My assignment is: What does The Scarlet Letter say about the time in which it was written-1850 and how does it show this?
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During the mid-1800's many religious communities were founded in the United States; this would be comparable to the Puritan society of the Scarlet Letter. The Mormon community was founded at this time, as was Brook Farm (a Transcendentalist experiment in communal living), and the Utopian community in Harmony, Indiana which was formed by Robert Owen.
Each of these communities would have lived by finely designed and well thought out community expectations and rules. Like the Puritans, they would have had stringent punishments for those flouting the rules as the community used them to function and keep order.