have a kind of childish personality, because he tries to play with kindergarten children (Rachel St. Gelais) who reject or ignore him. Michael is befriended by S.J. Tuohy (Jae Head), the youngest Tuohy whose connection to Michael starts the ball rolling. One icy winter night, as Michael is walking down the road to the school gym, where he is sleeping, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) with her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) and children Jae and Collins (Lily Collins) pick Michael up and take him home for the night.

However, he stays for the next night, which puzzles Sean, although the children accept Michael matter-of-factly. Soon, Leigh Anne offers him a room and bed. As she starts making him greater and greater favours, he comes to research through Michael’s exams, and the only positive feedback that teachers could ever say about him is that he had big protective instincts. Leigh Anne will use that to explain him how to play in the field. Up to that moment, he wasn’t able to get the hang of the game and its rules, and he wasn’t able to understand what his role in the field was.

From that moment, Michael starts to play well and be useful to his team. At the traditional Christmas card photograph of that year, Leigh Anne invites him to appear on the photo. Leigh Anne’s friends Beth (Rhoda Griffs), Elaine (Eaddy Mays) and Sherry (Ashley LeConte Campbell) meet regularly at a local expensive restaurant. The friends laugh about Leigh Anne’s “project in the projects”, but she cuts it off, saying that if they don’t respect what she does, she will stop seeing them. An opportunity arises for Michael to play at university level.

However, he needs his grades to improve, so the Tuohys hire a private tuition teacher, outspoken and kind Miss Sue (Kathy Bates), who will immediately succeed. During their Geography lesson, she makes a stupid remark about some univerity burying the bodies of dead people in their game field, which Michael seems to believe blindly.

There comes a momen when Leigh Anne wants to have a face-to-face conversation with Michael’s mother(Adriane Lenox). Although she seems unresponsive in the beginning, the mother finally wishes Michael the best. She says that social services had branded Michael “a runner”, and she forecasts that Leigh Anne will find one day that he has run away for good without giving any previous notice. Leigh Anne also faces some guys from the projects which had threatened Michael.

They are left speechles when she threatens them and is not afraid of them at all. Three universities want Michael. S. J. talks to the coaches, and leads the negotiations on Michael’s behalf. When Michael gets his grades high enough, he must make a decision, and he does. He chooses the university where Sean had played for, and where Leigh Anne was a cheerleader.

That causes Investigator Granger (Sharon Morris) to move onto the matter before Michael arrives there. She questions him as though they were holding interrogatory preceding at a police station. She thinks that the Tuohys and Miss Sue are using Michael to benefit that particular university. After thinking and questioning Leigh Ann on the matter, Michael realises that the Tuohys are now his family, and tells Granger that that’s the reason for him to choose that university.

The film ends saying that he’ll succeed and become a professional player later on. S. J went out to the gamefield with Michael before all local games.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1883

  • Pages: 8

The Blind Side

There are always stories of random acts of kindness and how one of the people is benefitted in the situation. Love, risk and Friendship can go a very long way in changing some bodies’ life so drastically that the whole world knows and saves some bodies life. This is a story of how the love and kindness of one family leads to one of the most memorable and heartwarming sport stories I have ever heard. The story starts off with the tale of the giant teenager by the name of Michael Oher, and he how he was separated from his mother at a very young age. He lived in a very poor and crime filled town in Memphis, Tennessee. He is living with his friend Steven Payne and Steven’s dad Big Tony Henderson. Michael was a nobody sleeping on his friends couch when one day Big Tony went out to get Steven in a very good Christian school called Briarcrest. Big tony went to the head football coaches office, Hugh Freeze and talked about Steven attending the school.

Steven had the grades and the talent. Big tony also talked about Michael Attending Briarcrest. Michael did not have the grades but was still able to get in. After a few days he was living on the streets but still attending the school. Every night he would either sleep in the gym at the school or the laundry shop in the town. Michael was strongly very badly in school, he had no idea what to do. He took a pop quiz and couldn’t fill in one answer. One teacher decided to help him and converse with Michael to see if he knew anything so she did and gave him an oral quiz which he got a C- on, not good but he was starting to learn with the help of a very generous teacher. One night after a volleyball game at the school Sean Tuohy, a very wealthy man whose daughter Collins was playing, saw Michael picking up food from the floor such as popcorn and drinks just so he could eat.

