Social Class

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Michael and Leann came from polar opposite worlds, but it never stopped them from becoming a family.

Social class is another aspect that does not matter when it comes to making a family. There can be two people from two totally different lifestyles and they could mold together an inseparable bond. That is exactly what happens in The Blind Side. Michael Oher and the Tuohy family came from polar-opposite towns. Michael came from a low-income area moving around town every night just to find somewhere to sleep at night. The Tuohy family, on the other hand, lived in a very wealthy neighborhood and made good money. Despite their social status, they both ended up coming together to create one of the most known families in America.

Michael Oher originally grew up in a run down, low-income neighborhood. The area that he lived in was known for its drug problem and crime rate. Michael did not have a guaranteed meal or a place to sleep every day. In the film, he would walk around and scavenge for food. He lived a very poor and tough life. The Tuohy’s on the other hand came from a very quiet neighborhood. Leann and Sean were very successful people and they lived in a very nice house. Michael and the Tuohy’s come from totally different social statuses, but that did not come in the way of them forming together. In fact, it made both of them much better people.

Michael being poor can be the reason on how he met with his new family. According to George F. Will of The Times Leader, “Oher’s childhood of grinding deprivation might have put him on a path to riches.” also (Will). The Tuohy family first saw him at Collins’ volleyball game, where he was eating people’s left over popcorn that was left on the ground in the stands. By the facial expression of Leann, we can tell that she felt bad for the kid. After the game, they ended up picking Michael up and taking him back to their house so that he had a place to sleep. When that happened though, there was an expression that was on Mike’s face when the family let him in. It was the first time that he has ever slept in a safe place in his life. Then, the day after, he left the house and went back on the streets. Once Leann found out that he was gone, she went and found him. From that moment, Michael would live life in a different way than he was used to.

Before Michael was taken into the household of the Tuohy’s, he had a whole different definition of family. It can even be said that he was not even in a family. If he had any sort of definition for a family, he would have probably said that a family is something that cannot be reliable. He would say that because his biological family was never in the picture. His old family lacked the love, affection, and nurturing that is needed to have a healthy family. Because Michael did not have a healthy family, he also had some social issues. He was barely able to read or write. In the film, the only thing that he knew how to spell was his name. Michael also very shy; He used to go out of the way so that he did not have to conversate with people. According to journalist Charles B. Nam “The family is generally regarded as a major social institution and a locus of much of a person’s social activity.” (Nam).  It almost seemed like he was scared. Those problems all go back to the family he lacked when he was homeless.

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Leann gives Michael a prep talk before one of his practices.

The Tuohy’s had a much better family than the Oher’s. The Tuohy’s are a high-class family that always seemed separated a little bit. In the film, S.J. was always playing his video games and Collins was always going out with her friends. To add onto that, Leann and Sean were always working. Their family was much better than Michael’s though. The parents supported their kids and they always tried to make it to every sporting/school event that the kids had. When Michael came into the family, everything changed for the better for both sides. Because he came from a bad and poor family, Michael appreciated every little thing that the Tuohy’s did for him. That would then make the Tuohy’s a better family. They would soon find ways to spend a lot of more time together. If Michael was wealthy and came from a better background, there is no way that the family would have gotten as close as they did. If he came from a healthier background, he would not appreciate everything as much and that would also effect that Tuohy’s. They would see that he is not as appreciative and it would not make them much more appreciative of what they have.