Thebook “Da Vinci Code” authored by Dan Brown was first published in2003. The book narrates the story of one professor of symbology asthe protagonist, Robert Langdon, who gets trapped in a murderinvestigation while visiting Paris. The murdered man leaves a trailof clues that including Langdon’s name that have police suspect himof the murder. Langdon must decipher the clues left behind to unearththe location of the much sought after Holy Grail and identify thetrue killers with the help of Sophie Neveu, a grandchild to themurdered man. Throughout the narration, conflict resolution isdominant and the author also employs several literary devices asdiscussed next.
Science/knowledgeand religion are portrayed to be in conflict. The Church, representedby Bishop Aringarosa, is characterized by ignorance and denial of thetruth. The Bishop argues that the church should not be involved inscientific enquiry and specifically investigating whether Jesus hadany descendants. Through science Langdon is eager to show that Jesushad descendants while the church cannot accommodate such an idea.Langdon even suggests keeping the findings of his investigationsecret allow the church to enjoy the blissfulness of ignorance. TheParis police are also in constant conflict with Langdon who they viewas a key suspect in the murder of museum curator Jacques Saunière byan Opus Dei monk named Silas.
Symbolismas a literary device in employed in several occasions. Red hair as isdescribed in Sophie symbolizes beauty and purity. Langdon describedSophie’s hair as “Burgundy” (Garlow and Jones 23). The same redhair is witnessed in the image of Mary Magdalene in the Last Supper.The same red hair is observed by Langdon in Ariel of Disney’s “Thelittle Mermaid.” Towards the end, Sophie is revealed to be from alineage of Mary Magdalene who despite being depicted as impure by theChurch was pure. Cell phones are also used to symbolize modernity andtheir role in keeping and deciphering secrets. Cell phones are usedto dig information and even Teabing uses cell phone to impersonateother people.
Theauthor uses anagrams to create puzzles and play with words in severaloccasions in the book. In writing the clues, Jacques Saunière,changes the name “Leonardo Da Vinci” to a unique phrase “O,Draconian devil!” The same is applied in the rearranging theletters of “The Mona Lisa” to “Oh, lame saint!” and the“Madonna of the Rocks” is changed into “So dark the con ofMan.” The literary device not only adds humor to the narration andallows the author to exercise his creativity but also allows theauthor to add layers of meanings to what would ordinarily pass asmeaningless words. However, this is only possible where the newlyformed words or phrases make meaning as opposed o being just a messof letters. In the case of Leonardo Da Vinci’s name, the coinedname “O, Draconian devil!” adds mystery to the character of DaVinci as a historical figure (Brown 43).
Theauthor uses red herring as a literary device to create mystery anddevelop readers’ interest. From the very begging, Bishop Aringarosais portrayed in a manner likely to suggest or have readers believe heis the mind behind all the church conspiracy. However, in the end,the Bishop is revealed to be innocent. Interestingly, his name,Aringarosa is an Italian word for ‘red herring’ (Definitionof Red Herring 2014).
DanBrown successfully manages to create suspense and mystery in the bookand keep the readers interested through a maze of false leads anddead ends to decipher a puzzle. I find the book interesting and theuse of literary devices very advanced. However, the use of the name“Aringarosa” is so telling of his intentions and rather shallowafter learning its meaning on revising for this assignment.
Brown,Dan. . New York: Transworld Publishers Limited. 2003.Print.
Definitionof Red Herring. Literary devices. 11thSept 2014. 2014. Web. http://literarydevices.net/red-herring/
Garlow,James and Jones, Peter Cracking Da Vinci Code. New York: David C.Cook. 2004.