Decoding the 'Secret Feminine'

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 75
  • Published : January 8, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
‘What really matters is what you believe.’

Decoding ‘the secret feminine’ in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Myths and symbols are very important in the development of a narrative. The authors use symbols to provide mysticism and to make the readers be interested in the development of the plot and to let the public decode the narrative style: “the world [is] a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events. The connections may be invisible… but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface” [1]

One of the contemporary novels that shocked the public eye through its symbols and the way of presenting fiction is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. The novel is a complex of symbols from the beginning to its end that are connected to life, human existence, the universe etc. – it is a collage of cyclic events. The one who succeeds decoding these symbols might understand his own life existence.

The following seminar paper is meant to decode some of these symbols relating to a general but a personal interpretation as well and to outline the ,,carrier” of the symbols that motivate the existence of life today.

The story opens with the murder of Jacques Sauniere, curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris late at night at the hands of a fanatical albino monk. The novel's hero, Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of religious symbology, is awakened after midnight by a visitor to his hotel room in Paris.

Earlier in the evening he had given a lecture and slide show on pagan symbolism hidden in the stones of Chartres Cathedral. The visitor is from the Judicial Police (the French equivalent of the FBI). He informs Langdon of the murder of Sauniere, and says that his name was in Sauniere's day planner. Langdon is wanted for questioning. Before escorting him to the murder scene at the Louvre, the visitor shows Langdon a photo of the body.

Before he died. Sauniere stripped and lay down on the floor in the position of a male figure in a famous anatomical drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Vitruvian Man. He also drew a pentagram on his stomach in his own blood, and left a bizarre message written in a black light marker near his body:

13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5

O Draconian devil!

Oh, lame saint!

This, it turns out, is all an elaborate coded message Sauniere had left for Langdon. However, since Sauniere had originally intended to meet Langdon earlier in the evening, Captain Bezu Fache of the Judicial Police has all but concluded that Langdon is the murderer.

At the Louvre, Fache is irritated by the arrival of the beautiful cryptographer from the Judicial Police, Sophie Nevue. By an elaborate ruse she secretly communicates to Langdon that he is the murder suspect and is in danger. She then proceeds to unravel part of Suaniere's mysterious message. The numbers, when sequenced from low to high, are a Fibonacci series:

scrambled: 13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5, unscrambled: 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21.[2]

Langdon figures out that the rest of the coded message is an anagram: O Draconian devil! (Leonardo Da Vinci); Oh, lame saint (The Mona Lisa).

This leads to the fact that everything is in a well defined sequence that can’t be destroyed, just outlived in very many different ways: life, death, happiness, revenge etc.

The Fibonacci sequence describes a natural growth pattern common to all life, as seen in the structure of a nautilus shell. Dan Brown features the Fibonacci sequence as one of the many clues left behind by Jacques Sauniere, the Louvre curator. The puzzle is instantly recognized and unscrambled by his cryptologist granddaughter (Sophie Nevue). It's only later discovered that Sauniere's deposit box account number at the Zurich bank is the Fibonacci sequence numbers, arranged in the correct order.

Mona Lisa / Maria Magdalene - symbols of the sacred feminine?

Another clue in the novel is seen in one of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa which Langdon states is...
tracking img