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The Rattrap NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 4
The Rattrap NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context,
(i) keep body and soul together.
(ii) hunger gleamed in his eyes
(iii) plods along the road
(iv) unwonted joy
(v) impenetrable prison
(vi) nodded a haughty consent
(vii) eased his way.
(viii) fallen, into a line of thought
(ix) things have gone downhill
(i) keep body and soul together: Peddler’s business of selling rattraps was not profitable. So to keep body and soul together he had to resort to begging as well as stealing in a small way to satiate his hunger.
(ii) hunger gleamed in his eyes; he was so hungry that the feeling of his being hungry shone with dim light from his eyes itself.
(iii) unwonted joy: means the unaccustomed or unusual joy.
(iv) nodded a haughty consent: gave a nod of acceptance in an arrogant manner.
(v) fallen into a line of thought: started thinking of a single significant thought.
(vi) things have gone downhill: the situation or the conditions of his life have badly deteriorated.
(vii) plods along the road: he walked laboriously along the road.
(viii) impenetrable prison: means a prison or a jungle that cannot be entered, passed through or seen through.
(ix) eased his way: his way was made less unpleasant, painful or severe by coming close to furnace.
The Rattrap Think as you read
From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?
The peddler got the idea of the world being a rattrap when he was spontaneously thinking of his rattraps. The peddler made his living by selling small rattraps of wire. He thought that the whole world about him was nothing but a big rattrap.
Why was he amused by this idea?
The peddler was a vagabond whose life was sad and monotonous. Of course, the world had never been very kind to him. .That is why he was amused by this idea of thinking ill of the world-as a rattrap.
Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
No, the peddler had not expected the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter. It was because he would usually find harsh faces when he knocked on the doors of the strangers previously to seek shelter.
Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
The crofter was so talkative and friendly with the peddler because he was leading a lonely life in the cottage. He was an old man who was living there without a wife or child. So, he was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness.
Why did he show the thirty kronor to the peddler?
The crofter was making his livelihood by selling milk in his old age. He told the peddler that last month he had received thirty kronor in payment. Thinking that the stranger might not believe this, he showed the wrinkled three ten-kronor bills to him from a leather pouch.
Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?
No, the peddler did not respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter. The rattrap peddler robbed the crofter of his thirty kronors by breaking violently the window pane of his cottage.
The Rattrap Think as you read
What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap ?
After stealing the crofter’s money, the rattrap peddler did not think it proper to walk on the public highway. So he turned off the road, into the forost. But he got entrapped in a big and confusing forest. He tried to walk in a definite direction, but the paths twisted back and forth in a strange manner.
He walked and walked without coming to the end of the forest. Finally, he realised that he had only been walking around the same part of the forest. Then he recalled his thoughts about the world and the rattrap. Now his own turn had come. The rattrap peddler thus thought that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap from which he might not be able to escape.
Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and ipivite him home ?
The ironmaster spoke kindly to the peddler because he thought that he was captain and an old regimental comrade who had resigned from the regiment. Thus the ironmaster thought that he was an old acquaintance. That is why the ironmaster invited the peddler to have his company for Christmas.
Why did the peddler decline the invitation ?
The peddler declined the invitation of the ironmaster to go to his house. He had stolen thirty Kronors from the house of the crofter who lived in that area. So the peddler thought that going up to the manor house would be like throwing himself voluntarily into the lion’s den.
The Rattrap Think as you read (Page 41)
What made the peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation ?
The peddler accepted Edla Willmansson’s invitation, who was the daughter of the ironmaster. In a very compassionate and friendly manner, Edla Willmansson had won the confidence of the peddler. She told the peddler that he would be allowed to leave just as freely as he would come to their house. She requested him to stay with them only oyer Christmas Eve. Because her genuine and friendly request, the peddler accepted her invitation.
What doubts did Edla have about the peddler ?
Edla had doubts about the peddler that either he had stolen something or else he had escaped from jail.
When did the ironmaster realise his mistake ?
