Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The world of Dan Brown

With the completion of the Lost Symbol, I knew it was time for me to do justice to the debate about Dan Brown and his worthiness as a good writer, by posting this article. Particularly for the novel, I would comment the ending wasn’t good, and he couldn’t do justice to the hopes of the reader, which had been raised by him only. Nevertheless, he succeeded yet again in the field where he has been a maestro- gifting the reader with yet another perspective of history, arts, famous buildings and simply of day-to-day things around us. In his language, it is described as moving into illumination.

About his writings in general, one facet which I have fallen in love with is: his world. His characters- their desires, interests, philosophies and personality- are uncharacteristic of the common people in this world, and provides me a vision for my alternate world. To begun with, the protagonist- Robert Langdon. He is a Harvard Professor in Symbology, respected worldwide for his knowledge in the field, and not without reason. His love for symbols extends beyond classroom. Even in the alarming situations including matters of life and death, he can always spare a thought to his knowledge on history and symbols, and passing the information to the people nearby. Even more interesting, the listener- usually a high official from some organization like CIA- doesn’t ask him to shut up (like people do with normal geeks), but becomes an avid listener and rather uses the beautiful alternate perspective of Langdon, to solve the matter at hand in achieving the mission. This leads to an even more interesting character- the villain or the bad guy. Unlike all conventional tales, where he turns defect for more power and money, the motivation here for him is entirely different (which maybe called strange).

The obsession of the bad guy is to gain higher wisdom, and often deals with secrets of brotherhoods- whether or not to spill it. This observation of unconventional aims- like earning more money, luxuries and leading a secure, peaceful life- can be extended to all prominent characters in his novel. Rather their aims always are centered around knowledge- the quest for it, and deciding on the time to confer it to the common man. This common man comprises of the less prominent characters in the novel, who work at orders for a secure life watching football glumly and thus lead a life, whose decisions are made by others. They have been often described as ‘unworthy of getting the knowledge because if bestowed into the wrong hands it can bring destruction’. Their seniors- powerful guys- have decided to get over those worldly desires and work towards realizing the beauty of things around and hidden knowledge in them. These characters end up with positions of power, good money and fame. A good example would be Katherine Solomon, who was described by Dan Brown as ‘She hadn’t married. Her first love had been science, and ever since her young years she had decided to work towards it, after beginning to appreciate its beauty’. Through some characters, Dan Brown expresses the need for investing ourselves more towards science, a rational thinking consisting both faith and scientific belief. He also easily makes a person, a fan of architecture with fine details and makes amazing revelations about their structures.

Overall, Dan Brown may not be an excellent author with respect to the literature and mystery, but for his research, love for science and academics and bringing out the small and beautiful things in world, I would maintain Dan Brown is one of the best authors.

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