The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 93

Summary: Silas requests and is granted lodging at London’s Opus Dei Centre. No sooner has he arrived, however, than the police call searching for him.
Analysis: This chapter offers a rare glimpse of Silas’ sympathy for others: “He wondered… about Teabing, whom Rémy had left bound in the back of the limousine. The Briton certainly had to be feeling the pain by now” (p. 411). Readers may well wonder how Silas might have acted differently, not only during the course of the novel but over the course of his life, had this connection to the pain of others been cultivated, rather than dulled by Silas’ self-inflicted physical and emotional pain, a pain which led him to destructive rather than constructive ends. Despite this twinge of sympathy for Teabing, Silas—like the rest of the antagonists in the novel—remains fundamentally concerned only for himself: “He was ready to leave behind the sins of the last twenty-four hours and purge his soul. His work was done” (p. 411). In Silas’ spirituality, only the state of his own soul, his own guilt, his own conscience matters. His faith is a far cry from what the New Testament terms “pure and undefiled religion”: “to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27, KJV). Silas, the afflicted fatherless monk, strives to keep himself “unspotted,” but his concern for his own welfare seems unmatched by any lasting concern for the welfare of others. (Doubtless another reason actual Opus Dei members protested his character at the novel’s publication!)