About the Book

Book Protagonist: Rachel Watson
Publication Date: 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction, Romance, Suspense and Thriller


The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins

Known to explore the concepts of memory, perception, and loss, 'The Girl on the Train' presents quotes that illustrate these ideas.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins presents quotes that blend descriptions, conversations, and ideas of the characters in ‘The Girl on the Train.’ The quotes are sometimes contemplative and self-examining. They are used to analyze the intricacies of individuals and the consequences of actions.

Lessons about addiction, relationships, abuse, and distorted perceptions are taught as the plot advances and events unfold. Fundamentally part of the narrative structure, quotes add to the novel’s complexity and psychological profundity.

Guilt, Blame, Shame

I am not the girl I used to be. I am no longer desirable, I’m off-putting in some way. It’s not just that I’ve put on weight, or that my face is puffy from the drinking and the lack of sleep; it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.

Rachel is body-shaming herself here. She feels guilty about how her life has turned out and believes she gets judged. She also thinks she has lost her sex appeal and desirability. She is ashamed of her body and addiction.

And I’ll be telling myself all day, it’s not the worst thing, is it? It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever done.

Rachel recounts horrible things she did while drunk. She feels guilty about these things but comforts herself with the fact that she has done worse than the last.

I lie down on the bed and crawl under the duvet. I want to know what happened; I wish I knew what I had to be sorry for.

During her blackouts, Rachel temporarily loses her memory. When she becomes conscious, she cannot remember the horrible thongs she has done. She feels guilt and shame but cannot remember what she did wrong.

I must have committed some terrible act and blacked it out.

After the police’s interrogation, Rachel is frightened she attacked Megan and caused her disappearance. She cannot confirm her thoughts because she does not remember what happened as she was drunk.

I never learn. I wake with a crushing sensation of wrongness, of shame, and I know immediately that I’ve done something stupid.

Rachel uses her feelings after a blackout to arrange her thoughts. Sometimes she feels fear; other times, shame.

The last thing I ever said to her, the last words she ever read, was ‘Go to hell you lying bitch.

After Megan’s disappearance, Scott feels guilty about his last words to her. Overprotective of her, they usually fought about her choices and dishonesty.

I fell asleep in the afternoon. I woke feverish and panicky. Guilty. I do feel guilty. Just not guilty enough.

Although she feels guilty about cheating on her husband, Megan does not feel enough guilt to regret the act.


I close my eyes and let the darkness grow and spread until it morphs from a feeling of sadness into something worse: a memory, a flashback.

Rachel hates her flashbacks so much because they remind her of the horrible experiences she has been through. Yet, she tries to confront them.

I can’t risk looking backward, it’s always a bad idea.

Unlike Rachel, Megan runs away from her past and does not want to think back.

I feel certain that I was in an argument, or that I witnessed an argument. Was that with Anna?

Following Megan’s disappearance, Rachel knows she witnessed a key event but cannot place what it was. She tries to recover her lost memory.

I’m going to Witney instead. I’m hoping that being there will jog my memory, that I’ll get to the station and I’ll see everything clearly, I’ll know.

Rachel believes her memory will improve when she returns to the scene where the crime happened.

You have to help me. Please, try to remember, Rachel.

Desperate, Scott begs Rachel to remember what happened the night Megan went missing. He is a suspect in Megan’s murder and needs help uncovering the truth.

The memory doesn’t fit with reality, because I don’t remember the anger, raging fury. I remember fear.

Based on her emotions, Rachel remembers that an event made her frightened, not angry. She wonders how that feeling fits with the explanation of her actions.


I am a good person, I tell myself. I am a good wife. I am a good employee. I am a good friend. But somehow, somewhere, I have become lost.

Somehow, Rachel does not understand how she started to struggle with depression. Admitting that she does not intentionally hurt people, she wonders how she got on the wrong side.

Memory works differently for all of us, we all have our own experiences and emotions attached to different events. That’s what makes each of us unique, I suppose.

Here, Megan states that people interpret experiences and emotions differently. Also, their perception helps shape their opinion of an event.

I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.

Rachel speaks on the selfishness of humans here. She struggles with understanding people who act without considering the effects of their actions on others.

We are all the things we do.

Scott says here that our actions define who we are; hence, we are accountable for them and their consequences.


I have lost myself. I have lost the very thing that made me who I am.

While battling depression and alcoholism, Rachel says this. She feels the loss of her husband and job, and her inability to have a child has destroyed her womanhood.

It’s the emptiness that’s the worst. The feeling that you’ll never be whole again.

Reminiscing about the end of her marriage, Rachel feels unfulfilled and empty. She is in a state of despair, and her loneliness is mental and physical.

I’ve learned that loss is a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear.

Loss is described as a part of life because many people experience it. However, this does not make it easy to deal with.

I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.

This quote suggests that Rachel is struggling with helplessness. Her mental health has deteriorated drastically, and she has lost control over her life and thoughts.


How do the themes of addiction and trauma intersect in the novel?

Rachel struggles with depression because of infertility and divorce. These experiences leave her traumatized and emotionally downcast. She turns to alcohol to cope with her feelings of despair. To escape her sad reality, she becomes addicted. Her relationship with others is also affected. She stalks her ex-husband and his family, ruining her chances of a decent relationship with others.

What are two quotes on loss from ‘The Girl on the Train’ novel?

“When you lose someone you love, you don’t simply grieve their death, you grieve the life you could have had with them.” “Loss is a wound that never fully heals. It scabs over, but it’s always there, ready to be opened up again.”

What is one quote from ‘The Girl on the Train’ that is poetic?

“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.” This quote is poetic because of the metaphor and imagery used to depict mental chaos. Rachel’s loss of control over her memories and thoughts elicits sympathy from the reader.

Does Rachel Watson die at the end of ‘The Girl on the Train‘?

Employing twists and turns to confuse and hold the reader’s attention, Hawkins reveals Megan’s murderer at the end of the novel. Although an alcoholic with a distorted account of what happened to Megan, Rachel eventually discovers who the murderer is. She goes to rescue Anna but gets into a confrontation with Tom. He tries to kill her but fails.

Fave Ehimwenma
About Fave Ehimwenma
Fave Ehimwenma is a proficient writer, researcher, and content creator whose love for art and books drives her passion for literature reviews.
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