Writing Style Of Dan Brown And The Main Themes Prevalent In His Works
“Never fail to see a different view of what we believe is true” (Dan Brown The Da Vinci Code). Dan Brown is an American author who has worked for years to create novels about the mysteries that surround some of the worlds greatest questions. Ranging from supernatural occurrences, to the questions surrounding the secret society of the Illuminati, and the idea of the truth behind Jesus Christ. “His novels have also reached the big screen as he has had three of his works made into award nominated movies” (American Decades 2000-2009). Those movies have made more people move toward his novels. Brown’s Langdon series have intrigued people around the world as he challenges the reader to figure out for themselves what might happen as he foreshadows what is still to come.
The books are linked together, one feeding off of another. Taking into consideration the sensitive topic of one’s religion and cultural differences, he finds a way to satisfy everyone. The novels take place in the modern day, as technology plays a huge role in solving the mysteries and finding answers. One of the most imaginative authors opens up and shares his thoughts on what might have happened to one of the most idolized person to ever live, secrecy behind one of the biggest secret societies, and a twist on a classic early century novel.
Moreover, according to Dan Brown-Biography-Life Story, “Dan Brown, at an early age, grew up with a love for songwriting. Brown was born on June 22, 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire. In his youth, he grew up with his father being a math professor and his mother, a musician specializing in sacred music.” Brown at an early age was exposed to the arts through his parents. Brown throughout his life and still today shows an interest in secret societies. Many of Brown’s books are written about these secret societies. “Brown attended Phillips Exeter Academy, a private school in his hometown, and graduated with a B.A. from Amherst College in 1986 and studied art history at the University of Seville in Spain. Brown, in 1993 returned to New Hampshire and taught English at his alma mater and in 1996, he turned to writing full time” (Dan Brown-Biography-Life Story). Though Dan Brown does not affiliate himself in a certain denomination, he has explored the faith of Christianity throughout his life, researching to incorporate the beliefs in his novels. The topic of Christianity careened him into writing about some of the biggest what ifs.
Notwithstanding, Brown has aimed most of his works to the religion side of American Culture. Two of Brown’s most famous works, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons hit home in the Christianity beliefs, specifically the Catholic Church. In Angels and Demons, the story is based in the Vatican City, the capital for the Catholic Church. As where in The Da Vinci Code, the whole story is based on a cover up on one of the biggest Catholic Church’s beliefs. His works have influenced people to explore the different possibilities of what may have happened 2,000 years ago. To spark even more interest, he uses famous philosophers and thinkers, and incorporates them into his works. For instance, in The Da Vinci Code, he incorporates Sir Isaac Newton, Andrea Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and the well-known artist and inspiration for the book Leonardo Da Vinci.
Nevertheless, Browns well-known novel. The Da Vinci Code, focuses on one of the greatest what ifs. This novel is Brown’s fourth work and the second in the Robert Langdon series. Langdon must crack a series of hints and codes left by Da Vinci to locate the site of the Holy Grail. Though as the reader finds out as the story goes on, the Holy Grail is not what history says it really is. According to Gale Student Resources in Context (2007), the plot “makes use of Brown’s extensive research of art history, ancient secret societies, age-old conspiracy theories and controversial historical studies of the development of Christianity.” Gale Student Resources in Context also stated that The Da Vinci Code “is based on the premise that the Catholic Church intentionally suppressed elements of the ‘feminine sacred’ that were an integral part of early Christianity.”
Dan Brown’s motives go back to his childhood as he has always thought of another way to look at what we know is true today. In a review by Charles Taylor from The New York Times, he describes the novel as “an ingenious mixture of paranoid thriller, art history lesson, chase story, religious symbology lecture and anti-clerical screed.” Annie C Bond also stated from The New York Times, “Brown demonstrates not only knowledge of art, art history, and architecture but also a talent at weaving it all together into such an intricate tapestry that it becomes difficult to determine what is his imagination at work and what is actually a mini-lesson in history.” The research that Brown did to be able to put stories like The Da Vinci Code was second to none, being able to research for years to come up with these novels and their plots that have so much historical and biblical accuracy. Like The Da Vinci Code, Brown also uses religious motives to help create another one of his famous works.
Brown’s first novel in the Langdon series, Angels and Demons also uses the Catholic Church and the ancient secret society, the Illuminati. Langdon is forced to crack a series of codes to save the Vatican City from a deadly threat. Getting in his way is the ancient secret society, the Illuminati. Like The Da Vinci Code, Brown incorporates well-known thinkers and scientist that made an impact on the world be know today as he uses Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus in Angels and Demons.
According to Nancy Pearl, from New York Times, she calls Angels and Demons, one of the best international thrillers of recent years and is both literate and extremely well researched, mixing physics with religion.” Also in a review by Sybil Steinberg from former New York Times, now with Westport Library, Steinberg states,”its premise strain credulity, Brown’s tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last minute.” It is evident that Brown takes into consideration the accuracy of historical and religious events. The stories that Brown tells have evolved into bigger roles in people’s lives.
Brown uses the works of religion to gratify and inspire people to look at their beliefs in a different way. In 2006, Brown’s best-selling The Da Vinci Code was brought to the big screen in a film directed by Ron Howard (2006). The Langdon movie starred Tom Hanks and the two teamed up in 2009 for a screening of Angels and Demons. According to an article from The New York Times, “The Da Vinci Code sold over eight million copies worldwide and spent more than two years on The New York Time best-sellers list with fifty-one weeks in first place”(2003-2005) Another New York Times article stated that, “The movies based on the books were also successful: U.S. ticket sales were $217 million for The Da Vinci Code, and $133 million for Angels and Demons.” The success of these books also boosted success for his earlier books. Browns books have also been translated into many other languages, so people around the world can see the works made by Brown.
Brown has put his ideas into famous works cause the reader to think alternate outcomes of the most idolized person in history and the story of his church, Jesus Christ. One cannot read his works and not think about the possibility of what may have happened 2,000 years ago. A man from a small New England town has made a huge impact on the world, and has turned heads and made people move toward the beliefs of Christianity. Brown still works toward continuing writing and with the skill and dedication he has shown in his previous works, whatever he writes next may have a bigger outcome than his earlier works. He is dedicated to his research and writes about what he believes is important to him. Brown leaves the power to the reader to believe in what he writes about and do further research for themselves to answer a question that will not be answered until the readers time on earth is up. “That is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove” (Dan Brown).
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