A few days later everybody knew who he was and referred to him as Big Mike cause well he was big, very big, 6’4 and 315 pounds to be exact and one day this little boy by the name of SJ Tuohy (Sean Tuohy’s son) decided to walk up to mike and ask him what his name was, SJ gets picked up by his mom Leigh Anne and she is intrigued by who this Michael kid is and SJ tells her. One night The Tuohy Family is driving home from Sj’s School play And they saw mike walking in the pouring rain, they pulled up next to him and asked where he was headed so he told him the gym, cause its warm, then leigh anne asks if he would like to stay with them for the night so he does.

One night ends up into turning into Michael being adopted by them and playing starting left tackle for Briarcrest where he does very well and is highly recruited, The Tuohys favorite College was the University of Missippi So Michael kind of felt obligated to go there and when he committed it sparked the question to if the Tuohys had adopted mike just so he could go to ole miss and play football for them. It turned out to be all hype and Michael had a very good college career and is now a Pro-Bowl and starting left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. “We were wondering if you would like to become a part of this family.” –Sean “I kinda thought I already was.” -Michael

One person who changed Michael’s life in a very significant way is the entire Tuohy family. They had no idea what to expect from Michael and both of their lives were changed as the Tuohys earned another family member and Michael got a very Loving Mother, a Very smart and hardworking Father, A very Smart and pretty Sister, and a very funny and heartwarming Little brother who was Michaels best friend for years and still is to this day. The thing that everybody learned from this is that random acts of kindness, love, and caring can go a long way and end up changing someone’s life from having no future at all to being one of the most sought out and talented football players in all of the National Football League. This will be a story told for generations and used as an example to never have a cold heart and to always help somebody out as much as possible. ” Who would have thought we’d have a black son before we had a democrat?” – Sean Tuohy

A significant event in Michael’s life is when he and SJ were very siked about the new madden game that had just come out and so they wanted to go get it. Michael had just gotten his license so he and SJ asked Leigh Anne if they could go get it. She let them but would soon regret it, as Michael and SJ were driving there they started to dance and sing to the radio and Michael got very distracted from the road causing them to crash. Michael wasn’t hurt bad but he was very shookin up and was freaking out while Leigh Anne was trying to calm him down. Michael was mostly scared for SJ as was Leigh Anne and when she went to check on him he was very bloody and in an ambulance. By the time Leigh Anne went to see him he was already cracking jokes and seemed fine, the only thing he was worried about was if the blood in his shirt would stain or not. “I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t.” –Michael

There were many ways That Michael had changed over time. Michael went from living on the streets to now in the NFL as one of the best players. Michael had started out as living in a very poor and crime filled neighborhood where there were constantly murders and robberies and shootings. He then went to living in the gym of his private school and Laundromat of the town to spending the night at the Tuohys. He was only supposed to stay there for a little until one night turned into Him being adopted by Sean and Leigh Anne. Michael then went from there to living in college as one of the best players in all of college and then to NFL superstar.

Michael has changed so drastically from having no education or family or even a spare change of clothes nor a warm bed, food, or even a room to call his. I Truly believe that if the Tuohys had done what they did for him Michael would be dead by now and never made a name for himself or ever played football. “You threaten my son, you threaten me.” –Leigh Anne

The title is called the blind side. The blind side refers to the blind spot behind a quarterback when he is passing, and the offensive left tackle is the player assigned to protect the quarterback. Michael Oher plays the offensive tackle position. The OT is like a bodyguard for the QB. But I think the title goes beyond the position in football and job for the outside tackle. Other than the football meaning for the title I think it also goes along with neither of them, meaning the family and Michael knew what was coming when they both decided to be a huge part of each other’s lives. Neither of them realized that what was supposed to be just helping someone in need turned into being a family taking in another and calling them their own. “With men this is impossible; with God all things are possible.” -The famous saying in front of the Christian school.

