A Main Themes Of The Movie The Blind Side

Categories: The Blind Side

The movie Blind Side was based on the best-selling book The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. In this story the main character Michael Oher is a troubled child that is taken in by an upper class family and is put through school. During the course of this story you can see how many of the Juvenile Delinquency theories that we reviewed in class can be applied and seen, it also shows that some theories can be proven wrong based on the circumstances.

One of the Juvenile Delinquency theories that could have changed this whole story is one of Development theories’ sub theories, Life-course theory. “Life-course theory focuses on change in criminality over the life course of a person”. (Siegel, and Welch xx) In the movie The Blind Side Michael Oher’s biological mother Denise Oher tells her story to Michael’s new adopted mother. She tells her that she kept Michael from seeing all of the bad things she was doing and the drugs by telling him to simply close his eyes.

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By doing this she prevented Michael from being exposed to the criminal acts she was committing at such a young age. If he had been exposed to these actions he might have become a totally different person. He might have followed in her foot steps and lead a life of crime because that what his mother did. “As young as toddler’s people begin relationships and behaviors that will determine their life course”. (Siegel, and Welch xx) Even if Michael’s mother did not cover his eyes and he did witness all of the things she was doing Leigh Anne Tuohy played by Sandra Bullock might still have been able to direct his path, it would have probably been a more difficult though I imagine.

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Michael’s mothers’ acts of covering his eyes could also be applied to the Behavioral Theory as well. “The Behavioral Theory argues that personality is learned throughout life during interaction with others”. (Siegel, and Welch xx) The interaction with his mother’s criminal habits could have persuaded Michael down the wrong path. Behavioral Theory can also be applied to the Thohy family’s interactions with Michael. When Michael is interacting with Leigh Anne and her family he observes them and sees the proper way to act and the support that can come from a strong family.

Age grade theory can also be applied to this movie. “Age-graded theory places a lot of emphasis on the stability brought about by romantic relationships”. (Siegel, and Welch xx) comparing this theory to the story though does not show this with a romantic relationship but with a loving family relationship. Instead of meeting a mate whom this theory depicts Michael meets a supporting family that takes him in and loves him. Only meaningful relationships seem to help prevent crime in juvenile delinquents. The blind side shows that this is theory can be very true because, with the loving relationship that is formed between Michael and the Tuohy family he starts a journey on the brink of becoming delinquent and at the end he becomes a successful law abiding adult.

In the movie when Michael is first enteringWingate Christian School ("The Blind Side (2009) - Plot Summary.") the teachers talk about how Michael was pushed through all of his classes in his previous schools and that there is no way he can do the work in their school. They are labeling him as being too stupid. This is labeling theory; “Howard Becker developed this theory (also known as social reaction theory) in the 1963 book Outsiders”. (Howard Becker's Labeling Theory) The definition of labeling theory is the view of deviance according to which being labeled as a "deviant or any trait” leads a person to engage in deviant behavior or behaviors that they are labeled with. (Definition of Labeling Theory | Chegg.com) Michael however proves them wrong by using all the positive reinforcement he is getting from his new found family.

Michael Oher is also labeled in another way as well, he is labeled as being black and you get the sense in this movie that it is not common for African Americans to be in this area of town. The main part of the story you get this feeling is when Mrs. Leigh Anne Tuohy is having lunch with her friends and one of them makes a snide comment about Michael being colored. Mrs. Tuohy quickly defends her new son and leaves. Another point where racism is evident is during Michael’s first football game. The father of a kid on the opposing team is making racist comments and yet again Mrs. Tuohy defends him. Racism and the negative labels associated with it can have very diminishing effects on youth. It can make them feel and lead them to believe that they are inferior. This in return could make them feel that they are not welcome in normal circles and make them feel that they have to hang out with an outsider/ bad crowd. These crowds generally consist of the trouble makers and because children and young adults learn a lot from their peers it could cause them to start getting involved in delinquent acts.

Family plays a very influential role on the behavior of a child and young adult. In this movie you see two very different ones and the effects they have on Michael. There are four big factors that can lead a juvenile to delinquency and they are family breakups, family conflict, family effectiveness, and family deviance. (Siegel, and Welch xx). Michael has all of the negative factors in one of his families and all of the opposite in the other.

Michaels biological family has and family breakup, conflict, and deviance, it also has poor effectiveness. Michael’s parents are not together, he has brothers and sisters that are scattered all over and his mom is an illegal drug addict. His mom doesn’t really seem to care about him in the fact that she put him in situations that required social services to take him out of his home and place him in foster care. All of these things greatly increase the risk of pushing Michael down the path to becoming a delinquent. It was probably the best thing for him to be taken away from her because it lessened the exposure that he had to her ineffective parenting skills. Our book says that “Delinquency will be reduced if parents provide the type of structure that integrates children into families” and this is something his mother could not do. (Siegel, and Welch xx).

The Tuohy family on the other hand gave Michael everything that his real mom/family couldn’t. They provided Michael with a full family free of parental separation that worked very well together. The family had an awesome support structure and they believed in Michael, they also had the means necessary to support him in getting his education. The whole family worked as a tight knit group and this was very influential to Michael. A strong supporting family is a necessary aspect of any person’s life as it helps steer them away from delinquent actions just like it did for Michael in this move.

The nature theory is one of the theories that are proven wrong in this movie by Michael. The Nature Theory says that you inherit you intelligence form your parents and family line and that it is a function of our genetic makeup. (Siegel, and Welch xx) If this were true in Michael’s case he wouldn’t have been able to raise his grade point average to be able to play football. He would have been unintelligent like his mother. He proves that with the right motivation and support one can learn and that you are not born with a certain amount of intelligence and that all you have for life.

The movie The Blind Side is the story of an underdog rising through the ranks and gaining a new loving family. It shows how just a little bit of support and encouragement can drive someone to pursue something greater even when all the elements are stacked against him. It also shows that many of the juvenile delinquency theories that we have gone over this semester can be right in front of us and that they can have a significant influences for good or bad depending on how they are applied.

Works Cited

  • "The Blind Side (2009) - Plot Summary." IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
  • "Definition of Labeling Theory | Chegg.com." Chegg - Raise Your GPA w/ a FREE Chegg Study Trial | Rent Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
  • "Howard Becker's Labeling Theory." Research Brought To Life : College Of Criminology & Criminal Justice : Florida State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
  • Siegel, Larry J, and Brandon C. Welch. "chapter 5." Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. Princeton, N.J: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2005. Print.
  • Works cited

    1. “The Blind Side (2009) – Plot Summary.” IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
    2. “Definition of Labeling Theory | Chegg.com.” Chegg – Raise Your GPA w/ a FREE Chegg Study Trial | Rent Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
    3. “Howard Becker’s Labeling Theory.” Research Brought To Life : College Of Criminology & Criminal Justice : Florida State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
    4. Siegel, Larry J, and Brandon C. Welch. “chapter 5.” Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. Princeton, N.J: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2005. Print.
    Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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    A Main Themes Of The Movie The Blind Side. (2024, Feb 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-main-themes-of-the-movie-the-blind-side-essay

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