The Blind Side Themes

In The Blind Side, I need to talk about 3 different themes. I have come up with overcoming obstacles and the influence of a nurturing family.  What is another important theme of the movie/novel.  Provide support to the answer.

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Besides the two excellent examples provided, a third theme for The Blind Side is the feeling of being an outsider. Michael Oher is an outsider in every conceivable way imaginable. He is black among white students; he comes from an impoverished background, where his peers have only known relative comfort...

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Besides the two excellent examples provided, a third theme for The Blind Side is the feeling of being an outsider. Michael Oher is an outsider in every conceivable way imaginable. He is black among white students; he comes from an impoverished background, where his peers have only known relative comfort and wealth. He even feels like an outsider when it comes to his physical presence, as his powerful physique is one of the reasons athletic directors initially take interest in him. Despite his stature, he is shy and quiet, with many reservations about using his prodigious strength for anything, much less for athletic achievement. In this sense, he is an outsider even within himself, feeling less than comfortable in his own body.

Michael finds that being an outsider leads to feelings of extreme isolation and, by extension, a lack of trust. He does not know who in life has good intentions at heart, and when the Tuhoys show him kindness, he seems to be waiting for the catch to reveal itself. When Investigator Granger begins to look into any ulterior motives that the Tuhoys may have had for taking Michael in, he immediately feels the need to confront Leigh Ann due to his insecurity. This is simply an unfortunate byproduct of Michael's life circumstances, and it takes the love of a caring family to bring him out of this dark mindset.

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Overcoming racism is another theme in the movie. Michael Oher is one of the few African American students at Wingate Christian School, which is attended mainly by wealthy white students in Memphis, Tennessee. It's a city with a history of legal segregation, and it's unusual for a white family, such as the Tuohys, to take in an African American child. Leigh Anne Tuohy's friends ask her if she's afraid of having Michael Oher around her daughter, Collins, who is white, as they still think of African American men as predators.

When Leigh Anne makes it clear that Michael has become part of her family, one of her friends congratulates her for having made such a difference in the young man's life. Leigh Anne responds that Michael has made a difference in her life, reversing the racist idea that wealthy white people help unfortunate African American people. While some critics have lambasted the movie for perpetrating the stereotype of the white savior, Leigh Anne's answer to her friend shows that she feels she has benefited even more from Michael's presence in her life and her family than he has benefit from having been taken in by a wealthy white family. The Tuohys have accepted Michael, and he has become a member of their family despite the legacy of racism in their community.

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Equality is another important theme in the movie. Bert Cotton, the football coach of Wingate Christian School, goes before the board of admissions to try and get them to admit Michael Oher. But they're initially reluctant to accept him on the grounds that he comes from the wrong side of the tracks and has a low IQ. Nevertheless, Michael is admitted, and eventually many people come to realize how wrong it was to judge him on his appearance and his background. Instead, they come to value Michael for his great sporting prowess on the football field.

The transformational nature of kindness is a theme related to that of equality. In seeking to become Michael's legal guardian, Leigh Anne makes a huge leap of faith. And it's this initial act of kindness that will change not just Michael's life, but that of Leigh Anne and the whole Tuohy family forever. Indeed, as Leigh Anne famously states, she hasn't changed Michael's life; he's changed hers.

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One of the most powerful themes in The Blind Side is the idea that individuals can transcend the conditions around them.  Michael Oher does not become a victim to the economic challenges around him and does not become enticed by the promises of future wealth.  He remains true to the values and ideas that are valid and reflective of an insightful human being.  Throughout the film, Michael transcends the world around him.  Both on the football field and off it, he is not trapped by the conditions that envelop him.  In being able to transcend these, he demonstrates that individuals do not have to be limited by the conditions that surround them.

Another theme that emerges from the film is the theme of individual versus society.  Both Michael and Leigh Anne must challenge the people around them who criticize their actions. Leigh Anne's socialite friends refer to her embracing Michael as a "project in the projects, she distances herself from them in a direct manner.  When Michael goes back to his home and finds his former friends insulting Leigh Anne and her daughter, Michael separates himself from them.  In both instances, the individual must make a deliberate and conscious choice to break free from the world in which they live in order to pursue what they believe and the people they love.

A final theme which is seen is the need to take action. Human action is an important theme in the film.  Leigh Anne takes action in helping Michael.  Michael takes action in listening and honoring Leigh Anne both on the football field and off it.  Characters are shown to possess power in the world, something evident in the way human action is taken.  The film asserts that action is an essential component to being a human being.  The theme of human action is a very important one to the message and purpose of the film.

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