When the valet of the ironmaster’s house had bathed him, cut his hair, and shaved him and he was dressed in a good-looking suit, the ironmaster realised his mistake. The peddler was not his old regimental comrade captain. In broad daylight, it was impossible to mistake him for an old acquaintance. The peddler looked a stranger to him. That is when the ironmaster realised his mistake.
What did the peddler say in his defence when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was ?
The peddler defended himself by saying that it was not his fault. He told the ironmaster that he never pretended to be anything but a poor trader. He said further that he had pleaded and begged to be allowed to stay in the forge. Then he offered to put on his rags and go away.
Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him ?
Ironmaster’s daughter Edla had known the truth about the stranger that he was not the captain his father had mistaken him to be. She said that the stranger walked and walked the whole year long, and there is probably not a single place in the whole country where he is welcomed and can feel at home.
She said that he is always afraid of being arrested and cross-examined. She said that she would like to have him enjoy a day of peace with them in their house-just one in the whole year. That is why Elda still entertained the peddler even after she knew the truth about him. She thought that they should not chase away a human being whom they had asked to come to their house.
The Rattrap Think as you read (Page 29)
Why was, Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?
Edla was happy to see the gift left by the peddler because the peddler did not prove himself to be a thief and had not taken anything with him at all. He had left behind a little package which Elda was to be kind enough to accept as a Christmas present. He had also kept thirty kronor he had stolen from the crofter’s house.
Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain Von Stahle ?
I think the peddler signed himself as Captain Von Stahle because they were nice to him as if he was a real captain or who would have caught in this world’s rattrap “if he had not been raised to captain”.
The Rattrap Understanding the text
How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter ?
The peddler was a man who went around selling small rattraps of wire. He was leading a sad and monotonous life of a vagabond. He knocked at the door of the cottage of the crofter who turned out to be an old man without wife and children. He showed his ‘ kindness and hospitality towards him which the peddler had not expected.
But the rattrap peddler stole his thirty kronors. Thus he betrayed the confidence reposed in him by the crofter. The ironmaster, thinking him as an old acquaintance Captain Von Stahle, showed kindness to him and invited him to spend the Christmas evening with him.
But the peddler thought that if the ironmaster thought that he was an old acquaintance, he might give him a couple of kronor. That is why he did not reveal his true identity. Edla Willmansson, the daughter of the ironmaster requested him to go to her home in a very compassionate and friendly manner. He accepted to go to their home. But while he was riding to the manor house, he had “evil forebodings”.
He was feeling guilty for stealing the crofter’s money. The ironmaster, after knowing that he was not the captain, asked him to go out of the house immediately. But due to the insistence of Edla he was allowed to spend the Christmas evening in their house. The peddler wondered why she did it. But he interpreted it as her nobleness, kindness and generosity.
What are the instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from that of his daughter in many ways ?
There are various instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from his daughter in many ways. The ironmaster, mistaking the peddler as an old acquaintance, insists on inviting him to his house to spend Christmas evening. The peddler time and again declined his invitation.
Then the ironmaster sent his daughter hoping that she would have better powers of persuasion than him. With her ; compassionate and friendly behaviour, she was able to win the confidence of the peddler, whoagreed to go to her home.
But when the valet had bathed the peddler, cut his hair and shaved him and he was dressed in a good-looking suit, the ironmaster realised that he was not his old regimental comrade. The ironmaster threatened to call the sheriff and asked him to get out of his house immediately.
But his daughter said that he ought to stay with them today. She was more sympathic to “the poor hungry wretch” than her father. She thought that he should enjoy a day of peace with them just one in the whole year. She asked him to keep his father’s suit as a-Christmas gift. Thus her behaviour changed the peddler who left with her the money stolen by him.
The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
The story “The Rattrap’ has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. One dark evening while walking along the road, the peddler saw a light gray cottage by the roadside. He knocked on the door to ask for shelter for the night. Usually under such circumstances he would meet “the sour faces”. But unexpectedly the owner of the house, the crofter, an old man without wife or child, welcomed him cheerfully. He showered his best hospitality by serving food, playing cards with him and taking care of him in all the possible manner.
