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Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary
devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Many of the secrets that lie below the surface of the
narrative are concealed from would-be interpreters only by language.
Saunière leaves anagrams for Sophie to decipher. Langdon and Teabing
use the Hebrew alphabet to figure out a clue. Sophie helps Langdon
and Teabing use a mirror to read the backward writing that Da Vinci favored.
In The Da Vinci Code, language reminds us that
secrets exist everywhere and sometimes need just a little interpretation.
Brown uses descriptions of works of fine art to prove
that art can tell stories that history tends to obscure. These works
of art include Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Madonna
of the Rocks, and Mona Lisa, which hide
symbols of goddess worship and the story of the Magdalene; the Church
of Saint-Sulpice, which still contains an obelisk, a sign of pagan
worship; and tarot cards, which hide themes of pagan mythology.
These art objects are constantly viewed by people who see them without
seeing their hidden meanings.
Sexist men in The Da Vinci Code are used
as a counterpoint to the religions that celebrates the divine feminine.
Fache’s inability to accept women in the workplace is one instance
of this bias. Another exists in Opus Dei’s female devotees, who
are not allowed to be in proximity to men and must do their cleaning
and other dirty work for no pay. When Teabing reveals himself as
the creator of the plot and scorns Sophie as unworthy of possessing
the secret of the Grail, his sexism is a sign of his fundamental
sourness. In The Da Vinci Code, sexist characters
are always suspect.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Da Vinci Code!