The Girl on the Train

by

Paula Hawkins

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

Summary
Analysis
Saturday, July 13, 2013. As Tom drives Megan to the woods, she notices that he has blood on his hand. He blames the injury on “problems with the ex.” As the two pull into the parking lot at the trailhead and begin walking into the forest, Tom asks what’s going on. Megan doesn’t answer right away. Tom asks if she wants to have sex. Megan tells him that she’s pregnant—and that it’s possible, even probable, that the child is his. Tom urges her to have an abortion, reminding her she’s not “motherhood material.” He begins walking back to the car.
Tom attempts to gaslight Megan into believing that she isn’t “motherhood material.” Megan, however, has been on a journey of forgiveness and self-respect—and she is not about to let him psychologically torment her any longer. She is learning to stand up for herself—but this behavior makes her a danger to Tom, as it challenges the web of lies he’s constructed.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
Megan, incensed, follows Tom and begins hitting him and screaming insults at him. She tells him that she’s not going away—she’s going to make in pay. Tom turns around and comes toward Megan with something in his hand. Suddenly, Megan is on the ground. She believes she must have slipped; her head feels thick, and her mouth is full of blood. She can hear magpies cawing and someone saying, over and over again, “Now look what you made me do.”
Even as Tom murders Megan in cold blood, he is unable to take responsibility for his actions. Tom’s hatred of women—and his belief that the women in his life make him do terrible things—reflects society’s treatment of women more broadly. Much like how society overlooks or shames women like Rachel, who are clearly suffering, women like Megan tend to be blamed for their own issues without any consideration for the structural, systemic problems they face.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
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