The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 97

Summary: At Westminster Abbey, Langdon and Sophie visit the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton—a tomb the Teacher has already been surveying for the past ten minutes. The Teacher takes note of the massive orb, decorated with astronomical symbols, that adorns Newton’s tomb, and feels frustration at his failure to decipher Saunière’s reference to a missing one. He is startled to see that Sophie and Langdon have arrived so quickly, and devises a plan to lure them to a more private area of the Abbey.

Analysis: Brown prolongs the suspense regarding the Teacher’s identity even more in this chapter. He takes takes readers inside the Teacher’s mind without giving any definitive hints as to who the Teacher is. Nor is that the only instance of irony in this chapter. Langdon, for example, is disappointed that the Abbey is so empty on this rainy April morning: “He had hoped for a lot more people. A more public place” (p. 426). In contrast, the Teacher wants “somewhere private” to get the password to the cryptex from Langdon (p. 430). Another prime irony, of course, is the fact that Brown’s description of Newton’s tomb is quite accurate: it is in fact dominated by an elaborate orb, “carved in basso-relievo and depict[ing] all kinds of heavenly bodies” (p. 428)—and yet Saunière’s message directs its readers to consider the tomb’s “missing orb.”