In the last prt of "The Scarlet Letter", I see that
Hester is a woman of great pride and little feeling. She did not love her husband, as from her words in the chapter "The Interview" and she didn't express much affection or feeling for Dimmesdale, asie from her outbursts of how not to treat her. Her inaction of telling Dimmesdale of their foiled plot could be manifested as unfeeling or uncaring towards him. Bu what if Dimmesdale already knows when Chillingworth approaches? What if him knowing there is no escape is the reason for him ripping his shirt open? Besides revealing to all, uncovering the lie, foiling Chillingworth's assault on them, could it have been the last moment of his retaking his place as a Godly man after the 7 years of lying and hiding?
On a different note, I wonder if the gold chain is a hard, cold manifestation of the dryad-ish gesture Pearl made of herself in the woods? Could it be the opposite of when she adorns herself with the flora of the forest?