The biggest impression that Lowry gives us of the community in this excellent dystopian novel is that of a group of people who are unable or extremely unwilling to change their lives and the rigid set of laws that, to them, appear to be necessary in order for them to survive. Consider how this is presented through the following somewhat humorous example about what age children should ride bikes:
There was talk about changing the rule and giving the bicycles at an earlier age. A committee was studying the idea. When something went to a committee to study, the people always joked about it. They said the committee members would become Elders by the time the rule change was made.
Even for something as unimportant as changing the age that a child can ride a bike is shown to be a matter that cannot be changed easily. Although this is something the people joke about, it reveals a significant characteristic of the people and the way in which they live lives that are based around tradition and stasis.