“When big tony put the two boys in his car on the west side of Memphis and drove them out, he was taking the longest journey he could imagine, and yet he only had to travel about fifteen miles. Driving east, he left the third poorest zip code in the United States and headed toward some of the richest people on earth. He left a neighborhood in which he could drive all day without laying eyes on a white person for one where a black person was a bit of a curiosity. Memphis could make you wonder why anyone ever bothered to create laws segregating the races. More than a million people making many millions of individual choices generated an outcome not so different from a law forbidding black people and white people from mingling. As Big Tony puttered along in his ancient Ford Taurus, he passed what was left of Hurt Village, a barracks-style housing project built for white working-class families in the mid-1950s, reoccupied by blacks, and, in the end, controlled by gangs: Hurt Village was where Big Tony had grown up.

He passed schools that had once been all white and were now all black. He passed people, like himself, in old clothes driving old cars. He passed Second Presbyterian Church, from which Martin Luther King Jr. Staged his last march before he was shot and killed now abandoned and boarded shut. Further east, he passed the relatively prosperous black church, Mississippi Boulevard, housed in a building abandoned by the white Baptists when they fled further east to a new church so huge and sprawling that it had been dubbed Six Flags over Jesus. Even God, in the west end of Memphis, felt like a hand-me-down.

As Big Tony drove east he left what was, in effect, a secondhand city occupied by black people and entered the place for which it had been exchanged: a brand-new city, created by Born Again white people. And now here came Big Tony, chugging along in his beat-to-hell Taurus, chasing after them.” P.G. 45. I find this passage very important in the book because it talks about how Big tony was just trying to get his son into a good school so he could become an NBA point guard someday and being famous, but ends up getting started one of the most memorable sports stories in the history of American Football, if it wasn’t for Big tony, probably none of this would’ve happened.

“The Blind Side Quotes.” BookRags. BookRags, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012.

Lewis, Michael. “3.” The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. N. pag. Print.

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1471

  • Pages: 6

The Blind Side

The film, The Blind Side is the story of Michael Oher, a teenager from a poor neighbourhood that is given a second chance at an education and at having a family and a future when he is taken in by Leigh Ann Tuohy and her family. The film examines Michael’s the growth and strengthening of Michael’s relationships with the members of the Tuohy family and illustrates how the positive growth of these relationships allowed Michael to develop better communication skills with others and do better in school, in football and in life.

The first member of the Tuohy family is SJ, the youngest member of the family. The young boy talks to him on Michael’s first day at a new school, where he is feeling outcast and self-conscious because he is the only African American student, he is bigger than everyone else and he isn’t as far along in his educational studies as the rest of the students. SJ is not intimidated by Michael and tells him that people will want to be friends with him if he smiles at them.

SJ is a character that displays many affinity-seeking strategies towards everyone – smiling, being helpful, telling jokes – and here he is trying to share some of those strategies for making friends with Michael because he recognizes that Michael is uncomfortable. The result is that the two of them become best friends and, later, brothers. Michael’s relationship with SJ vastly improves both his self-esteem and his self-awareness. He becomes more aware, through SJ’s coaching, of how he is perceived by others when he doesn’t smile and doesn’t talk.

This, along with SJ’s football coaching making him more confident and sure of his self-worth, improves Michael’s self-esteem and he begins interacting with other students and members of the family. Michael and SJ’s physical context of their relationship is illustrated in scenes where Michael works out using the smaller SJ as a weight to do push ups. The two are vastly different in size, but this doesn’t seem to bother either of them. Michael feels protective of the whole family, and this seems especially true with SJ since he is so much smaller than Michael.

The social and cultural context of their relationship is reflected in how they treat each other versus how Leigh Ann’s friends view it. Michael and SJ see nothing outside of the social norm in their relationship, but others, including the women Leigh Ann regularly has lunch with ask her if she’s worried to leave an African American teenage boy alone with her young son and daughter. This illustrates a social bias reflecting an underlying prejudice in the South, but the relationship between Michael and SJ seems untouched by it. A nonverbal behaviour of communication that Michael and SJ establish is the fist bump.

Whenever Michael aces a football play or gets a good score on a test he’s studied hard for, he bumps fists with SJ. There are no words exchanged between the two, and this gesture is a nonverbal congratulation between the two of them. Michael also uses the nonverbal message of eye contact with SJ in many social situations to make sure that he’s doing well and that things are okay. Michael still feels uncomfortable in the Tuohy’s affluent, mostly white world, and his nonverbal messages and confirmations with SJ help to put him at ease.

