The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 86

Summary: Silas and Rémy attempt to carry out the mission given them by the Teacher, to recover the keystone. Langdon, however, threatens to destroy the keystone unless the monk and the manservant let Sophie and Teabing leave unharmed. Rémy threatens to shoot Teabing unless Langdon hands over the cryptex. He tells Langdon and the others that he knows they are not even searching for the Grail in the correct place; the Teacher has assured him that he does know the correct location. Convinced that Rémy will make good on his threat, Langdon reluctantly gives the keystone to Silas. Rémy and Silas leave, taking Teabing with them.

Analysis: This chapter gives readers insight into Rémy’s motivations for finding the Grail. He is motivated not by a quest for truth (as are Langdon and Sophie), nor by fervent religiosity (as is Silas), nor by a quest for personal power (as in Aringarosa), but by a quest for personal pleasure: “Soon he would be free—another unrecognizable, beautiful face soaking up the sun on the beach” (p. 388). Rémy thus serves as a human face for yet another powerful human motivator. In some ways, then, his function is ironic, because throughout this chapter he recalls how he was concerned, while plotting with the Teacher, about showing his face: he had planned only “to assist Silas from the shadows,” and even planned to have plastic surgery once the plan was completed (p. 388). Biblically minded readers may be reminded of Jesus’ words regarding those who do evil: “people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). One by one, then, the novel is exposing all motivations except a desire for truth and wholeness as flawed.