Novel Summary Sheet ~Quartering the Text ~
Your name: Hanna Schmidt Quarter # 2
Novel Name: The Da Vinci Code
Author’s last name: Brown
1. Skeletal plot (Point form only- keep this short but insightful)
- Silas kills a nun in a church who he believed would give away his cause
- Sophie Neveu and Robert Langdon figure out the next of the clues (finding a key behind a painting) and almost get caught by a security guard
– They escape the Louvre and head to a Swiss bank to try and solve the rest of the mystery
– Bishop Aringarosa signs a mysterious document
– Langdon and Neveu successfully go to the bank they are directed to, solve the clues, take out the cryptex, and escape in an armoured truck- barely missing the police on the way out
- Langdon and Neveu run to Robert's friend; Sir Leigh Teabing, for help and guidance
§ Conflict or “tension” eg person vs person, or (internal) person vs self; Is this important to the novel’s theme or purpose? Circle one and explain:
Yes or No
The tension in the novel is definitely important to the novel's theme, because the tension creates a dark atmosphere in the story. There is tension between Sophie and Robert because Sophie won't tell him about a traumatic part of her past, which may help them solve the mystery. There is also tension between Robert and Sophie, and the police, as they are searching for the two, and Robert and Sophie are avoiding them. Lastly there is tension between Sophie and herself, as she wants to tell Langdon about her past, but she can't bring herself to relive those memories. Because of all this tension between characters, the story is very foreboding, and you feel like no matter what nothing good could happen.
2. Setting (When & where does various parts of your novel take place-how are these places important to the character or the theme of your work?):
The novel takes place in France still, the second quarter starts off at the Louvre, then we travel to a church, then to the Swiss bank, and lastly Leigh Teabing's house. Silas is also seen using 'the discipline'in a branch of the brotherhood, and Bishop Aringarosa is seen in a castle, and at an airport. These places are important to the novel and it's characters and themes because they are not just our average backdrops to a story, in a story the places where the characters are sometimes aren't important to the plot. Not so in the Da Vinci Code- in this novel all these locations are important places for character development, and to gain further insight into the theme. For example, in the church Silas is looking for the grail, and as well kills a nun, both of these show a lot about his character and the theme because we learn that Silas can kill without feeling bad, and that no matter where (a 'place of god' or in the street) killings can happen, which further shows us the theme (Oh the horror).
3. Characters (Know your character types and why this is important to your novel! (Eg. Are they round/flat-why?/static/dynamic-why?) How many characters do you meet in this quarter or do you find more about their personalities? #?
We meet 3 new characters in this quarter- Leigh Teabing, his manservant Remy, and the President of the Depository Branch: Andre Vernet. Leigh Teabing and his Mansercant are definitely round and dynamic characters because we find out a lot about their personalities, and they go through a major change (to our eyes) in the novel. Andre Vernet is a flat character because we don't find out much about him, just that he is a president of a bank, and takes his job seriously, after this he disappears from the story.
These character types are important to the novel because having dynamic characters adds to the story and gives the novel more dimension. It essentially makes it more interesting to read. As well, having characters we don't know a lot about is important too because it adds to the suspense- is this person important to the novel? We don't know what they will do because we don't know about their personality.
4. Point Of View~ Circle one!: 1st person 3rd person/limited omniscient or omniscient
Why do you think the writer chose this point of view to develop plot character or themes?
The novel is written from the omniscient point of view, I think the author chose this point of view because we are able to learn so much more about each characters thoughts. So we know what thoughts are behind the actions, we know why characters did certain things. It also adds to the theme because we might be hearing a characters thought process, but we don't know who this person is! Which adds suspense, creating a foreboding atmosphere. It also helps to develop plot because a lot of the characters thoughts are the plot, for example through Sophie's thoughts we learn about her traumatic past, and her grandfather, which gives us more insight to the rest of the story therefore developing plot and characters.
5. Notables on writer’s style and structure!
§ Are there similes or metaphors? Record a quote:
“The legend uses the chalice as a metaphor for something far more important” (Page 238)
This quote hints at the metaphor that essentially makes up the entire novel; The Holy Grail, the chalice, which essentially is a metaphor for a woman.
§ Visual or other imagery? Record a quote:
“A prim and elegant butler stood before them, making final adjustments on the white tie and tuxedo he had apparently just donned. He looked to be about fifty, with refined features and an austere expression that left little doubt he was unamused by their presence here.” (Page 226)
This is a great example of Dan Brown’s use of imagery, through this description we get a clear image of the butler. It adds to the story because thorough these descriptions we feel we know exactly who these characters are.
§ Is there unusual vocabulary or diction? Record a quote:
“All of whom corroborated the stunning nature of the Holy Grail”
Langdon uses quite unusual vocabulary throughout the novel including words like Turgid and Macabre. Here Langdon is describing how many historians have worked towards discovering the Holy Grail.
§ Is the novel structured with a particular idea? Record a quote or explain
“The grail story is everywhere, but it is hidden.”
The novel is structured around the though that The Holy Grail is lost but needs to be found, and that no matter where you look there are references to the Grail, even if you thought it couldn't be possible.
§ Is there dialogue & is it realistic? Record a quote:
“The Holy Grail is a person?” Langdon nodded. “A woman, in fact.” (Page 237)
This quote comes from when Langdon and Teabing are telling Sophie the real story of the Holy Grail.
6. Themes: Record words and topics related to themes contained and developed in your novel:
· “Sang Real literally meant Royal Blood”
· “I will not leave this house without the keystone, he vowed. I will not fail the bishop and the Teacher.”
· “the Holy Grail is not a thing. It is, in fact... a person”
· Sangreal, Holy Grail
· Symbols, Codes
7. Personal Response to this quarter: what you thought or felt, related to, did not relate to; how universal is the experience that your protagonist goes through?
I really enjoyed this quarter, a lot of exciting things happened, such as Sophie and Robert escaping, and Silas killing and innocent nun only to find that he killed all these people and now has no way to find the keystone! I found myself holding my breath for most of this quarter because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next! It was really well written, but I feel that a lot of what Dan Brown writes is very far fetched, it would probably never happen. As well it can sometimes be very gruesome, for example; Silas using ‘the discipline’ and killing innocent people. Overall I didn’t relate to very much in this novel, mostly because, again, it is very far fetched. But I felt that Dan Brown’s wonderful writing style helps to make the experience of the characters more normal. Although they are going on these crazy adventures, he writes the story as if they are normal people, which makes the experience more universal.