The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 24

Summary: At Saint-Sulpice, Silas investigates the base of the obelisk that stands at the end of the Rose Line. He hears a hollow space beneath, and is certain the fabled keystone of the Brotherhood lies beneath the floor. In the church’s balcony, Sister Sandrine continues to observe Silas. She grasps the true significance of Silas’ arrival: it is the Brotherood’s “silent call of distress.”

Analysis: This brief chapter reinforces the cleverness of the Brotherhood (even though that group’s identity is not yet clear for Brown’s readers). Even though Silas feels assured of victory because all four of his victims directed him to this site as the keystone’s resting place, he falsely assumes that the hollow space beneath the obelisk confirms that story (which we readers already know to be a lie). Silas’ conclusion, “His victims had spoken the truth,” is therefore a sharp example of irony (p. 124). What his “victims” have actually done is use Silas: by directing him to Saint-Sulpice, they have transformed his actions into “a silent call of distress” that Sister Sandrine, and those for whom she works, can recognize (p. 125).