But the first the general public learned about the discovery was the news of the destruction of Hiroshima by the atom bomb. A splendid achievement of science and technology had turned malign. Science became identified with death and destruction.
The effort to remold, in one's own life, the culture one has grown into is heavy with danger. The searcher is likely to be treated as a criminal or a madman, condemned and criticized by his own society, ridiculed, even persecuted. Even if he is more fortunate--even if he is simply ignored by others--he must begin his struggle as a cripple. For to consciously reject the generalized attitudes' of the parent society is to reject positive reference points that have helped him evaluate his actions and accomplishments.This is the price of freedom on the peripheries. We are able to free ourselves from our parent culture only by destroying parts of ourselves, much as an animal might escape the hunter's trap by gnawing off its own leg. But unlike the wounded animal, the detached person is doubly crippled; however he mutilates himself, he will never quite be free of the trap but will carry it with him in his new freedom.