The relationship between SJ and Michael continues to engage throughout the film. Even when a car accident occurs involving both of them in Michael’s car, they only grow closer and the accident is an example of Michael’s willingness to risk injury to protect SJ. When Michael is looking at prospective colleges, SJ interviews coaches that come to recruit Michael himself, asking how much contact he will be allowed to have with Michael when Michael is at school. SJ’s active interest at such a young age is a message of a need in both of them to maintain and continue the relationship.

Michael’s relationship with Leigh Ann is another significant relationship in the film. Leigh Ann is the one that first lets Michael sleep on her couch, then makes the decision to become his legal guardian and help him with his future. Leigh Ann utilizes several verbal behaviours with Michael to cut through his apprehension and silence and make him be honest with her. She uses straight, direct questions and warns him not to lie to her. Michael trusts her and opens up to her because while she is direct, she is not mean or threatening.

But Leigh Ann is also guarded with her own emotions, using a generic phrase as a replacement for any expression of love or affection towards Michael or her children through the film. This is not necessarily an example of interpersonal communication apprehension, because the guarded verbal and non-verbal behaviour of both of them extends to everyone around them. It is more an inability or unwillingness to attempt self-disclosure, which both Leigh Ann and Michael improve upon, with each other’s help, towards the end of the film.

The relationship between Leigh Ann and Michael functions almost outside the physical context, because the two have very little physical contact through the film. One scene that is the exception is where they drive to Michael’s old neighbourhood so he can pick up some of his clothes from his mother’s. She tries to get out of the car but, fearing for her safety in the bad neighbourhood Michael reaches over her to lock her door and tells her not to get out of the car.

The comments made by the drug dealers on the stoop about Leigh Ann being a snowflake and Miss Daisy indicate that it is not an accepted relationship in this social context either, because the boys from Michael’s neighbourhood don’t understand the concept of looking at someone as rich and white as Leigh Ann as family. Leigh Ann’s individual communication pattern is to speak very directly and to the point, even if that means interrupting or cutting someone off. She does this with her children and her husband, but Michael’s refusal to speak makes her realize how the way she talks to others affects them.

In this way Michael helps her improve her self-awareness and as a result, her verbal communication with Michael improves. Leigh Ann also expresses anger and protection to communicate to others the importance of her relationship with Michael. When she is at Michael’s football game and a man starts yelling racist comments about Michael, she yells at him to shut up. Later, when Michael makes a great play, she turns around to the man again and proudly identifies Michael as her son.

This event strengthens her feelings for Michael and her indignation at others in society that don’t approve of him or of his relationship with her and her family. The final scene of the film conveys a message of communication that shows interpersonal growth in both Leigh Ann and Michael and their relationship. Michael is being dropped off at college and Leigh Ann, unwilling to let anyone see her get emotional or cry, says she is going to wait in the car. Michael follows her and makes her get out and give him a hug.

This shows her ability to move past her own physical and emotional boundaries and let herself be vulnerable, just as it shows Michael’s improvement of his verbal communication skills and interpersonal competence to be able to tell Leigh Ann to do something for him. This exemplifies how the relationship between the two of them has allowed each of the individuals in the relationship to grow, and how the relationship will be continued and maintained in spite of the distance incurred by Michael’s moving to college.

The Blind Side shows how one family could make a difference in the life of one disadvantaged youth, and also how the willingness of both Michael and the Tuohy family ended up changing the relationships and communication skills of all of them. These relationships are examples of interpersonal communication helping individuals to grow and become more competent and self-aware in spite of operating outside the social boundaries of acceptance.

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  • University/College:
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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 610

  • Pages: 2

The Blind Side

“The Blind Side” is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager who was able to overcome great obstacles in order to become a first round draft pick in the NFL. Michael Oher had a rough childhood as he didn’t know his father and his mother was addicted to drugs. He was in and out of foster homes and at times living on the street. The football coach at Wingate, a private school, saw football potential in Michael and got him admitted into the prestigious school. However, he had learning disabilities and still did not have a permanent home.

Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother of a Wingate student, Collins, and wife of the owner of several Taco Bell restaurants, finds out about Michael’s predicament and invites him to stay the night at their home. Once Michael is in the Tuohy home, a close relationship develops between him and the Tuohys. The one night stay turns into a permanent living situation for Oher. Leigh Anne makes it her personal mission to make sure Michael has everything he needs emotionally and academically to graduate from high school and to get admitted to Ole Miss.

After a successful college football campaign, Oher was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round in 2009, thus fulfilling his dream. This movie has it all. As you watch it, you experience the emotions of both sadness and joy, as you watch this young man go from being homeless to being drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. One of the saddest parts of the film is where Leigh Anne goes looking for Oher’s mother. You are able to see the awful environment in which he has grown up, including drugs and filth.

On the other hand, one of the happiest scenes in the film is when Leigh Anne is having a meal with some of her wealthy white lady friends. They are discussing the possible adoption of Oher by the Tuohy family. One of the women remarks that Leigh Anne should really be concerned about the welfare of her beautiful, white daughter Collins. Leigh Anne tells the women they should be ashamed of themselves for thinking that way. There are also many scenes that will have you laughing.

For instance, in one game scene, Oher blocks an opposing team’s player clear off the field. After the whistle, Oher says, “Sorry, Coach. I stopped when I heard the whistle. ” The coach asks where Oher was taking the opposing player. Oher responds, “The bus. It was time for him to go home. ” In that same game, the referee throws a flag on Oher. The coach asks why he threw the flag. The referee responds, “excessive blocking. ” The sacrifices that the Tuohy family was willing to make for a complete stranger are inspiring.

Sandra Bullock received an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. Other actors you may recognize in the film include Kathy Bates as Miss Sue and country singer Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy. This movie was nominated for Best Picture at the 82nd annual Academy Awards, but lost to “The Hurt Locker”. I haven’t seen “The Hurt Locker”, but having seen “The Blind Side”, I find it hard to believe there was a better film released in 2009. I give this movie four stars and highly recommend it to anyone of any age.

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  • Pages: 3

The Blind Side

Belonging is a sense of enlightenment felt when an individual gains an understanding of themselves in relation to others and society. Once the characters belong to their family and to themselves, belonging to society and the rest of the world becomes easy. “Looking for Alibrandi” by Marlina Marchetta and the film “The Blind Side” directed by John Lee Hancock, both show how each character gains an understanding of themselves and their family therefore leading to them to belong to society.

Throughout the novel, Josie’s perceptions of herself and Nonna’s relationship undergo a significant transformation. Initially, Josie does not feel she belongs to her Nonna because of the limitations she places on her. It is only at the end of the novel that Josie learns the true heart-ache and suffering her Nonna went through for her mother. Marchetta uses the intimate feel of a diary to relate to the story of the three women bound by strong ties of family. It shows how each of the women belongs to each other and it also shows the barriers to their relationships.

Linear Structure gives the book a strong sense of continuity and ensures a steady pace of the story line. At the beginning of the novel Josie says “She drives me crazy. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth sometimes to control myself”, showing that she does not feel she belongs to her Nonna. Towards the end she states “I cried because I was loved by two of the strongest women I would ever meet in my lifetime”. The discovery that she does truly belong to her Nonna encourages Josie to be her own person and to live her life emancipated from any rigid stereotypes that are barriers to belonging.

Once she belongs to her Nonna, she then realises she belongs to herself, making belonging to society easier. Cultural identity is a very strong factor in Josie’s life. At first it is a barrier to her belonging to society and she rails against it as being old-fashioned and sexist. She realises towards the end of the book that her culture has made her who she is and what she is capable of becoming. Throughout the novel her references to her culture are often sarcastic or mocking. Josie asserts light heartedly that without the Italian tendency for being chatty and loud “Telecom would go broke”.

Marchetta uses humour to show how Josie speaks with the voice of today’s youth and she speaks of issues that are contemporary and with which readers can relate to. Initially, at school especially, she feels victimised by her race and doesn’t belong. She is bitter and resentful to those not like her and often resorts to physical abuse in response to ‘wog’ insults. “Simply because like religion, culture is nailed into you so deep you can’t escape it”. This conveys that even though sometimes Josie wishes she wasn’t Italian that makes her who she is.

