The dictations of the Bible. Whenever anyone

Da Vinci Code is a
thrilling and enticing novel that was written by Dan Brown in 2003. The main
plot of the novel revolves around efforts to discover the truth about the Holy
Grail as well as its location, and the story also features a wide array of
interesting and well developed characters. 
Two characters in particular that are notable and will be the focus of
this analysis are Manuel Aringarosa and Jerome Collet, who are a bishop and a
respected policeman .  Both of these
characters play key roles in the story, and through these characters, Dan Brown
also communicates key themes and ideas as well. 
Specifically, Brown uses these characters of Manuel Aringarosa and
Jerome Collet to illustrate the idea that people are not always what they seem
to be and to encourage people to search for the real truth instead of just
relying on appearances that are frequently misleading and false.  This analysis explores these characters in
detail, and as a result of this research, the fact is apparent that both Manuel
and Jerome have key similarities such as their strict adherence to their
personal values and beliefs, but they also have significant differences as well
such as Manuel’s high degree of selfishness that contrasts with Jerome’s
extreme selflessness.

Manuel Aringarosa is the Bishop of Opus Dei,
and he is a deeply religious man.  He
along with all the other Opus Dei followers believes that the church should retrace
its steps and adhere to the strict dictations of the Bible. Whenever anyone
challenged his faith, the conservative Bishop would reply that together with
his followers, they had opted to “follow Catholic doctrine as rigorously as we
can in our own daily lives” (Brown 32), which illustrates the fact that Bishop
Aringarosa and other Opus Dei followers believe in a strict interpretation and
application of religious ideals as well as extreme adherence to the church’s
doctrines.  Thus, with respect to
appearances, on the outside Bishop Aringarosa seems to be a very devout,
religious, and conservative individual. 

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This aforementioned appearance, however, is
deceiving because in the story it is also revealed that Bishop Aringarosa
chooses to turn a blind eye to numerous evil occurrences and events in the Opus
Dei organization. For instance, Brown notes that a few months prior to the story’s
beginning, a group of students from the church who were schooling in a mid-west
university had been using mescaline to drug new
recruits so that they could experience a
drug induced euphoria, which would then be
identified as a religious experience (Brown 32). Additionally, Robert
Hanssen – an FBI spy – was prosecuted for being a sexual deviant, a matter that
was highly publicized (Brown 32).  In
light of these revelations that illicit drugs were being used to recruit new members
and prominent Opus Dei members were sexual deviants and predators, it is clear
that the appearances of the organization and Bishop Aringarosa were misleading
and inaccurate. As the novel progresses and the depth of Bishop Aringarosa’s
criminal activities and evil doings are revealed, these ideas that appearances
are misleading and that he is in a fact an immoral and vile man become all the

Jerome Collet, on the other hand, is a
lieutenant in the Direction Centrale Police Judiciare. An honest and kind man,
he is also Captain Bezu Fache’s deputy and is the one who initiates the
investigations against Langdon – one of the main suspects in the murder of Sauniere.
Although his boss did not think that Collet would do an effective job and that
it would be unlikely that he would solve the murders, Brown still depicts Lieutenant
Collet as a hard-working person who
intends to make sure that the culprits are known. In addition, Lieutenant Collet strives to make sure that he
impresses Captain Fache after the completion of the investigations, which
demonstrates his high degree of responsibility and his strong sense of
duty.  The fact that Collet also wanted
to make sure his investigation was a success in order to redeem Captain Fache’s
reputation also reaffirms this idea that Collet is very loyal and responsible
and that he has a strong sense of duty, which are all very positive
characteristics (Brown 76). 

His professionalism and effectiveness as an investigator
are also demonstrated by his innovative use of police tactics and
strategies.  For instance, Collet inserts
a GPS tracker in Langdon’s pocket to make
sure that he can stealthily monitor Langdon’s movements.  Aside from this high degree of
professionalism and effectiveness, Lieutenant Collet is also extremely
selfless.  This claim that Collet has a
high degree of selflessness is illustrated by the fact that ultimately Lieutenant
Collet gives credit to Captain Fache on television after apprehending Leigh
Teabing, hence, saving the captain from being embarrassed once more. Additionally,
Lieutenant Collet admits that their investigation on Langdon was a ploy to try
and identify the real murderers, which was another effort on Collet’s part to
help his captain.  As these actions
illustrate, Collet is a man with a high degree of both convictions and
selflessness, which is a marked departure from the evil, power hungry, and
corrupt Bishop Aringarosa.

As these discussions illustrate, one of the
key lessons that can be learned from the comparison of these two characters is
that individuals are not always what they seem to be or rather, their titles
may not be a real illustration of themselves, hence, resulting in a case of
reality versus appearance. As demonstrated by the comparison of Bishop
Aringarosa and Lieutenant Collet, people might have a lot of esteem for some
key figures in the community but the truth of the matter is that these individuals
like Bishop Aringarosa are actually playing prominent roles in the disintegration
of society and associated morals.  Specifically,
Bishop Aringarosa should be one of the individuals who is obligated to make sure that societal morals are upheld and that all individuals follow the Bible. Despite this appearance and even
though he claimed that he ensured that his followers strictly adhered to
specific religious doctrines, it is evident that some evils were still being
committed under his watch. For instance, the previously mentioned FBI spy agent
– Robert Hanssen – was a prominent member of the Opus Dei and yet he was charged for being a sexual deviant since he
had installed cameras in his room so that his confederates could watch him
whenever he had sex. Thus, such occurrences demonstrate the evils that might
actually be taking place in the church despite the fact that it is an
institution that is mandated to guide and help people.  Unfortunately, Bishop Aringarosa and many of
the other Opus Dei followers were clearly not following this mandate of helping
and serving others, and instead, they sought to satisfy their own desires.

As this analysis has demonstrated the Bishop
and Jerome are very similar since both men are steadfast in their values– the
Bishop in the church and Jerome in justice. They are also different, however,
because the Bishop is selfish in his pursuit of the church resorting back to
its old ways while Jerome is selfless in the pursuit of innocence. This
situation is somewhat ironic in that a religious leader who had claimed that he
always strived to abide by the religious
doctrines would be involved in such scandalous and evil behaviors. On the other
hand, Brown demonstrates Lieutenant Collet is a responsible, loyal, and industrious
individual who exercises due diligence in his work.  Additionally, he has high degrees of
selflessness, so he serves as an ideal contrast to the Bishop, and taken as a
whole, the two characters effectively communicate the key message that
appearances can be deceiving.