The Blind Side – English Related Text Essay
The Blind Side – English Related Text
In society there are often people who do not fall into the typical regime of normality. Society often fears the unknown so those who do not follow the classic rule of what is considered ‘normal’ are often classed as foreign and minute. These people are often isolated and alienated by those around them giving them a sense that they do not have a place which in turn makes them feel like they don’t belong.
This concept is shown throughout the film ‘The blind side’ directed by John Lee Hancock. The film tells us the true story of a deprived withdrawn black boy who is adopted by a white wealthy family; they in turn help him discover who he is and where he belongs. This movie is a story of hope; family and belonging. Sometimes it is not who we are but what we look like that defines where we belong in society.
This concept is explored many times in the text.
Michael Oher the antagonist is often undermined and ignored by his peers and his teachers because of his upbringing and his colour. He wishes to be accepted for who he is and not to be mocked and ridiculed. The film portrays a journey in which Michael finally finds where he belongs and is accepted by those surrounding him. Michael the antagonist has never had nor felt the simple emotions or items that one possesses normally. We see this when Leigh Anne Touhy gives him a room to call his own Michael says “it’s nice, I never had one before” Leigh Anne replies “what, a room to yourself? To that Michael timidly responds “a bed”. This camera then zooms up on Michaels face showing him give a sad smile while quickly zooming to Leigh Annes face, her face betrays her emotions of shock and despair.
Through the language techniques and camera angels we get a sense of how Michael has never felt at home anywhere and something as simple as a bed was foreign to him. The film then continues to show Michael’s struggles and hardships he goes through to be accepted in school. Michael wants to join the football team yet his exam marks are not high enough to join. He gets a tutor who helps and encourages fulfilling his dreams of becoming a football star. He finally manages to pass his exams and joins the football team. Michael usually of gentle and kind nature does not know how to use his strength to play the game. Leigh Anne plays on his protective side in which he would do anything to protect his family and his succeeds. Michael goes through moments of doubts were he convinces himself that he doesn’t belong because of who he is and what he looks like. Michael feels like everyone treats him like he has a disability when only it’s they who have the disability. Michael says ‘Don’t you dare lie to me! I’m not stupid!’ the camera angle then zooms up to his face and pans over the scene of him and Leigh Anne. You see the raw pain in his face as he bears his emotions to finally tell the world that there is something more to him than his skin colour, he is as human as everyone else. Sometimes in life we must suffer through many hardships in order to find our place in society, to find ourselves and to find were we belong. Michael went through many struggles and challenges as a child, in which made him in total a strong and sound character. He saw terrible images of his mother’s addiction to drugs and giving herself away to men in an undistinguished manner when he was only 7.
Through all of this he went through many foster homes in which he ran away from. His only friends were gangsters and thugs who would bully him and use him for amusement. He never fought back because that was not in his nature, he was a kind and gentle boy would had been shaped and moulded by all the awful experiences that he had been through. When Leigh Anne asked him to get him clothes, he replied ‘I got clothes’ when really all he had, were a few articles of clothing besides for the ones on his back. When Michael was moving in with the Touhys, Leigh Anne took him to his neighbourhood to collect his things. The camera angle does a long shot to show a rough neighbourhood. We see a Leigh Anne and Michael pull up outside a block of broken and filthy flats. The fancy American car that they pull up in, contrasts with all the broken ugly cars and bikes in the neighbourhood. We are then shown Michael going out the car while the gangsters taunt him while he walks toward the door of his old shack. He is greeted by a door with a large sign saying ‘evicted’. The sign symbolises how he has never had a place to belong, he is always moving around and is never fully at home anywhere that he goes. To belong we sometimes must change ourselves in order to change the world. Michael has lived his entire life being the gentle sweet yet bigger than average boy and has never done anything to change that.
He has been discriminated by others and thought to be of lesser intelligence then the other children. When he is adopted into the Touhy family he is at first very reluctant to open up and try to belong. Michael the antagonist faces many struggles and challenges that we had to overcome in order to finally find a place to call home. He worked harder in school, socially and joined a sport in which he became famous for. Through doing all of these things that put him out of him comfort zone he slowly changed the lives of those around him. Leigh Anne was told ‘your changing that boys life’ in which she replied ‘ no he’s changing mine’ this shows that through all of Michaels effort he finally adjusted to his life and found a place in which he belonged. Often the places in which we find ourselves to belong are the ones that we never would have of thought to look for. Michael had never thought that he would find himself and a place to belong in a family of white wealthy Americans. He went through many places trying to find were he belonged. He went from house to house and sometimes even the street yet to no avail. When he finally finds the Touhy family who accept him for who he is he finally feels at peace. The last scene of the movie shows Michael going to college; they look to be like a typical family, in which one would expect when they are sending their child off to college.
The Touhy family hug Michael and wave him off; he is starting a new part of his life and smiles confidently as he walks off, showing the sense of him feeling accepted and that he belongs. After the scene we see pictures of the real Michael Oher and the Touhy family that adopted him in. This makes the audience feel compassion to the real Michael Oher and to the Touhy family. In conclusion we see through the above text ‘The blind side’ directed by John Lee Hancock, that to belong one must go through many struggles and travel on a journey in which they meet incredible people who help them find who they are. Sometimes where we think we belong is entirely different from where we are actually meant to belong. Often enough society defines us by who we are as a person and what we look like. The film ‘The blind side’ shows that even though sometimes society may judge us and alienate us we must show society that we are more then what we look like and we should not be judged based on that which will then lead to a sense of inner belonging.