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

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CHAPTERS 26 - 30


Langdon thinks about how the Mona Lisa is intentionally androgynous and how her name is an anagram for the divine union of the male and female. Sophie waves a black light around the room, trying to discover what message her grandfather might have left for her there. At first all she finds is blood, but then she notices that he grandfather has written six words across the glass that protects the Mona Lisa.

Fache asks Collet if anyone actually saw Sophie leave the museum. They realize she must still be inside. Fache sends half of his men to guard the Louvre and the other half to guard the U.S. Embassy.

The words scrawled across the front of the Mona Lisa read “SO DARK THE CON OF MAN.” Langdon thinks about how this statement is fitting considering how the Church has conned man for so long. Langdon’s thoughts are interrupted by the security guard, who forces him to the ground at gunpoint.

Silas breaks up the ground surrounding the Rose Line and finds a stone tablet. The tablet, which he believes is the keystone, has a simple message inscribed upon it: “Job 38:11.” Sister Sandrine watches the entire scene, terrified. She opens a sealed envelope she was given years ago and finds four phone numbers. Below, Silas finds a Bible. The passage marked on the tablet simply states: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.”

The security warden attempts to radio for back up, but only gets static as a reply. Sophie appears from the corner of the room. She introduces herself and tells the warden that she is an agent. She also tells him that Robert did not kill Saunière. The warden vaguely recognizes her name as that of Saunière’s granddaughter. The guard continues to radio for backup with no success.

Sophie examines a painting directly across from the Mona Lisa. When Sophie realizes that the extra surveillance wiring in the room containing the Mona Lisa has made it impossible for the guard to transmit with his radio, she picks up a priceless painting and threatens to put her knee through it. Sophie tells the guard to put down his gun and radio and place his hands above his head. As Langdon and Sophie race out of the museum, she tells him that her grandfather’s last message was also an anagram for another Da Vinci painting--the Madonna of the Rocks, the painting Sophie had been inspecting.


Sophie’s last name, “Neveu,” means “nephew” in French. These chapters help clarify why Brown may have chosen this name for Sophie. In her encounter with the security guard, Sophie is tough and clever. She controls the situation, deciphers Saunière’s instructions, and saves the day. Meanwhile Langdon, the “man,” is virtually helpless.

This is not the last time that Sophie will save Langdon by doing something that is typically construed as masculine. “Nephew” is an exclusively male word and relates to lineage. In this case, Sophie is inheriting an important secret from her grandfather, and not directly as in father to son. Moreover, she is a somewhat androgynous character. While she is beautiful and feminine in appearance, her field of work is filled with men and she is able to dominate others.

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