Study Guide

The Girl on the Train Betrayal

By Paula Hawkins

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I tell him that I have other vices these days, and I catch his eye and I think he knows what I mean. (2.39)

We're not sure exactly what Megan means in this therapy session, but perhaps this is her way of telling her therapist that she's committing infidelity… and while she's at it, she'd be happy to… to… to, um, do so with him, too.

I feel as though I have been cheated on. A familiar ache fills my chest. I have felt this way before. (3.5)

Rachel is especially sensitive to infidelity, so when her dream couple ends up not being perfect, those old pains resurface.

How could she? How could Jess do this? What is wrong with her? (3.11)

Rachel takes this betrayal extra personally. We're surprised she doesn't go try to have a word with her.

It feels like I'm betraying Scott if I tell Kamal something I can't tell him. (6.8)

Megan only feels like this because of how Scott constantly invades her privacy. He thinks her entire life is his business, so if she talks about her life with someone else, it feels like a betrayal.

I woke feverish, panicky. Guilty. I do feel guilty. Just not guilty enough. (6.39)

Megan is considering leaving her husband here. She has had an affair, and instead of owning up to her betrayal, she considers running away.

I forgot who he was. I betrayed Scott, and I betrayed Megan, and I feel guilty about that. (19.107)

Remember when Rachel felt so betrayed by Megan kissing another man? Oh how things change—Rachel is now seeing the other man, Dr. Abdic, as her therapist. And after he's suspected as a killer. Looks like Megan doesn't have a monopoly on betrayal.

"He took in a very young, very vulnerable girl and left her alone when she needed support. Perhaps he knows that what happened is your shared responsibility. Perhaps that's what he ran away from." (22.26)

Maybe this is the ultimate betrayal in the book. The way Mac treated Megan led to her abandonment issues, which eventually led to her affair.

I thought about Scott—about what we did and how it felt—and I wished I hadn't done it, because it felt like a betrayal. Of Tom. The man who left me for another woman two years ago. I can't help how I feel. (25.4)

It's true that you can't help how you feel, but we think it's ridiculous for Rachel to ever feel like she's betraying Tom, a man who cheated on her and left her for another woman.

After a while, I learned that when you wake up like that, you don't ask what happened, you just say that you're sorry: you're sorry for what you did and who you are and you're never, ever going to behave like that again. (27.144)

Tom took advantage of Rachel, betraying her trust by lying to her about what really happened during her blackouts. That's super low.

I can't move, can't breathe. I play it again, and again. My throat is closed, I feel as though I'm going to faint, and then the light comes on upstairs. (28.42)

Here is when Anna finally realizes that Tom is betraying her, too. Tom isn't selective about who he betrays, and he pretty much screws over every character he comes in contact with in the book.

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