The Girl on the Train

by

Paula Hawkins

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The Girl on the Train: Megan: Five Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Thursday, March 21, 2013. Megan is angry—her lover has not called or texted her, and she is feeling both abandoned and indignant. She vows not to “go quietly.” At breakfast, Scott asks her to cancel her therapy session that afternoon so that they can go to dinner at a friend’s house, but Megan insists that she can’t. Before Scott walks out the door for work, he decisively tells her to cancel the appointment. Alone, Megan throws her coffee cup at the wall and watches it shatter.
As Megan experiences rejection from her lover (and an increase in attention and control from Scott) she feels angry, isolated, and even violent. Megan feels that she’s doing her best to inhabit the ideas of womanhood and desirability others have about her, yet she’s still failing to get the things she wants.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Megan arrives at her therapy appointment agitated and out of breath, having ignored Scott’s calls all afternoon. When she walks into Kamal Abdic’s office, she puts her hands on his chest. The doctor tells her what she’s doing is not appropriate—he warns her that she’s experiencing a phenomenon known as transference, in which people in therapy develop feelings for their counselor. Megan asks Kamal if he feels anything for her or if she’s imagining what’s between them. Megan begins screaming at Kamal, and he shakes her to quiet her. Megan kisses him on the mouth, bites his lip hard enough to draws blood, and hurries home, trying to ignore the bruises blooming on her arms.
Megan’s relationship with Kamal is becoming increasingly volatile. Megan is no longer restless simply because she’s unsure of what she wants—now, she has a clear goal, yet she is unable to attain it. Megan perhaps feels that her inability to make Kamal feel things for her—or admit to what he already feels—is a failure connected to the way she embodies a feminine identity. On another note, the way Kamal responds to Megan in this passage suggests that he isn’t the lover she’s been seeing—meaning that there is yet another man connected to Megan who could be a potential suspect in her disappearance.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon