Influence of Gerda’s Character in Supporting Einar’s Transition into Lili in The Danish Girl Film

Septi Herlinda, Sholikatus Sa'diyah


This research aims to show how Gerda Wegener, as a supporting character in The Danish Girl film, could significantly contribute to the main character’s transition from Einar Wegener (male) to Lili Elbe (female) through Gerda’s character and personality depicted in the film. This research uses the descriptive qualitative method. The writer uses the theory of the Big Five personality factors, characterization, and altruism to support the analysis. This research shows that Gerda’s character and personality are the leading cause of the conflict that occurred in the film, on how the main character, Einar Wegener, overcame his gender dysphoria to transform into a woman named Lili Elbe fully. Based on the Big Five personality factors, this research discovered that; Gerda’s personality in agreeableness and openness are highly relatable in influencing Lili’s transition. Moreover, Gerda’s behavior in altruism is also found to be the main reason she chose to support the main character’s gender transition despite the massive loss upon her. In conclusion, Gerda Wegener, as a supporting character, played the most significant role in stirring the plot by her influence in supporting Einar Wegener’s gender transition. It also shows that someone can be so selfless regarding the person they adore. Finally, it gives a new perspective on how significant the role of supporting characters is in a film based on their character and personality.


Character Analysis, Gender Transition, Personality, Supporting Character

Full Text:



Abood, N. (2019). Big Five Traits: A Critical Review. Gadjah Mada International Journal of Business, 21(2), 28.

Altruism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). (2016, August 25).

Anggraeni, K. P., & Ari Widayanti, M. J. (2019). Ethical Dilemmas as Seen Through the Major Characters Reflected in “The Danish Girl” Movie Screenplay Written by Lucinda Coxon. Rainbow: Journal of Literature, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, 8(2), 75–84.

Azhari, A., Rigo, P., Tan, P. Y., Neoh, M. J.-Y., & Esposito, G. (2020). Viewing Romantic and Friendship Interactions Activate Prefrontal Regions in Persons With High Openness Personality Trait. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 490.

Batson, C. D. (2011). Altruism in Humans. Oxford University Press.

Batson, C. D., & Ahmad, N. Y. (2009). Empathy-induced altruism: A threat to the collective good. In S. R. Thye & E. J. Lawler (Eds.), Advances in Group Processes (Vol. 26, pp. 1–23). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Batson, C. D., Duncan, B. D., Ackerman, P., Buckley, T., & Birch, K. (1981). Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation? American Psychological Association, Inc., 40, 290–302.

Corbett, D., & OverDrive, I. (2019). The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivation for Compelling Characters in Fiction, Film, and TV.

de Raad, B., & Mlačić, B. (2015). Big Five Factor Model, Theory and Structure. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 559–566). Elsevier.

Feigin, S., Owens, G., & Goodyear-Smith, F. (2014). Theories of Human Altruism: A Systematic Review. Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions, 1(1), 5.

Leary, M. R., & Hoyle, R. H. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior. Guilford Press.

Lim, A. G. Y. (2020). Big Five Personality Traits | Simply Psychology.

Manggalasari, D. S., & Luthfiyati, D. (2018). An Analysis the Character of Forrest Gump Movie by Robert Zemeckis Viewed from Big Five Personality Traits Theory. Jurnal ELink, 5(2), 89.

Martell, W. C. (2012). Blue Book #12 Supporting Characters. First Strike Production.

McAdams, D. P., Shiner, R. L., & Tackett, J. L. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of Personality Development. Guilford Press.

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1997). Personality Trait Structure as a Human Universal. American Psychologist, 9.

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (2003). Personality in adulthood: A five-factor theory perspective (2nd ed). Guilford Press.

Minelius, D. L., & Nilsson, F. (2020). Love to Help: The Rules of Compassion and Empathy in Regards to Altruism. Örebro University.

Nurdin, R. E. S. (n.d.). The Analysis of A Transgender Identity in the Novel “The Danish Girl” by David Ebershoff. 6.

Petrie, D. W., & Boggs, J. M. (2012). The Art of Watching Films (8th ed). McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Phelps, L. B. (2021, January 21). How Other People Influence Your Personality. WebMD.

Scott, N., Seglow, J., & ebrary, I. (2007). Altruism. Open University Press.

Yastanti, U. (2019). Loyalty of the Main Character in The Choice Movie Directed by Ross Katz. Wanastra: Jurnal Bahasa Dan Sastra, 11(2), 191–200.


DOI (PDF): Abstract - 0 PDF - 0


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Septi Herlinda