Why is it forbidden to lock doors or turn off speakers in the story?

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Jonas's community is highly structured, organized, and founded on the principles of Sameness. In his society, individuality does not exist and conformity is mandatory. Citizens also lack privacy and live under constant supervision. The Committee of Elders governs Jonas's community and makes nearly every significant decision in each citizen's life. The committee controls the birth rate, matches spouses, forms family units, and even determines each citizen's occupation. Given the structured, restrictive nature of Jonas's community, citizens have no personal freedoms, which explains why it is forbidden to lock doors or turn the Speaker off.

When a person locks a door, they gain privacy and have an opportunity to exercise their individuality and personal freedoms, which are oppressed in Jonas's society. The Committee of Elders believes that individuality threatens to undermine their uniform community, and therefore attempts to ensure stability by creating rules against locking doors and turning off the Speaker. The Speaker also serves as an integral tool to help organize and oppress the population. Announcements and instructions are issued via the Speaker and the citizens are required to obey the notifications and commands. Given the restrictive nature of Jonas's community and the fear of individuality, the Committee of Elders prohibits citizens from being in a completely private environment or turning off the Speaker.

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