Virginia feels trapped in Richmond and wants to escape back to the energy of London. As she teeters on the brink of relapsing madness, she impulsively leaves the house. The decision is extremely impractical, as it is unclear what she will do or where she will go once she gets to the city. Her actions come out of a desperate attempt to feel free from the prospect of experiencing the headaches again. She wants to literally escape from the demons that haunt her and feels that her only way out is to go back to London.

Virginia’s impulse to escape Richmond starts to fade after she arrives at the train station, and Leonard’s arrival means that she won’t be going anywhere. Though touched by his concern, she feels sad that he doesn’t realize the degree to which she feels tormented by madness and how much she wants to return to the city. The scene echoes the events of the prologue, in which Leonard chases after Virginia but finds her too late. Here in the train station, the first indications of Virginia’s desire to physically escape her own life become apparent. While in this instance she simply wants to depart from the suburbs and head to the city, later she will want to depart from her life altogether.