In the attempt to create a society based on Sameness, controls were placed upon most aspects of life within the community.
Family units were carefully controlled. A man and a woman had to obtain approval from the Committee of Elders before they were allowed to have a separate living quarters assignment, and they had no control over the family they created. "Two children – one male, one female – to each family unit. It was written very clearly in the rules."
Raising of children was controlled. As a group of children became older, new expectations and rules were introduced into their lives, and new privileges were extended. The clothing worn by very young children was designed to force them to learn cooperation, as they needed to help each other fasten buttons on the back of their jackets.
The children all received their bicycles at Nine; they were not allowed to ride bicycles before then. But almost always, the older brothers and sisters had secretly taught the younger ones. Jonas had been thinking already about teaching Lily.
Lifetime work activities were controlled, based on the assignments handed out in the Ceremony of Twelve each year. Citizens of the community did as they were told, when they were told - breaks from the routine came in the form of announcements at the beginning of sporadic days that a holiday had been declared for that day.
Many more aspects of the society were controlled, supposedly for the benefit of all by allowing everyone and everything to be the same.