Study Guide

Scott Hipwell in The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins

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Scott Hipwell

Not-So-Great Scott

Scott is half of Rachel's imagined power couple, Jason and Jess. Just as Rachel uncovers that Megan (or "Jess") isn't who she thinks she is, she also discovers Scott isn't the perfect "Jason." Scott may not be perfect, but he's a little more sympathetic than Tom is. Okay, we have more sympathy for mosquitos than we do for Tom, so that's not saying much, but one thing The Girl on the Train explores is how some people are victims in marriage.

See, Megan has gotten the short end of the stick a lot during her life, but in her marriage to Scott, she is more often than not the one at fault. This is because Megan just doesn't love Scott. It's sad, but true. She says, "He loves me so much, it makes me ache" (2.33). She wants to love him, but she's not capable of it because of all the pain she's felt in the past. Scott's biggest crime is traveling a lot, which he has to do for his job. If Megan didn't have such extreme abandonment issues, that may not be a problem, but she does, so she cheats on him, which really hurts him. And she gets pregnant with another man's baby, which, to him, is the ultimate betrayal.

Now, Scott isn't entirely without fault. He does read Megan's e-mails and search her browser history. But, to play devil's advocate, Megan is giving him a reason to be untrustworthy. Rachel and Anna also search Tom's computer. Are any of their actions justified?

Scott also gets violent. When Megan reveals her affair, he physically attacks her, choking her against the wall. He also goes nuts on Rachel when he finds out she has lied to him, too. He's only violent when prompted, but that doesn't change the fact that he's still violent. It seems that Scott is scared of his own violence, though, or at least its affects. Megan observes that "He closed his eyes so that he didn't have to watch me choke" (33.44). Yikes.

So Scott is far from perfect, but can you still have sympathy for him? We'll let you mull that one over for yourselves, Shmoopers.

Scott Hipwell in The Girl on the Train Study Group

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