The Blind Side


Michael Lewis

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Themes and Colors
Generosity Theme Icon
Left Tackle, Protection, and Shifting Strategy Theme Icon
Football Industry and Culture Theme Icon
Racism and Outsiderness Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Blind Side, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


At the heart of Michael Lewis’s book The Blind Side is a question: why would two rich parents, Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Tuohy, with two biological children of their own, adopt an impoverished inner-city teenager, Michael Oher, and lavish love and attention on him? Throughout the book, characters propose various cynical answers to this question: they suggest that the Tuohys are exploiting Michael for his football talents, or that they’re motivated by…

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Left Tackle, Protection, and Shifting Strategy

In addition to telling the story of the life of Michael Oher, The Blind Side studies the history of professional football since the 1970s—an era during which many coaches and managers began to rethink the way the game was played. The book shows how Michael Oher’s spectacular success as a left tackle reflects some major changes in football strategy in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, which resulted in a much stronger emphasis on passing…

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Football Industry and Culture

In addition to studying the life of Michael Oher and the recent history of football strategy, The Blind Side paints a picture of the football industry and football culture in the early 2000s. In Memphis, Tennessee—and, we’re led to believe, throughout the country—football is more than just a sport: it’s a billion-dollar industry and a huge part of millions of people’s lives, with its own unique culture and values. In particular, the book studies the…

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Racism and Outsiderness

Throughout The Blind Side, Michael Oher is an outsider. Thanks to the persistence of a father figure, Big Tony, Michael becomes one of the only black students at Briarcrest Christian Academy. He’s also the biggest kid at Briarcrest by far, and he comes from an impoverished inner-city family. At school, he’s extremely shy and lonely, partly because he isn’t sure how to make friends with his wealthy white classmates, and partly because he…

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