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She is made a living example sin. Puritans loved humiliating people.
Although she was not condemned to death, Hester is used as a symbol for the community of the "wages of sin" since she not only has to wear the letter (which is way too decorative for the smug Puritans), but she will always be reminded of her punishment because of Pearl, the child, who will not always be with her.
Thank you, for this one that was what I was thinking.
"She is made a living example sin. Puritans loved humiliating people."
But I thought that sounded too casual and too easy an answer to be right. I figured she was just used as an example for what NOT to do.