The Scarlet Letter

What does hawthorne mean when he calls the colony a " utopia"?

in the scarlet letter

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I think he is being Ironic. Hawthorne's story unfolds as anything but a utopia. The Puritans had envisioned a utopia of extremely conservative and literal interpretations of the Old Testement. The town was extremely paranoid and hypocritical. It was a very isolating and confined place to live.