Throughout life, one struggles between individualism and conformity. As a child, one is instructed to be different. Parents and teachers train impressionable children to think their own ideas and speak their minds. They are applauded for thinking outside the box and reaching new and imaginative conclusions that do not agree with their neighbors. Copying off of a peer or building on another's ideas is looked down upon and the thought of individual work is celebrated and rewarded. They are taught to be better than the next kid and not to follow the crowd. .
As the child matures and grows up in society, however, individualism is not always rewarded. In most workplaces, people are forced to work in groups to accomplish their goals. Our President has to work with his cabinet. In corporations, teams of workers produce an idea. Doctors and lawyers work in groups and share the workload, often relying on the opinions of their peers to complete their work. Manual laborers, such as construction workers, also work in teams to complete their jobs. Even writers have editors to revise their work and offer opinions. .
So, where do we draw the line? How does one know whether to be an individualist or a conformist? Unfortunately, the way our society is structured in order to survive one needs to be employed. .
That work involves collaborating with other people, joining ideas and producing a product that is better than anything else on the market. Many people working on an idea produces something better than what only one person can produce. Thus proving that in order to succeed in life, one has to, at least to some extent, conform to the majority. .
The bound man discovered this concept in his story by Isle Aichinger. For the majority of the story, the bound man was in ropes that set him apart from the rest of society, and the rest of the circus. He was an individualist. This didn't go over well with the rest of the circus.