"We told you no other lies nor in any way strayed from the honest truth"

Fevvers' disclosure to Walser reveals the truth of many of the questions which have been puzzling both him and the reader over the course of the novel; the mystery of Lizzie's milk, of her politics and of her power over time.  Indeed, all of the information shared is about Lizzie and tell little or nothing about Fevvers herself, or the central question of her reality.

Waiting for Godot (1965)
Public DomainWaiting for Godot (1965) - Credit: Lazarevsky

The use of open endings in story telling can be frustrating for an audience, but is a powerful way to force readers to form their own opinions on the questions raised.  Over the last ten pages or so, Fevvers has progressed from a single, winged wonder to the archetype of womanhood in the new century; of a dominant woman, soaring triumphantly into the future before an adoring crowd.

Other famous examples of open endings in novels, film and plays include Shelagh Delaney's (1939-) A Taste of Honey (1958) and Samuel Beckett's (1906-1989) Waiting for Godot (1953).  In the first, as the protagonist Jo goes into labour with a mixed race child, the last line is her mother asking the audience what they would do in the same situation.  In Beckett's play, the two tramps begin the play waiting for Godot, continue waiting for him throughout, and are still waiting as it comes to a close.  At no time does the audience learn who Godot is, nor why the tramps await him.  In Charlotte Bronte's (1816-1855) Villette (1853), readers are left to form their own opinion as to whether the heroine's lover, Paul, makes it back from a storm at sea; originally intended as a sad ending, its openness is a concession to her father who found the original unbearably sad.