Study Guide

The Danish Girl Chapter 27

By David Ebershoff

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Chapter 27

  • Henrik proposes marriage to Lili before he leaves for the United States.
  • She is thrilled, but she is afraid that she is being dishonest with him, so she tells him she had surgery to make herself into a woman.
  • And Henrik is like, remember, I don't care? I told you that years ago, babe.
  • So she accepts his proposal.
  • However, there's one last operation she wants first.
  • She tells Henrik she will have the operation in Dresden, then meet Henrik in New York.
  • And finally, Lili tells Greta.
  • She tells her that not only is she in love, but she's having surgery, moving to New York, and getting married.
  • That's a whole barrage of info bombs, but Greta takes all the news well.
  • In fact, she is excited because she will pretty much now get to do the same thing, minus the surgery.
  • Heck, they might even see each other again in New York.
  • But—and this is a big but—Greta doesn't want Lili to have the surgery.
  • Here's what the surgery is: Bolk wants to transplant a uterus into Lili so she might be able to have kids.
  • "Nobody can make a man pregnant" (27.70), says Greta.
  • Lili reminds Greta that they thought it was impossible for a man to become a woman, but that worked out fine; then she asks Greta to come with her to Dresden.
  • But Greta refuses: "You'll have to go to Dresden alone" (27.86), she says.
  • Carlisle agrees to accompany Lili instead.
  • Before they part, Greta offers Lili Einar's paintings.
  • But she doesn't want them. She feels like "everything around her belonged to someone else" (27.127), and she wants to leave her past behind. Literally.

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