Yes, great dog beasts patrol the border of your great city, there is a fence around your garden, and a chain around your character's neck. The chain weighs them down, the fence keeps them in, the dogs drags them back to the king if they try to escape. It is critical to show this to your readers.
But also remember to show:
The dog-beasts risk their lives every day, facing down the great wolf-beasts that would devour the protagonist's people. Yes, the dog-beasts do slay the wolves in battle but their mere presence keeps the wolves away from the citizens. With the dog-beasts there the wolves can live in peace outside of the city, and the citizens can live at peace within. The city has never found a better way to allow the protagonist's people to live in peace with the nature outside its boundaries.
The fence around the garden keeps the protagonist in, and keeps the snakes out.
The copper chain around the protagonist's neck is heavy, but it keeps the arthritic pain caused by the cold north wind at bay.
A story that is about a civilization almost must be about some change. Cities fall and fences are uprooted. As an author it is critical for you to remember that:
1) Every boundary was put there for a logical reason. No matter how oppressive you make a restriction of your culture have an underlying logic for it, one that benefits the civilization in some way.
2)There will always be some negative consequences to removing the barriers of civilization. ALWAYS. If you need proof of this read any in depth history. Specifically go read the history of Russia in the 20th century.
In short, do the cost/benefit analysis for every fence you tear down and every chain you break and don't be afraid to show the cost.