I-information� specific information from the book
E- explanation� this shows that.. at the end of each paragraph
For this essay you will use examples from The Da Vinci Code and possibly from your research to back up your argument. Assume that your audience has read the book, but might not agree with your opinions. Don�t spend too much time summarizing� every time you do summarize you should say what it shows or means and why it is important. You can also look closely at the implications and connotations of quotes to support your arguments. Remember PIE paragraphing: information from the book is only the “I” – not the whole paragraph!
Essay Topic Choices
1. Choose Robert Langdon or Sophie Neveu; write about how this character changes from the beginning to the end of the novel and what factors contributed to this change. Compare and contrast the character at the beginning and end of the novel. Your thesis should include both
how and why the character�s personality or outlook has changed (not just their situation or surroundings).
2. Compare/contrast two characters or two groups of characters and explain what important insight or lesson about real life illustrated by your comparison. What do we learn from comparing them? What do their similarities and differences show? What is Brown trying to show by making them so similar and/or different? You might want to select Langdon and Sophie, or Teabing and Langdon, but any pair of characters or group of characters could be chosen – as long as you have some argument that you can support.
3. Analyze the actions and motivations of one of the antagonists (The Teacher, Silas, Bishop, Fache, etc.). Discuss whether there is any validity to their interests or causes, and what we can learn or observe from this. Focus on one character, coming to some conclusion about how we should view the character based on your arguments and the evidence. You may also examines the villains as a whole, deriving an insight or lesson from how they are presented.
4. Dan Brown said, �I am fascinated by the gray area between right and wrong, good and evil. Every novel I have written explores this gray area.� What does he mean by this? How do you think this applies to the Da Vinci Code? What lesson can we learn from this? How does it apply to real life? What is he showing or teaching us through use of this grey area? It could be in relation to characters, religion, or anything else you see. You can apply this concept narrowly or broadly: your choice.
5. Write an essay on how accurate the arguments presented in the Da Vinci Code are. Some scholars claim that most of the claims Dan Brown has made are misleading or even downright false. Others believe that he has finally brought the truth to the mainstream of society. Do some research on the two viewpoints, as well as the historical evidence, then argue one side or the other.
� Minimum 4-6 typed pages plus Works Cited Page
� MLA formatting and citations; MLA Works Cited page
� Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font; 1 inch margins, left aligned text
� CLEARLY STATED THESIS
� Well developed paragraphs with specific details and evidence (which are cited!) that are organized to clearly back up your thesis, with one important idea per paragraph
� Explanation of how the information in each paragraph relates to your thesis.
� Remember: avoid over-summarizing! Use summary only as a tool to help prove your point.
Student Paper Example
In addition to Bishop Aringarosa, Silas, the albino monk who acts as Bishop Aringarosa’s long- time assistant, also does not act upon evil motives. After coming out of an abusive and extremely difficult childhood (Brown 55), Silas experiences a calling to serve God (57) and dedicates himself to serving Bishop Aringarosa and thus the Church and God. There is obviously no ill in following and practicing one’s faith. And again, as with Bishop Aringarosa, Silas may harbor views of Catholicism that are more conservative than the book’s mainstream, but how a person chooses to practice his faith is fundamentally accepted to be one’s own choice. So, like Aringarosa, Silas’ actions are free from evil intent.
But unlike Aringarosa’s repentant innocence, Silas demonstrates a more impulsive and recognizably evil personality. At the end of the book, while Aringarosa expresses his regret to Silas, Silas promises to �find the one who deceived us, and… kill him� (418). This, in addition other atrocities that Silas commits, such as the impulsive murder of a nun in the Saint-Sulpice (136), shows that while Silas acts upon the same motivation as Bishop Aringarosa, he is fully aware of the evil in the Teacher’s plan, as Aringarosa is not (461). Unlike Aringarosa, Silas is willing to accept the obvious crime of murder as a price of doing business in the name of his God.
Unlike his Bishop, Silas does not cringe at the prospect of murder, and does not hesitate to carry it out. Silas delights in the prospect of fighting the foes he believes to be threatening his Church and God (31). His actions against what he perceives as enemies, do more than anything to show us this gray area. The perception of threat is different for everyone of us: there is no universal enemy. To some, the murders committed by Silas are senseless acts of violence, while to others they were purely defensive actions to protect what he believed in. But on both sides of the debate, it must be accepted that murder is most defiantly wrong- even in the most dire of circumstances, murder is a wholly unnatural action. This paradox of values is what truly throws Silas into the gray area.
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