After she learns to accept that towards the end of the novel, she starts to belong to herself and to her culture and then making it easier to belong to her school. At first Josie does not feel as if she belongs to her family, however she comes to a realisation that her culture isn’t a barrier to her belonging; she can then belong to herself and to society. Just like Josie, Michael Oher realises that his race isn’t a barrier to belonging to his family, he belongs to himself and he becomes accepted in society.

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The Blind Side Essay

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The Blind Side Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1244

  • Pages: 5

The Blind Side

Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis’ best-seller The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete. As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year.

Sandra Bullock stars in a film written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, the Alamo). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Rating, 8-10 Content and explanation of why you chose this text for your AOS The blind side is inspirational movie about a struggling character named Michael Oher. He lives in a low socio- economic neighborhood where everyone’s broke, run down and living off the doll. A lady known as Leigh Anne Tuohy notices that Michael is struggling. Leigh being a rich white lady and being well known for getting her way starts to help Michael.

Through the movie Leigh discovers Michael’s problems and also changes perspective on people like Michael. She helps unravel Michael and deals with his problems and helps him with his education. Leigh also changes through the movie whilst helping Michael. By the end, Michael is adopted into the family. He goes to college and becomes a 1st grade NFL player. I chose this text because it demonstrates how people can change perspectives no matter what race, religion, economic status or appearance.

This text explains how people should view others instead of just reading a book by its cover. It also shows how far people are willing to change their perspective on others an example of this would be, when Leigh is around her friends. They are worried that Leigh is taking Michael in at a rapid rate and not thinking about the consequences. They are taking Michaels appearance and trying to use it against Leigh “I think, what you’re doing is so great. To open up your home… to him, Honey, you’re changing that boy’s life. No. He’s changing mine.

That’s awesome for you but what about Collins? What about Collins? Aren’t you worried, I mean, even just a little, He’s a boy, a large, black boy, sleeping under the same roof. Shame on you! ” This is an example of how Leigh defended Michael against her friends. It is showing that Leigh is slowly changing and is starting to realise that it’s not always about her, her friends all her committees that she’s associated with. She also realises that people are starting to notice what she is doing and they are worried. Analysis of Textual features: The Blindside’ is an excellent text that explores the concept of changing perspectives, especially socially and personally. Both of these of these features are explored through the characters of Michael Oher and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Hancock uses Mise en Scene in the opening sequence to symbolise journey of the protagonist. This technique conveys the disparity of socio-economic status within the one town, for instance, in the ghetto, a hobo pushes a trolley full of junk and in the richer suburbs a woman pushes her child in a pram.

This is important because it shows the protagonist’s (Michael Oher) future journey from low to high socio-economic status. The use of a close-up shot in this scene helps the audience to empathies with Leigh’s realisation that it’s not just about changing Michael’s life, but that they need to start helping anyone who is in the same category as Michael. The close-up shot is supported by the dialogue, Characterisation tracks the development of the character and is important because it demonstrates the journey and progress the character makes within the narrative.

This is clearly shown through Leigh Anne’s costume, where the first time we see her she wears pure, stark white, but as the film moves on she becomes more casual which shows that she has changed from the beginning of the movie. What the text conveys about the Area of study: In order to change the world, one must first change themselves – as Ghandi stated “Be the change you want to see. ” Leigh Anne Tuohy demonstrates this concept when she states, “You know what I think we should do? We should start a charity for kids like Michael…

Lord knows that school could use a little colour. Michael’s like a fly in the milk at that place. ”This demonstrates that Leigh’s realisation that it’s not just about helping Michael, but that they need to start helping everyone who is in the same category as Michael. Leigh wants to oragnise a charity to get kids like Michael and to get their lives on track. Leigh is changing her perspective as she is realising that Michael is the only dark kid in the school and is the biggest. She also wants Michael to fit in by not looking like an individual.

At the time Michael hasn’t opened up and is still very quiet and shy. He shows this through a letter he wrote about himself, which a teacher noticed, “He knows it, He threw this in the trashcan. “I look and I see white everywhere: white walls, white floors, and a lot of white people. The teachers do not know I have no idea of anything they are talking about. I do not want to listen to anyone, especially the teachers. They are giving homework and expecting me to do problems on my own. I have never done homework in my life.

