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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTERS 71 - 75
Langdon, Teabing and Sophie turn their attention to the script on the wooden box. Langdon and Teabing cannot place the language and believe it must be ancient. Sophie asks to see the box, and must persuade Teabing to give her a chance to look at it. Sophie immediately identifies the language. It is English, written in reverse. The script is a clue to the password needed to open the cryptex. They learn they need an ancient word of wisdom, which must be converted with the Atbash cipher.
Fache bullies the airfield traffic controller into telling him where Teabing’s jet is headed. Fache contacts the Kent local police. When Langdon and Sophie are alone, he decides to tell her why he thinks Saunière contacted him. He asks Sophie if she witnessed her grandfather participate in a sex rite, causing her to end their relationship. Sophie explains what she witnessed in intricate detail. Langdon tells her this rite is called Hieros Gamos and it is ancient spiritual act. He describes how the Church perceived man’s ability to communicate with God through sexual union as a threat to its power and thus demonized it.
Aringarosa has received an update from Fache and must change the course of his flight. Aringarosa bribes the pilot by giving him his ring.
Teabing displays a character flaw in this section, which further illustrates how women are frequently treated as inferiors. Teabing is reluctant to share the box with Sophie because he believes she cannot decipher the language used by Saunière. Teabing’s behavior is misogynistic; however, it is also condescending because he does not think Sophie, who is not as educated as he and Langdon, can possibly understand this language. Yet Sophie shows that sometimes common sense is more useful. She is able to decipher the script because she realizes it is merely English written backwards.
When Fache bullies the air traffic controller he shows how power is potentially corrupting because it can be used to break the rules. Teabing will use his power, which he has because he is rich, to do the same thing.