The Da Vinci Code
Becca Saunders | Thursday, January 15, 2004
For many people, the name Leonardo da Vinci brings thoughts exclusively of art and of the masterpieces that he created. After reading Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code,” it is impossible to connect Leonardo da Vinci with only these conventional associations. Brown brings the mystery that engulfs the life of Leonardo Da Vinci to light in “The Da Vinci Code.” In his second novel surrounding the character Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor with an expertise in symbols, especially those belonging to female goddesses throughout history, Brown continues to develop the engaging character of Langdon. The novel itself is set in Paris initially, but throughout the novel the setting drifts from all over France to London, Rome, and even America. As a conspiracy thriller, “The Da Vinci Code” glows. With new twists and turns developing with each turn of the page, Brown truly does make this book hard to put down. The novel begins with Robert Langdon being called in by the French equivalent of the FBI in regards to the murder of the curator of the Louvre. The curator did not pass on without leaving a series of clues regarding a secret society of which he was a member, called the Priory of Sion. The Priory of Sion developed to keep a secret that would supposedly change much thought in the world. The villain is an extremely conservative Catholic sect called Opus Dei who, in the book, is attempting to find the secret that the Priory of Sion is hiding. Both groups are real organizations, although Brown’s portrayal of them and of the Vatican is thought to be a bit scandalous, to say the least. The novel focuses largely on the nature of the female goddess and the sanctity that was once associated with females as well as males. The ancient world was focused on balance, and, as such, maintained a greater realization of the necessary equality of males and females. The novel challenges the male-dominated Christian religion as guilty of forcing out the sanctity of the female in the religion. Leonardo da Vinci is said to be of this school of thought, and, as such, the conspiracy ensues. The actual historical reliability of the novel is certainly questionable, but the writing is convincing. Overall, the novel is continually jumping between interesting and developed characters. “The Da Vinci Code” has been a bestseller for months now, and the reason for its popularity is clear. The content of the novel forces the reader to think, even if he or she adamantly disagrees with Brown’s accusations toward the organizations. On the whole, “The Da Vinci Code” is an excellently written book full of unpredictable turns and surprises. The subject matter is unquestionably controversial, but in being so the novel provokes legitimate thought from the reader. Dan Brown has written a tremendous novel that is enjoyable on many levels for nearly anyone. The secret is out; “The Da Vinci Code” really is as good as everyone claims it is.