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Free Study Guide for The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: BookNotes

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Langdon and Fache arrive at the crime scene. Langdon learns that Saunière died very slowly and was thus able to arrange the peculiar scene. Saunière is naked on the floor, with his arms and legs extended. With his own blood, Saunière drew a pentacle on his stomach. Langdon explains that the pentacle is symbolic in pagan religions, which Fache misconstrues as devil worship. Langdon corrects Fache by explaining that the pentacle is actually a pre-Christian representation of the sacred feminine. Langdon says that Saunière is mimicking the pentacle with his own body in an effort to stress the presence of the symbol. Fache expresses curiosity about why Saunière would use his own blood to draw the pentacle. Fache then turns out the lights, and shows that Saunière had a black-light pen and used it to write a message on the floor. It becomes apparent that Fache is recording his encounter with Langdon when we read that Collet is watching the meeting unfold from another room.

Sister Sandrine, who is in charge of Saint-Sulpice, was awoken by the churchís abbey in the middle of the night. The abbey asked if she could show the church to the numerary of an influential American bishop immediately. Although Sister Sandrine does not approve of Opus Dei, she agrees to show the man around. Sister Sandrine is struck with apprehension, which she perceives as womenís intuition.

We learn that the message written next to Saunièreís body reads ď13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5/ O, Draconian devil! Oh, lame saint!Ē Langdon does not understand the messageís meaning. Fache tells him that cryptographers are working on it. When Fache highlights the circle Saunière has drawn around himself, it becomes clear to Langdon that Saunière was mimicking Da Vinciís painting, The Vitruvian Man. The replication of this painting also clarifies why Saunière is naked.

Langdon tells Fache that Saunière shared many beliefs with Da Vinci, including his disappointment with the Church. Fache says that he believes that Saunière created this scene to tell authorities who killed him. Langdon agues that Facheís theory makes no sense because Saunière invited his attacker into his office, which presumes Saunière knew his attacker. Langdon contends that if these messages were meant to tell who the attacker was, Saunière would simply have written the personís name. As Collet watches Langdon and Fache, he thinks about how good Fache is at his job. He notes that even though Fache is keeping Langdon on a tight leash, Langdon remains cool.

Despite Facheís orders not to be disturbed, a cryptographer named Sophie Neveu arrives on the scene. Fache is furious that she has been allowed to disrupt his meeting. Sophie tells Fache that she has deciphered the numeric code, but first she has an urgent message for Langdon. She tells Langdon that he must contact the U.S. Embassy and gives him the code he will need to retrieve his message. Fache gives Langdon his cell phone to use. Langdon is surprised to hear Sophieís voice on the machine that picks up. When Langdon punches in the code, he receives a message that Sophie has recorded for him. The message tells him that he is in danger and that he must follow her directions.

On the way to Saint-Sulpice, Silas thinks about his past. He does not remember the name his parents gave him, but he does recall his fatherís violence. One night Silasís father was beating his mother. Silasís mother was so hurt that she did not get up when the beating was through. Silas stabbed his father with a knife and fled. Silas became a drifter and survived by stealing.

While attempting to steal a case of ham from a ship Silas was stopped by two sailors who smelled of beer and reminded him of his father. Silas broke one sailorís neck and almost killed the second, but was stopped by police. Silas was sent to prison. Many years later, an earthquake destroyed the prison and Silas escaped. After wandering, Silas finally collapsed in hunger and exhaustion. Silas was saved by Manuel Aringarosa, a missionary from Madrid. The priest gave him a Bible to read and taught him about religion.


In these chapters, some ideas which are important to the themes of the novel emerge. One of the ideas is that of womenís intuition. Sister Sandrine feels that Silas comes to the church to do harm based on her intuition. Similarly, Sophie believes that Langdon is innocent based on her intuition. These feelings are not based on any facts; instead they are presented as a sort of sixth sense specific to women.

We also encounter the idea of discrimination against women. Fache sees Sophie as a distraction for the real, male cryptographers. Another example is Sister Sandrineís subordinate position in the church, where she must take orders against her better judgment. Interestingly, Sister Sandrine is trusted with an important job by the brotherhood. Sister Sandrineís importance within the brotherhood and her subservience within the Church illustrate a major contention of the novel: the Church has usurped the power of the sacred feminine in order to secure the authority of the patriarchy.

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