Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code begins with the death of the Louvre curator, murdered by a man in search of key to the location of the Holy Grail. When the curator's body is found in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, the police call for a professor named Robert Langdon. In describing Langdon, the narrator states, "As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden interconnectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events" (15). However, Langdon is not present to analyze the codes, but because the curator wrote on the museum floor to "find Robert Langdon" in his dying moments.
Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer, appears at the murder scene as well, and she secretly tells Langdon that he is a suspect. She explains that she is the granddaughter of the curator, and she knows that her grandfather meant for Langdon to decipher the code, not that he was the murderer. The two escape the police with the discovery that the keystone is in a safety deposit box. There they find a hand-held vault, locked by a combination and equipped with a vial of vinegar which will dissolve the message if the container is forced open.
Langdon and Neveu visit Langdon's friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, an expert in the Holy Grail. Teabing tells them the legend of the Holy Grail, and his belief that it is the tomb of Jesus Christ's wife rather than a cup. The three of them flee the country in Teabing's plane, in which they discover the combination to open the vault. Inside is another, along with a riddle which leads the group to Westminster Abbey. There, the identity of the man for which the curator's murderer works, the Teacher, is revealed. At gunpoint, Langdon destroys the contents of the vault in front of the Teacher, after secretly removing the message. The police arrive and the Teacher is arrested, and Sophie and Langdon are free to follow the final clues to the guardians of the Holy Grail.

At his home, Teabing tells Sophie and Langdon what he believes the Holy Grail to be, a twist to the common belief. Teabing explains the possibility in saying, "History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books- books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe" (256).
Do you agree with this statement?
How does that change what we should believe?


Mia G. 1-2 said...

1. yes. to quote couch, "history is an argument" and "history is what we choose to remember, how we remember it"

2. maybe. maybe not. just recognize that there are two sides to every story:)

Lisa T. 1-2 said...

Mia, I totally thought of Mr. Couch too! It made me think of the whole discussion about the glory that our textbooks try to paste over the Native American genocide, just because the Europeans won. So in the same sense, people wrote over the possibility that Christ was married, because that would be against what they wanted everyone to believe about him.

Kaitlyn K 7-8 said...

1) I do agree with this. Not to copy Mia but Mr. Couch does always say that history is an argument and it depends on who is telling the specific story.
2) It does change things because one should believe what they think is correct. They need to look at both sides of a story and decide which one they think has the most truth behind it.

Natesa W. 7-8 said...

1. Yes, I agree with this statement. Why would the history books go into detail about the groups that no longer exist? I'm sure there are many groups of people throughout the history of the world that we don't even know about, because they were destroyed by other cultures.

Josie D 7/8 said...

1. I agree with the statement. As a winner, no one would write that they were only in it for the money. It would be much more appealing to write that the winnners won because they 'had God on their side' or whatever claim they would make. I agree with Mia, this is just like what Mr. Couch says about history. It's an arguement, and the victors choose what we do and do not know.
2. This changes our view on history becuase we only know what the winners choose to tell us. Therefore, people should keep that in mind when they are reading a historical text.

Millie W. 7/8 said...

1}I agree with Josie, it puts people in a good nationalistic mood when they believe they can do no wrong. It also appeases people's consciences when they thing their doing the best thing. Just look at the indians and the Americas. They don't write that this was their land and we brutally slautered them for it. No, they write that they were trying to convert tribal ruffians to the good lord.
"History is a argument." (Mr. Couch)