Thereafter, the peddler was entrapped in the forest and when he thought that he might not find a way out of the forest, he sought shelter at the Ramsjo ironworks. There unexpectedly the ironmaster came and insisted him to spend the Christmas evening at his home.
The ironmaster mistook him as an old regimental comrade. When the peddler declined his offer, quite unexpectedly Edla, the ironmaster’s daughter came there and pursuaded him to go to their house. There the ironmaster realising that he had mistaken the stranger’s identity and asked him to leave his house immediately. But again unexpectedly Edla in a compassionate manner convinced her father to let him stay for the Christmas in the house.
What made the peddler finally change his ways ?
The peddler besides selling small rattraps of wire was a petty thief also. He stole thirty kronors from the house of the crofter, who was kind enough to allow him to stay in his house for a night and showered his best possible hospitality on him. But it was the compassionate, kind, generous and friendly behaviour of Edla Willmansson, the ironmaster’s daughter, which finally changed him.
The ironmaster had invited him to his house thinking that he was an old regimental comrade. When he realised that the peddler was not his old acquatance, but a stranger, he asked him to leave his house immediately. But Edla showing sympathy and pity on him, pursuaded her father to’ allow him spend the Christmas with them. Thus her behaviour aroused his conscience. and he gave her gift of a rattrap and requested her to return the thirty kronors of the crofter, which he had stolen.
How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament ?
In the story The Rattrap’, the peddler goes around selling small rattraps of wine. Thinking of his rattraps, he was struck by the idea that the whole world around him with its lands and seas, its cities and villages-was nothing but a big rattrap. He thought that the world had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people.
The world offered riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing, exactly as the rattrap offered cheese and pork. As soon as anyone let himself be tempted to touch the bait, it closed in on him, and then everything came to an end. This is how the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament. The more we are allured by the worldly things, the more we are entrapped by them. And then there is no way out.
The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour. How does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us ?
The peddler was endowed with a great sense of humour. He compares the world about him with a rattrap, which sets baits for the people. As the world had never been kind to him, so it gave him “unwai d joy” to think ill of it in this way. It was his pastime to think Of the people he knew who had let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare, and of others who were still circling around the bait. It shows his sense of humour. As he walked alongwith the stolen money of crofter, he felt “quite pleased with his smartness”.
When he was entrapped in the forest he recalled about the world and the rattrap. He thought that “his own turn had come”, which also shows his sense of humour. He thought that he had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught. When the blacksmith “nodded a haughty constent” without, uttering a single word, he did not mind.- He thought that he had not come there to talk but only to warm himself and sleep.
He did not reveal his real identity to the ironmaster because he thought that thinking him as an old acquaintance, the ironmaster might perhaps “throw him a couple of kronor”. While riding up to the manor house he thought that he was sitting in the trap and will never get out of it. When the ironmaster realised that he was not his old acquaintance and threatened to call the sheriff, he told him that the whole world is nothing but a big rattrap and the ironmaster began to laugh. His letter written to Edla also shows his sense of humour. His sense of humour serves in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story. It also endears him to us as it evoked our sympathy with him.
The Rattrap Talking about the text
Discuss the following in groups of four. Each group can deal with one topic present the views of your group to the whole class.
The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so ? Is the sympathy justified ?
Though the rattrap peddler indulged in begging as well as petty thievery to keep body and soul together, yet from the beginning of the story he attracts our sympathy. His clothes were in rags, his cheeks were sunken, and hunger gleamed in his eyes. He was a vagabond whose life was sad and monotonous. His idea of comparing the world with a big rattrap in which human beings are entrapped looks so appealing to us. He evokes our sympathy also because the world has never been very kind to him.
The way he has to seek shelter at various places and has to meet usually “sour faces” also evokes the reader’s sympathy towards him. Perhaps that is why he wins the sympathy of the old crofter and Edla and to some extent of the ironmaster. Edla felt that she should do something for “the poor hungry wretch”, who walks and walks throughout the year. Wherever he turns, he is l chased away. That is why our sympathy is with the peddler. I think despite detesting him [ as a petty thief, our overall sympathy with the peddler is justified.
The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others.
The story ‘The Rattrap’ also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. The rattrap peddler himself leads a sad, monotonous and lonely life. The old crofter also lives in his cottage all alone without wife and children. He welcomes the peddler, a total stranger to him with all enthusiasm and happiness so that he can talk to somebody in his loneliness. He got out an old pack of cards and played ‘mjolis’, a game of cards, with his guest until bedtime.
The ironmaster is also leading more or less a lonely life. His wife had died and his sons abroad. He lives with his daughter. Mistaking the peddler as an old acquaintance, he insists that he must go with him to his home. The ironmaster tells the peddler that he and his daughter were feeling bad because they did not have any company for Christmas.
He asks the peddler to come along with him to help them make the Christmas food disappear a little faster. When the peddler declined his offer, he sends his daughter to him and she is successful in taking him to their home. She also requests him to stay with them over Christmas Eve. Even after the peddler’s true identity had been revealed, Edla makes her father agree to the stranger’s staying with them for Christmas. He does this so that he can enjoy a day of peace with them there – just one in the whole year. Thus the story rightly focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond others.
Have you known/heard of an episode where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a person’s view of the world ?
For self-attempt and class-room activity. You are to discuss in group of four and then present the views of your group in the class. You may discuss in your group about an episode or a story where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a person’s view of the world. Then one of you can speak about it in the class.
The story is both entertaining and philosophical.
‘The Rattrap’ is a very interesting and entertaining story about a rattrap peddler. He went round selling small rattraps of wire, which he himself made. He got the material for it by begging in the stores or at big farms. But the story is not only entertaining, but it gives us a philosophical idea also. The idea is that the whole world with its lands and seas, its cities and villages is nothing but a big rattrap. The world set baits for people.
The world offers riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing, exactly as the rattrap offered cheese and pork. As soon as anyone let himself be tempted to touch the bait, the world closed in on him. And then there is no escape. Thus the story conveys a very noble and philosophical idea that all the worldly things which fascinate us are just like the bait of the rattrap, which entraps us. The way Edla Willmansson treats the peddler we can draw a lesson that the essential goodness in a human being can be awakened through understanding and love.
The Rattrap Working with words
The man selling rattraps is referred to by many terms such as “peddler, stranger” etc. Pick out all such references to him. What does each of these labels indicate of the context or the attitude of the people around him.
The man selling rattraps is referred to by many terms in the story. He is called a “vagabond’ because he wanders from place to place without a settled home. When he is with the crofter, he is called a ‘stranger’ because the crofter did not know him before. He is also called ‘the man with the rattraps’ because he sells them.
He is also called ‘the rattrap peddler’ because he is a travelling hawker who sells rattraps. He is also called a ‘tramp’ because he is a stroller. When the ironmaster saw him first he thought that he was ‘the tall ragamuffin’ because he was a tall fellow wearing shabby clothes. He is also referred to as the ironmaster is “old regimental comrade’ because the ironmaster mistook for a captain he knew.
After he tells the ironmaster about the world being a big trap, he laughed and called him “a good fellow”. The ironmaster’s daughter Edla refers to him as “the poor hungry wretch” because he was a poor and hungry. She also refers to his as “vagabond”.
You came across the words, plod, trudge, stagger in the story. These words indicate movement accompanied by weariness. Find five other such words with a similar meaning.
The other five words are : slog, tramp, lurch, sway, wobble.
The Rattrap Noticing form
1. He made them himself at odd moments.
2. He raised himself.
3. He had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught. –
4…. a day may come when you yourself may want to get a big piece of pork. ’
Notice the way in which these reflexive pronouns have been used (pronoun + self)
- In 1 and 4 the reflexive pronouns “himself’ and “yourself’ are used to convey emphasis.
- In 2 and 3 the reflexive pronoun is used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence.
