Important Quotations

1. "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate" (Fact). This flat statement gives The Da Vinci Code more power and influence than most works of fiction.

2. "If I die, the truth will be lost forever," and "I must pass on the secret" (Prologue). Jacques Saunière thinks this as he is dying. The truth and secret referred to is the secret meaning of the Holy Grail.

3. Collet shows Langdon a picture of Saunière dead, in an odd position, and says, "Monsieur Saunière did that to himself," meaning that Saunière positioned himself in a meaningful fashion—one that would send a message—even as he was dying (Chapter 1).

4. Langdon is driven to the Louvre to meet Captain Bezu Fache, nicknamed le Taureau (the Bull). As Langdon waits for Fache, he thinks, "I'm trapped in a Salvador Dali painting," because the situation seems so symbolic and surreal (Chapter 3). It also indicates Langdon's tendency to interpret the physical world through art.

5. Fache takes Langdon to Saunière's body, making him crawl under a steel grate to access it. Langdon thinks, "The barricade looked like a guillotine waiting to crush intruders," but it is actually a symbolic barrier, marking Langdon's passage into a new, mythic realm (Chapter 4).

6. Fache shows Langdon Saunière's body, and they discuss the symbols around it, which include a pentacle drawn on his body. At one point Langdon thinks, "So much for the goddess of love and beauty," summing up the ways that the symbols of the feminine have been demonized (Chapter 6).

7. Langdon is shown the message which Saunière wrote while dying:

O, Draconian devil!
Oh, lame saint!" (Chapter 8)

Langdon recognizes the circle Saunière drew around his body and the posture in which Sauniere's body is arranged as matching that of Da Vinci's The Vitruvian Man He begins to decipher Saunière's code in those terms, giving the first extended suggestions that Da Vinci and others view the Catholic Church's influence negatively (because "Draconian" means very harsh, after the Greek politician Draco, and because the term "lame saint" suggests the church is not as "fit" as it thinks).

8. When Langdon calls the number that Sophie tells him belongs to the U.S. Embassy, he hears Sophie's voice: "'Mr. Langdon,' the message began in a fearful whisper, 'Do not react to this message. Just listen calmly. You are in danger right now. Follow my directions very closely'" (Chapter 9). From this point on, Sophie guides Langdon out of danger and into a Grail quest. Also, reading his message symbolically, Sophie might be considered Langdon's "embassy" from this point on: his sacred ground to protect.

9. At the crime scene in the Louvre, Sophie puts numbers in order from smallest to largest (1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21), and calls the new order a Fibonacci sequence. This is "a progression in which each term is equal to the sum of the two preceding terms" (Chapter 11). For example, 1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5, and so on.

10. Sophie meets Langdon in the restroom, where she tells him that he is being tracked with a surveillance bug and that Fache thinks Langdon killed Saunière, largely because there was a fourth line in the message Saunière wrote: "P.S. Find Robert Langdon" (Chapter 12).

11. Sophie recalls her painful memories of her grandfather and their shared past. She mentally replays her grandfather's final phone message left that afternoon, including the haunting line, "'Please, I must tell you the truth about your family'" (Chapter 16). Sophie replays this line repeatedly, treating it like the puzzle to her family, and her identity: does it refer to her lineage, how her parents died, or to her grandfather's secret actions? In the end, it is all of these.

12. "'PHI's ubiquity in nature … clearly exceeds coincidence, and so the ancients assumed the number PHI must have been preordained by the Creator of the universe. Early scientists heralded one-point-six-one-eight as the Divine Proportion'" (Chapter 20). Here Langdon displays his knowledge of ancient wisdom, a scholarship that allows him to see the meaning coded into the entire world.

13. Langdon remembers lecturing on the anatomical proportions of figures in art. This gives him the clue to the code. The letters in "O, Draconian devil! / Oh, lame saint!" are an anagram of Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa (Chapter 20).

14. "'Princess,' he smiled. 'Life is filled with secrets. You can't learn them all at once'" (Chapter 21). As she is thinking about her first encounter with the Mona Lisa, Sophie remembers this statement which her grandfather made at the time. The line shows the affection between the two of them, uses her nickname, and, most importantly, indicates that Saunière is aware of the need for one's understanding to grow at the proper pace, an understanding which guides the entire novel.

15. Langdon and Sophie read the message on the Mona Lisa: "So Dark the Con of Man," which Langdon interprets as meaning early Christians devaluing the feminine a "con" or deception—a belief of the Priory of Sion that perpetuates their goddess worship. (Chapter 28).

16. "What kind of God would want a body punished this way?" (Chapter 29). Sister Sandrine thinks this when she sees Silas's bloody body. This thought sums up the reactions of the good characters when they encounter violence: they are sickened and do not see the world this way.

17. In the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Silas breaks the stones open, finding a reference to the Bible verse Job 38:11, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further," which is meant to signify the fact that this is a dead end: a false keystone (Chapter 29).

18. Once she and Langdon are past Grouard, Sophie explains that "so dark the con of man" is another anagram, this one for "Madonna of the Rocks," the Da Vinci painting that Sophie is holding hostage (Chapter 30).

19. "I WAS THERE. DON'T TRY TO FIND ME." This is the note Sophie leaves to sever contact with her grandfather after she accidentally sees him engaged in a sexual...

(The entire section is 2598 words.)