The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 44

Summary: Rearranging Saunière’s scrawled numbers into the proper Fibonacci sequence, Sophie successfully accesses her grandfather’s safe deposit box. She discovers within it an ornate wooden box. At first, she and Langdon wonder if the box may contain the Holy Grail itself—but the sound of sloshing liquid inside convinces them that it holds something else instead.

Analysis: This chapter allows Sophie another moment to shine, as she realizes that the ten digits Saunière left behind are indeed the bank account number, but only when put back into order as a proper Fibonacci sequence: “Easy to remember, and yet seemingly random” (p. 205). The chapter displays a classic instance of misdirection, in which readers, along with the characters, are initially led to believe that Saunière’s box contains the Cup of Christ: “It’s a perfect size… to hold… a chalice” (p. 207). Brown keeps the action and the interest moving ahead, however, by including the detail of the sound of sloshing liquid. Another significant detail, given the previously established emphasis on the symbolic nature of roses, is that the box bears a five-petal rose—“a Priory symbol for the Grail” (p. 207)—and is constructed of polished Rosewood—“[h]er grandfather’s favorite” type (p. 207).