Discussion Guide: The Danish Girl

1. What is the true nature of the marriage depicted in The Danish Girl? Is the novel, at heart, a love story?

2. Who do you think must cope with the most change?

3. Would Lili have become herself without Greta's help? Why does Einar initially agree to try on Anna's dress? Would Greta have done the same for Einar?

4. What role does the city of Copenhagen play in influencing the lives of its characters?

5. Greta loves the people in her life in different ways. Are there any similarities between her love for Teddy and her love for Einar?  And her love for Lili?

6. When Henrik says to Lili “I already know. Don't worry about anything but I already know” (p. 60), what does he mean? Why does Lili tell Henrik she can't see him anymore?

7. What is happening to Einar when visiting Mme. Jasmin-Carton's and dances for the man? How does this influence Lili?

8. Why doesn't Lili pack Einar's paintings to take with her to New York? What do the paintings symbolize for Lili?

9. Why doesn't Lili tell Greta about remeeting Henrik?

10. Should Greta have done more to stop Lili's last operation? Why or why not?

11. How much does the last operation mean to Lili, in terms of becoming a woman? Should she have risked it?

12. Of the people Lili feels are responsible for her life—Henrik, Anna, Carlisle, Hans, Greta—why doesn't she include Einar?