In this film, titled: The Blind Side, The main character Michael Oher struggles through the challenges of his cultural differences. He forms his self-concept with the help of his family showing him his true value. He forms a new perception of the world around him and he learns the value of healthy communication through his family.Michael Oher is an outsider. Thanks to Michael’s father figure, Big Tony, he becomes a student at Briarcrest Christian Academy. He also becomes one of the only black students at this school. He is additionally the biggest kid at Briarcrest, and he comes from an impoverished inner-city family. At school, he is shy and lonely, partially because he has not had many stable relationships in his life, and partially because he is just not sure how to make friends with his wealthy white classmates. Cultural and racial differences play a large part in this film. Throughout the film, there are many blunt comments that are clear forms of racism. Ethnocentrism is “the attitude that one’s own culture is superior to others” (Adler, & Proctor, 2016, p. 450). The preference for one’s own culture is the cause of the actions taken by the referee and the player during Michael’s first football game. Michael being new, and black, brings a lot of uncertainty to the people around him. It is clear Micheal is being treated differently because of his race and culture differences. When Leigh Anne is having lunch with some of her friends they make assumptions about Michael based on only his race and cultural differences. Her friends make a preconceived opinion or judgment about Michael that is not based on any actual experience. In one way or another, Michael Oher successfully overcomes some of the challenges of being an outsider. He finds a place in the Tuohy family’s heart, who eventually adopt him as their own son. In becoming a Tuohy, Michael conquers some of his loneliness. For the first time in his life, he has a family that takes care of his needs and gives him love. This is something that could not be said of his biological mother, Denise Oher. Because he is comfortable with his new family, he begins to become friends with teammates, classmates, teachers and others. Moreover, in becoming a Tuohy, Michael escapes the poverty he went through as a child. When the Tuohy family brings Micheal into their home it finally gives him a chance to figure out who he is and create his self-concept.Self-concept is defined as “the relatively stable set of perceptions each individual holds of himself or herself”(Adler, & Proctor, 2016, p. 452). Throughout the first half of the film Michael’s self-concept is very weak. He does not have a stable set of perceptions for himself. He does not know where he stands in the world. The bases of his pain is his sense of being a displaced person, walking through a world that seems to have no place for him and has no answers to the question of who he is. In the beginning of the movie, when Michael has first started school he writes a note that says: “I look in the mirror and say, this is not Michael Oher.” Due to Michael never really knowing where he belongs, he never had the chance for his true self-concept to form. During the film his adoptive mother, Leigh Anne, is determined to find out who Michael truly is. She tries to push through his silence to find out more about him. “Tell me one thing I need to know about you” Leigh Anne asks him during the fim, and in reply to what he says, she stops calling him the name that everyone has labelled him with, ‘Big Mike’, and starts to call him by his actual name. This suggests her acknowledgment of the valuable person beneath an exterior which has too often been seen as of little worth. By looking at Michael through eyes that see his value as a human being rather than his past or his educational limitations. As the film goes on it is made clear to the audience Michael Oher did not have a healthy upbringing. His mother did drugs, his father left a week after he was born, he never had anyone to support him in his education. As Michael grew into an adult he did not understand where he fit into the world. “Our perception of the world around us is affected by who we are”(Adler, & Proctor, 2016, p. 105). Michael’s perception was based off of people leaving him behind. Whether it was his biological parents, his school teachers, his foster families, ect. That was what he was exposed to, so that is what his perception of the world was based around. Until Micheal met the Tuohy family his perception of the world would probably be considered rather limited. The only thing he really saw himself as is someone who got left behind. It was not until he started to have people around him who truly cared for him as a person that his perception of the world truly changed. He started to care about sports, his education, but probably the most influential thing Michael cared about was the Tuohy family. He came to realize he was so much more than a kid from an impoverished inner-city family. He became his own person with a new perception of the world. Family is key to forming our ability to communicate. Our families support us, care for us, and love us. From our families, we learn important values concerning intimacy, spirituality, communication, and respect. Parents and other family members model behaviors that shape how we interact with others. As a result, we continually form images of what it means to be a family, and try to maintain that image of family in our lives. Early on in the film we learn Michael Oher has essentially no family and we see his communication skills are weak and the way he interacts with others is less than normal. His lack of family and his lack of communication skills go hand in hand. Michael never learned healthy communication from his biological family. When Michael was a child he did not have parents to help shape the way he communicated. After the Tuohy family brings Michael into their home he starts seeing the characteristics of their family’s communication and starts learning a way of communication that will have lifelong effects on him. As Michael becomes close to the Touhy’s son, S. J., he learns the value of being a big brother. The communication skills he gains through their relationship are skills he carries with him through making friendships with his classmates at Briarcrest Christian Academy. As Michael becomes part of the Tuohy family it is clear his communication skills grow. He is more comfortable talking with others. His ability to develop relationships become much easier for him. Through his new family he becomes a happier person and becomes more comfortable with who he is.
August 24, 2019 0 Comments