- Pick out other examples of the use of reflexive pronouns from the story and notice how they are used.
Other examples of the use of reflexive pronouns from the story and how they are used are given below :
(i) But he laughed to himself is used to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence.
(ii) He had sent his daughter, apparently hoping that she would have better powers of persuasion them he himself : used to convey emphasis.
(iii) It would never have occurred to me that you would bother with me yourself: refers to the same subject in the sentence.
(iv) he got power to clear himself : is used to convey emphasis.
The Rattrap Thinking about language
Notice the words in hold in the following sentence :
“The fire hoy shoveled charcoal into the maw of the furnace with a great deal of clatter”. This is a phrase that is used in the specific context of an iron plant.
Pick out other such phrases and words from the story that are peculiar to the terminology of ironworks. “‘
Phrases and words from the story that are peculiar to the terminology of ironworks are mentioned below :
- A hard regular thumping.
- Those are the hammer strokes from an iron mill.
- with smelter, rolling mill, and forge.
- Master smith and his helper sat in the dark forge near the furnace.
- Waiting for the pig iron.
- to be ready to put on the an vil.
- to stir the glowing mass.
- The big bellows groaned.
- The burning cool cracked.
“Mjolis” is a card game of Sweden.
Name a few indoor games played in your region. “Chopar” could be an example.
Besides cards, the indoor games played in our region are ludo, carram, table tennis etc.
A “Crofter” is a person who rents or owns a small farm especially in Scotland. Think of other uncommon terms for “a small farmer” including those in your language.
The other terms for “a small farmer” are granger, rancher, planter, tiller, cultivator, peasant, ranchman, grower etc.
The Rattrap Extra Questions and Answers
The Rattrap Extra Questions Short Answer Type
Why did the Peddler derive pleasure from his idea of the world as a rattrap?
People had never been kind to the poor Peddler. Therefore, he envied those whose lot was better than his, and was rather amused to think that some day they too would be tempted by the bait, and be caught in the rattrap.
Why did Edia plead with her father not to send the vagabond away?
Why did Edia still entertain the Peddler even after she knew the truth about him?
Edia had always thought the Peddler to be a poor, homeless tramp. When his true identity was revealed, she felt very bad for him and his miserable condition, and pleaded on his behalf.
What was the content of the letter written by the Peddler to Edia?
The contents of the letter written by the Peddler to Edia were that, as he had been treated as if he was a captain, he wanted to be nice to them in return. Thus he requested the Crofter’s money (left with the note) to be returned to him. He wrote that he had left the rattrap as a Christmas present to her, as she had inspired him to reform himself.
What were the contents of the package left by the Peddler as a Christmas gift for Edia Willmansson?
The package left by the Peddler as a Christmas gift for Edia Willmansson contained a rattrap, thirty kronor in crumpled notes (robbed from the Crofter) and a brief note for her explaining his conduct.
What conclusion did the ironmaster reach when he heard that the Crofter had been robbed by the Peddler?
When the ironmaster heard that the Crofter had been robbed by the Peddler, he concluded that the Peddler would probably steal all the silver cutlery in the ironmaster’s home and run away.
Why did the Peddler knock on the cottage by the roadside? How was he treated by the owner of the Cottage?
The Peddler knocked on the cottage by the roadside to seek shelter for the night. The owner of the cottage, a Crofter, treated the Peddler as a guest, giving him food, playing cards with him and putting him up for the night.
From where did the Peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap? In what sense was the world a big rattrap, according to the Peddler?
The Peddler was a vagabond, who went around selling rattraps. One day, as he was simply thinking about his own rattraps, he was struck by the idea that the world was a big rattrap. The riches, food, joys and shelter served as baits to tempt people just as a rattrap offered cheese or meat to tempt rats. As soon as one was tempted to touch the bait, the rattrap closed and everything came to an end.
Why was the Crofter so talkative and friendly with the Peddler?
The Crofter was an old man. He had no wife or children and lived alone in his cottage. He was happy to get someone to talk to and share his feelings with. So, he welcomed the Peddler in, gave him food and even played a game of cards with him.
