Study Guide

The Danish Girl Chapter 18

By David Ebershoff

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Chapter 18

  • Greta meets with Professor Bolk again, and he insists he can help Einar by rearranging his internal organs.
  • Bolk was a surgeon during the war, see, and dude knows his way around an abdomen. Some believe he saved over five hundred lives.
  • But Greta still hasn't told Einar about it. Why, Greta? Why?
  • The first reason is because she still has paintings on exhibit in Paris; the second is that Carlisle, her brother, wants to stay in Paris through Christmas.
  • However, Carlisle tells Greta he's been taking Einar to see doctors, and that they're considering this fancy-shmancy lobotomy thing.
  • "Are you losing your mind?" Greta asks? Okay, she doesn't take advantage of the opportunity for a lobotomy joke, but still, she thinks it's a bad idea.
  • She tells Carlisle about Bolk's plans to physically change Einar, and he thinks it's risky and impossible.
  • Which brings us to Greta's third reason for not telling Einar about it: Her first husband, Teddy, died because he wouldn't go see a doctor. She's always regretted not forcing him to do it.
  • Now she's afraid that Einar will die, too, but she doesn't know what would be worse: forcing him to see a doctor or not doing it. She can't decide.

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