Some of the most beautiful things that humans are capable of making are bridges. Bridges connect us with others of our kind mentally and physically and showcase the need for humans to contact each other and connect. Dimmesdale as a human needs bridges, but is having a very hard time building them. Dimmesdale cannot connect to anyone. He keeps his flock at bay through his sermons and alienates Hester and Pearl by not claiming them in public. He even lacks a bridge to his own soul and desires. The significance of the incidents that Dimmesdale goes through in terms of the plot and character development respectively is that they are part of the rising action and the show that Dimmesdale is becoming even more confused.
The encounters Dimmesdale has on his way through the town are important because they are basically the end of the rising action. They help to show that Dimmesdale is no longer sure of how to communicate with others. Dimmesdale can no longer think of acceptable ways to express his feelings. He feels that the only bridge into normality is his ministry. As a minister, Dimmesdale is supposed to help people and show them how to live. It’s ironic then that all he wants to do is hurt and disturb the people he meets. It’s also ironic that he can’t live his own life happily. He feels that he cannot lead people to do God’s will, when he has sinned. The only reason he still tries is because he is scared to confess his sin, and he hopes that God will still forgive him. When he finally decides to confess once and for all it shows that Dimmesdale is now a dynamic character as opposed to static character he had been the entire book. Dimmesdale has been falling deeper and deeper into depression and has now hit rock bottom; therefore, the climax must be near.
As for character development, each of the people that Dimmesdale encounters represents a part of himself that he is also rebelling...