Why did he show the thirty kronor to the Peddler?
The Crofter felt proud that he had earned thirty kronor from selling the cow’s milk to the creamery. He thought that the stranger didn’t believe him, so he showed him the money.
How did the ironmaster react on seeing the stranger lying close to the furnace?
Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the Peddler and invite him home?
When the owner of the Ramsjo Ironworks came to the mill for . inspection, the first thing he noticed was the Peddler dressed in rags. Due to the dim light and the Peddler’s dirty appearance, he mistook the Peddler for his old regimental comrade, Nils Olof who had, perhaps, fallen on evil days. He was delighted to see him and invited him home for Christmas.
Why did the Peddler decline the invitation of the ironmaster?
The ironmaster had mistaken the Peddler for an old regimental comrade and invited him home. The Peddler declined the ironmaster’s invitation because he was carrying the stolen money and would be handed over to the police, when the ironmaster discovered his true identity.
Who was the owner ofRamsjd iron mills? Why did he visit the mills at night?
The owner of the Ramsjo iron mills was an ambitious and prominent ironmaster. He insisted on quality and was very particular about his reputation. He visited the mills at night to make sure that good iron was shipped out from his mills to the market.
Why did the stranger not tell the ironmaster that he was not Nils Olof ?
The stranger did not tell the ironmaster that he was not Nils Olof because he thought that if the gentleman believed that he was an old friend or acquaintance of his, then he might take pity on him and help him by giving him some money.
Did the Peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the Crofter?
Why was the Peddler surprised when he knocked on the door of the cottage?
Wherever the Peddler went, he was met with hostile looks and people chased him away. When he knocked at the Crofter’s cottage, he was welcomed in and treated like a guest, not like an unwelcome visitor or a beggar. The Peddler was surprised to be treated with such hospitality.
Why did the Peddler keep to the woods after leaving the Crofter’s cottage? How did he feel?
What made the Peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?
After stealing the Crofter’s money, the Peddler didn’t dare to walk on the public highway for fear of getting identified and caught. So, he went into the woods. It was a big and confusing forest. The Peddler lost his way. Suddenly, the truth dawned upon him. He thought that the forest was a big rattrap in which he had fallen. The thirty kronor were like a bait which had been set to tempt him, and he had allowed himself to be fooled and caught.
Why was Ed la happy to see the gift left by the Peddler?
Edla was very shocked when she learned that their guest was actually a thief. She had fought with her father to let the Peddler stay. She held herself responsible for offering shelter to a thief. But when she found the stolen thirty kronor in a rattrap, she was very happy. She was overjoyed to think that her kindness had changed the Peddler and brought out his essential goodness.
What made the Peddler finally change his ways?
The Peddler believed in giving back to the world what he received from it. He was always treated with contempt and hostility and so he never did anything good. However, Edla’s kind and caring behavior finally changed him. She had treated him with love and respect befitting a captain when she knew that he was a poor vagabond. The trust that Edla showed in him made him change his ways and he decided to live with dignity and respect.
Edla sat and hung her head even more dejectedly than usual. Which two reasons forced her to behave in that manner?
Edla had shown kindness to the Peddler even after knowing that he was not a captain. This was the reason why she felt all the more dejected when she came to know that the Peddler was actually a thief who had recently robbed a Crofter. She felt that she had done wrong in offering shelter to a thief. Secondly, she also felt bad because the Peddler had not measured up to the faith which she had shown in him.
Why was he amused by the idea?
Wherever the Peddler went, people were hostile to him and chased him away. So, he was amused by the idea of the world being a big rattrap. He was also happy that those who chased him away will also be tempted and caught up in the rattrap one day.
Did the Peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the Crofter?
No, the Peddler didn’t respect the confidence reposed in him by the Crofter. The Crofter showed him the thirty kronor which he had earned. The next day, the Peddler came back, broke the window pane, and stole the thirty kronor from the pouch where it was kept near the window.
What made the Peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation?
