Sunday, August 31, 2008

Quote Analysis

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

Since then, he’d suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces – elevators, subways, squash courts. The elevator is a perfectly safe machine, Langdon continually told himself, never believing it. It’s a tiny metal box hanging in an enclosed shaft! Holding his breath, he stepped into to the lift, feeling the familiar tingle of adrenaline as the doors slid shut” (43-44).

Robert Langdon, a Harvard Professor, said this when he was entering an elevator at the Louvre Art Gallery in Paris, after being summoned by the captain of the French police force, Bezu Fache. Jacques Sauniere, an important French figure, was murdered earlier that evening in the Louvre, and arranged his body in a very bizarre way, Langdon thought he was summoned as a witness, but in fact he was a suspect. This quote is somewhat ironic, because it implies that Langdon is a cowardly man who doesn’t take risks, but throughout the entirety of the novel he is constantly taking risks; he is running from the police, etc. This just goes to reveal that Langdon is cowardly when it comes to matters that he feels he has no control over. He can’t control the motion of the elevator shaft, but he can control his own actions, that is why he wasn’t cowardly when he ran away from the police numerous times. He decided to run away, he could stop running if he wanted to, he had complete control over himself. But with matters such as in the quote above, he was cowardly. Even when Langdon was at gunpoint, he was less cowardly than when it came to the elevator shaft, because Langdon possessed the power to knock the gun out of the holder’s hand. As I mentioned before, Langdon was a risk taker, but only with matters in which he had control over, “...He felt the familiar twinge of adrenaline”. The theme introduced is the absurdity of life; people seem to fear the things that are the least fearful. Robert Langdon, a well known man, who takes numerous risks throughout the novel, is scared of an elevator shaft. That makes Langdon sound ridiculous and absurd. He should fear for his life, or a prison sentence, not an elevator shaft. Also, a man Langdon was supposed to meet up with was brutally murdered, and all he could seem to think about, was the elevator shaft. This novel is about overcoming your fears for your sake, and for others, because sometimes your fears not only affect yourself, but they affect others as well. Langdon’s phobia of elevators seems harmless, but what if he had to ride an elevator in order to save someone’s life? To do something with fear is better than not doing it and regretting it for the rest of your life.
Samar Al Ansari
Grade 10.3
June, 12,’04

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