Study Guide

The Danish Girl Chapter 29

By David Ebershoff

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Chapter 29

  • Bad news: the final surgery did not go well.
  • Lili has been in extreme pain and bleeding for six weeks.
  • In fact, most of the time she's unconscious, put under by morphine.
  • Carlisle tries to reach Greta, but she never responds; her phone is disconnected. Finally he learns via telegram that she returned to California.
  • Lili gets a surprise visitor: Anna the opera singer.
  • Occasionally she hears Anna, Carlisle, and Dr. Bolk talking, but she is too medicated to understand what they're saying.
  • They say "the infection should have cleared up by now" (29.27). This is grim, guys.
  • Carlisle and Anna put Lili in a wheelchair and take her for a walk even though she isn't supposed to leave the clinic.
  • Could they be breaking the rules because this is the last chance Lili has to go outside before dying?
  • They take Lili to her favorite place in Dresden, the Brühlsche Terrace, where she can watch the Elbe River.
  • Kids are playing with kites across the river.
  • Lili, in her haze, thinks of how amazing her journey has been: She was once Einar Wegener; now she's Lili Elbe.
  • She is happy to be Lili, but she is scared to go wherever she is going alone.
  • She watches a kite across the river. The kite string snaps, and the kite swoops "like a ghost" (29.72) toward her, the dying girl in the wheelchair.
  • The end.

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