Whatever goes into the record books is the fuel to controversy. And Dan Brown’s bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, does not shy away from making critics jump from their seats, expressing their dismissive reactions towards the book.
The 2003 release, which was ranked as #1 New York Times bestseller, has awakened idle skeptics round the world. As a result, the internet is being flooded with semi professional critics posting their comments in a juicy make up in the form of You Tube videos, forums smashed with rotten tomatoes and using disrespectful, yet critical, choice of words. Surely, there is no definite answer to the verifiability of the novel, nor there is any valid proof that it’s all a well fabricated work of pure fiction.
Apart from the obvious wrath that Catholic Church, and its believers worldwide, was plunged into, there is a more subtle form of faith that the novel expresses. Despite the satisfying twists and mind racing suspense that entwines both crime fiction and historical conspiracy, the second most selling work of fiction (after the Diary of Anne Frank) shows a more implicitly profound view of the lost Holy Grail.
In the closing pages of the novel, Robert Langdon talks with Marie Chauvel, the grandmother of the cryptologist Sophie Neveu’s character in the novel, who says: “For some, the Grail is a chalice that will bring them everlasting life. For others, it is the quest for lost documents and secret history. And for most, I suspect the Holy Grail is only a grand idea… a glorious unattainable treasure that somehow, even is today’s world of chaos, inspires us.”
The characters of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, along with the series of breathtaking suspenseful ripples that led to the Grail, can easily be dismissed as something that has been plucked out of thin air – yet, it isn’t impossible. Although the novel, which many people call as “Dan Brown’s attempt to bring down the Church”, has been claimed to have misguided its readers, it endorses a deeper interpretation to the Grail.
The Holy Grail, atleast what Dan Brown believes, isn’t only a sarcophagus and documents of what he claims can prove Jesus Christ’s bloodline, but a source of motivation that people hunt for in their lives everyday. The search for Holy Grail, as the author puts it, is a reason to believe that most of our quests, which we reject as unattainable, are not. The mystery behind the Grail is an example whose search can bring people closer to their desires.
Dan Brown might have purposefully included a pulse racing and clever chain of events, which he has managed to do in all his other novels, but he has sophisticatedly given the story an inspirational touch.
The hunt for the Grail for some people has lasted throughout their lives, as opposed to the one-day quest that Dan Brown presented his readers with. As unacceptable as this contradiction sounds, it has triggered critical responses. The topic that lay relatively dormant has now gained activity, and the quest has started again. The perpetual mystery has been fodder for the works for several scholars and researchers.