I go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and say, “This is not Michael Oher. ” He entitled it “White Walls. ” At the time Michael wants to just give up. It shows that he isn’t prepared to change. He also knows that he is an individual and most people are afraid because of his appearance. Through the movie Michael starts gaining confidence an example would be, when Michael goes to the store with Leigh. Leigh is afraid because she is out her comfort zone and is new to Michael’s area. “I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life and never been anywhere near here.

You’re going to take care of me, right? I got your back. ” This demonstrates that Michael is willing to protect Leigh Anne. This is showing that Michael is gaining confidence and is starting transform. At the last scenes of the movie, Michael opens up and tells the investigator, “I want to go there because that’s where my family went (old miss)”. This shows that Michael has completely changed because he backs up his new family (Tuohy family). He tells the investigator and it that he has respect for his new family.

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The Blind Side Essay

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The Blind Side Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1920

  • Pages: 8

The Blind Side

The success of a person is based on a number of things. Dedication, determination, drive, focus and the necessary provisons. However, there are some of us who achieve success because of the people we know or simply by good luck. Being in the right place at the right time or genuinely striving for excellence, success is accessable to all. In the movie The Blind Side, success is portrayed to be accessible by simply knowing the right people. The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical drama film. It is written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.

The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School, which was a fictional representation of Briarcrest Christian School in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee. His struggle, challenges and adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy and on to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football are all brought to life in the film. For most of his childhood, 17year old Michael Oher has been in foster care with different families throughout Memphis, Tennessee.

Every time he is placed in a new home, he runs away. His friend’s father, whose couch Mike had been sleeping on, asks Burt Cotton, the coach of Wingate Christian school, to help enroll his son and Mike. Impressed by Mike’s size and athleticism, Cotton gets him admitted despite his abysmal academic record. It was at this school Michael met his destiny. Many themes are portrayed in this movie. Poverty in The United States, Crack addiction, imporvished children, racism, favoritsim and biracial families and imporvished children are all seen throughout the movie.

Michael Oher was born on May 28, 1986, in Memphis, Tennessee. He came from a broken home and his estranged father was murdered while Oher was in high school. Being raised by his crack addicted mother, Michael was exposed to extreme poverty at a very early age. Poverty is defined as a state of privation and a lack of necessities. It is also defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. In this movie, poverty was a central theme. Michael was seen carrying his books in a plastic bag, wearing the same clothes repeatedly and not having a real home to sleep in.

People that are considered poor or in poverty are people who cannot provide sufficient food, clothing or shelter for their families. Although there are far worst cases of poverty around the world, in the United States people who either have one working parent or parents who work for minimum wage are considered poor. Even people do have food, clothing, shelter, and make more than minimum wage but can’t afford luxury are people who are considered poor. Poverty is a major issue in the US. It is something that the country has been trying to solve for decades.

Poverty tends to exist in concentrated areas city slums, county areas and trailer parks. Poor people are stuck living with other poor people, hence the case with Michael before he enrolled in school. One of the reasons why it’s hard for these people to get out of poverty is because there are so little jobs available to them in their area because of the high concentration of other poor people around them. People in poverty might not be able to travel outside of their local community and find work elsewhere. Hence Michael’s situation. In an effort to lessen poverty, the government offers many social programs and aid to the poor.

Medicaid, welfare, food stamps and foster care for the children affected most. Although these programs really help people to get of poverty, it’s not to keep them out. Most people fall back into poverty after getting out. Michael was known to be in and out of many foster homes throughout his childhood. Poverty in downtown Memphis was excellently portrayed in the movies. The ‘ghetto’ areas where those of color resided was brought to life in the film. The struggle was made clear throughout the whole movie. The blind side also touched bases on crack addiction and the affects of it on the user and those around them.

A prime example was that of Michael and his mother. Michael Oher’s mother was addicted to crack cocaine for quite sometime and it affected Michael and his other simblings tramendously. Him and his siblings were seperated through his early teen years due to the fact that he was forced to be placed in foster homes because of his absent mother who was a crack addict. Crack cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked. It may also be termed rock, hard, iron, cavvy, base, or just crack; it is the most addictive form of cocaine. Crack rocks offer a short but intense high to smokers.