Edla was very kind to the Peddler. She talked to him compassionately, assuring him that no harm would come to him, and that he would be at liberty to leave whenever he wanted. She spoke so kindly that the Peddler felt that he could trust her, and he accepted her invitation.
What doubts did Edla have about the Peddler?
When Edla met the Peddler, he became afraid. Edla thought that either he had stolen something or he had escaped from jail. She doubted that he was her father’s old regimental comrade. She even told her father that there was nothing about him to show that he was an educated man.
When did the ironmaster realise his mistake?
The ironmaster had first seen at the Peddler in the dim light coming from the furnace and mistook him for an old colleague. But, when he saw him v well groomed, with a fine hair cut and a well-shaven face in broad daylight, he realised that this man was somebody else.
What did the Peddler say in his defence when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?
The Peddler made no further efforts to deceive the ironmaster. He said that it was not his fault, as he had never pretended that he was the ironmaster’s friend. He had only begged to be allowed to stay on at the mill for the night. He had even declined the ironmaster’s repeated invitation. He further said that he was ready to put on his rags again and go away.
Why did the Peddler sign; himself as Captain von Stahle?
The ironmaster initially mistook the Peddler for a captain. Even after knowing the truth about him, he was treated like a captain. He wanted to repay Edla for her kindness just as a real captain would have done. Moreover, he didn’t want to embarrass Edla and so he returned the stolen money. His signing himself as Captain von Stahle was an indication that he wanted to retain the dignity and respect accorded to him.
The Rattrap Extra Questions Long Answer Type
The Peddler declined the invitation of the ironmaster but accepted the one from Edla. Why?
As the Peddler had recently stolen the Crofter’s money, he felt that the police would be on the lookout for him. If he accepted the ironmaster’s invitation to stay for a night at his home, he would probably have been found out as an imposter by the ironmaster, who had mistaken him to be his former colleague in the dim light of the furnace. Then he would have been arrested. So he declined the ironmaster’s invitation.
But when Edla later on came again to invite him, she was very kind to him and, even though to her he did not look like her father’s former colleague, spoke to him with compassion. This gave confidence to the Peddler that he would be safe and so he accepted her invitation.
Edla proved to be much more persuasive than her father while dealing with the Peddler. Comment.
Edla was more persuasive than the ironmaster because of her gentle compassionate behavior towards the Peddler and the kind manner in which she spoke. This convinced the Peddler to change his mind and accept her invitation to spend one evening with them. Although she had her misgivings about the Peddler, she was happy to help a poor homeless man who had earlier been chased away by all.
She wanted him to spend a day in peace and partake of the festivities of Christmas. She had been kind and friendly to him, sympathizing with his condition and making him part of their family fqr a day. This act of kindness made the Peddler .change his ways and he left them with a Christmas present for Edla and also returned the money he had stolen from the Crofter.
Why did the Crofter repose confidence in the Peddler? How did the Peddler betray that and with what consequences?
The Crofter reposed confidence in the Peddler because he was lonely, living alone and earning a living with his cow. He wanted someone with whom he could share his feelings, even trusting him to the “extent of showing the Peddler where he had kept his money. The Peddler betrayed this trust by robbing the money and running away.
However, when the Peddler went through the forest instead of the road to avoid detection, he got lost and returned to the same place again and again. Ultimately the Peddler realized that he was like a rat caught in a rattrap and that the whole world was a rattrap. The bait he had fallen for was the Crofter’s money and he could not escape with it. Thus the consequence of falling for the bait was that he was trapped with no way out.
Why did the ironmaster invite the Peddler to his home? Why did the latter decline it?
In the dim light of the forge, the ironmaster mistook the Peddler, due to his unkempt appearance and shabby clothes, to be his old colleague in the regiment who had fallen on bad days. He wanted to help his ‘old colleague’ and so invited him to his residence, so that he may be helped.
But the Peddler declined the invitation because he understood that his real identity would be exposed at the ironmaster’s home, when the ironmaster saw him properly. Then he may be turned over to the police. As he was carrying the Crofter’s stolen money with him, he did not want to get caught with the money, as the Crofter would definitely have reported the matter to the police. Consequently, he declined the ironmaster’s invitation.