Crack appeared primarily in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The name “crack” refers to the sound generated during its manufacture and when smoked. Crack cocaine is a substance that affects the brain chemistry of the user causing euphoria, supreme confidence, loss of appetite, insomnia, alertness, increased energy, a craving for more cocaine, and potential paranoia. When cocaine is dissolved and injected, the absorption into the bloodstream is at least as rapid as the absorption of the drug which occurs when crack cocaine is smoked, and similar euphoria may be experienced.

A typical response among users is to have another hit of the drug; however, the levels of dopamine in the brain take a long time to replenish themselves, and each hit taken in rapid succession leads to progressively less intense highs. The short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Large amounts intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior. Large amounts can induce tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning.

Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In the movie, Michaels mother faced many of these issues. The concept of a crack head mother may have struck a cord with many views, as it is a sensitive and serious topic for many people with that same problem. His mother, a crack cocaine addict for most of her life, remained on the opposite path. A tragic side to this story, however in life, one has to accept that everyone cannot be saved, and focus on saving the ones you can. Which are usually the ones who are ready to save themselves and just need the help to give them that shot.

In addition to poverty and cocaine addictions, racism was also a major theme in the movie . A rich white family really did adopt Michael Oher, a homeless black teenager, and eventually, he became an NFL star. In the real world, that’s very moving. It is sometimes the reality that white families adopt, raise and even “save” black children from sometimes dire conditions. There was one scene in the movie that almost tapped this rich potential for storytelling, and it was when Sandra Bullock’s character, Leigh Anne Touhy, confronts her lady friends at lunch about their own racism in their comments about her newly-adopted son.

She stops them abruptly and says to them, “Shame on you. ” It’s a remarkable filmic moment in many ways. First, it clearly depicts whites in this case. White women, engaging in the kind of back stage behavior many have heard about so often. It’s not rare to see the whites talking about race in explicit ways portrayed in a film. Bullock’s confrontation of them is refreshing, but it’s underplayed and comes out of nowhere for her character. Also, the concept of a black boy being adopted into an all white American family just does not sit well with many. Racism is played out in almost every aspect of Michael’s life.

This is the story: A poor, ignorant, and “innocent” black teenager stumbles into the privileged world of white society. Because he’s so “backwards” the only white people he can communicate with are small children. And even they know more than he does. One little boy even has to teach him how to smile at girls so they won’t be afraid of him. Thank god for the white boy’s kindness, because the ignorant black teenager life is hard! He’s never had his own bed, he’s never gotten much schooling, and the other black people in his life are mean, scary, probably do drugs and unsuccessful.

It’ll take a white kid’s mercy to get him out of this mess. Except wait. No. It’s not the white kid who can help the The teen. It’s the white kid’s pretty white mother. When the white mother learns about the The teen’s hard knock life, she uses all of her rich white magic to make it better. She even helps him learn to play football. The teen’s simple-minded charm affects the white mother. When her rich whitelady friends compliment her good deeds, she says, with a small choke in her voice, that it’s really him who’s changing her. This movie is one hundred percent, good old fashioned family racism. White paternalism? Check.

Ignorant black guy who can’t do anything on his own? Check. Oversimplification of the actual story? Check. Complete ignorance on the writers’ parts of just how condescending this movie is towards black people? Double check. The real Michael Oher even said himself that the movie potrayed him as being more ignorant and poor than he really was. Where are the movies of rich black people helping other black people? Is it because black people don’t help themselves or each other, or is it because hollywood doesn’t want to tell those stories? Also, the Michael Oher was not ignorant, dumb or inarticulate as the movie portrayed him to be.

He was already on the road to success and was a very hard worker and good student. But the movie heightened the contrast between him and the white family in order to show us how different blacks and whites are. Black people are ‘dumb ignorant thugs’ and drug addicts and white people have come to save the children in their capes with an S on their chest. It is not that the real life actions by the family were racist, it is the way in which the film portrays them are. Simply that the movie only encourages and supports existing stereotypes that whites are superior to blacks.

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