How did the Peddler feel after robbing the Crofter? What course did he adopt and how did he react to the new situation? What does his reaction reveal?
Despite the Crofter treating the Peddler with hospitality, the Peddler robbed him and was quite pleased with his smartness. However, the fear of getting caught haunted him. So, he avoided the public highway and turned into the woods. It was a big and confusing forest, and due to the approaching darkness, the Peddler lost his way. He got exhausted moving around the same place, and was filled with despair.
He began to feel that the forest was like a big rattrap and the thirty kronor he had stolen were like a bait set to tempt him. He felt helpless like a rat who had no way out of the trap in which the had fallen. His reaction reveals that he was feeling guilty for having stolen the Crofter’s money. His heart was filled with remorse and self-loathing for his act of weakness.
The story The Rattrap’is both entertaining and philosophical. Do you agree with this statement? Why/Why not?
The story is, indeed, both entertaining and philosophical. The fast-paced narrative in the third person, generous use of dialogue by the author and different characters belonging to different mindsets and locations, make the story quite entertaining. There is also an element of suspense that the author manages to keep up to the end. There is also an underlying touch of irony. There is also an element of philosophy in the story.
The Peddler’s theory of the world being a rattrap is true. The world offers us so many temptations that we are sure to fall into its trap some day. While some people fall into this trap never to come out of it again, the fortunate ones like the Peddler manage to break free from the circle of temptations with the help of kind and compassionate people like Edla, and discover their latent goodness.
The story focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Explain.
All the characters in the story suffer from loneliness and are dreary souls. First of all, the tramp appears to lead a sad, monotonous existence, left to his own musings. The old Crofter lives all alone in a cottage by the roadside. He is only too happy to get someone to talk to and get over his sense of loneliness. That’s the reason why he is so generous and hospitable as a host.
The ironmaster and his daughter, Edla also have no company for Christmas. Thus, all of them have a strong desire for bonding and comradeship. The Crofter is happy to be friends with the Peddler, although only for a night. Similarly, the ironmaster and his daughter have an opportunity to practice their Christian virtues of kindness, sympathy and hospitality.
Give examples from the story, ‘The Rattrap” to show how the.ironmaster is different from his daughter.
What are the instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from his daughter in many ways?
The ironmaster was a man of power and ambition and was rather arrogant. He invited the Peddler home more out of his sense of pride than out of sympathy or generosity. When the ironmaster realized that he had been mistaken, he called the Peddler dishonest and threatened to call the sheriff. When he learnt that the Peddler was a thief, he was worried about his own silverware.
On the other hand, Edla, the ironmaster’s daughter, was a kind and compassionate lady who was really sympathetic and considerate towards the Peddler right from the beginning. She treated him with respect and dignity even after knowing that he was not a captain. It was her generous attitude which finally changed the Peddler, bringing out the essential goodness of his nature.
How does the Peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the Crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?
Initially, the Peddler heartily accepts the Crofter’s hospitality and generosity but robs him of his hard-earned money just because it is easy to do so. When the ironmaster mistakes him to be his old regimental comrade, he does not disclose his true identity in the hope of getting a few kronor. However, when the ironmaster pesters him, he again feels a sense of entrapment, having stolen the money from the Crofter’s, and declines the invitation.
However, on Edla’s invitation he does go to the ironmaster’s home. Edla’s warmth, sympathy and hospitality transform him in the end. Her elevating him to the status of a captain makes him redeem himself from being a petty thief. It stirs the innate goodness of his heart. He no more feels trapped, but regards her kindness as an act of nobility.
The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
In the first instance, the old Crofter welcomes the tramp for shelter and some food at night. He even reposes his trust in him by showing him the money and the place where it was kept. The Peddler’s act of stealing the Crofter’s hard-earned kronor is, indeed, unexpected.
Then the Peddler seeks refuge in the forge, meets the ironmaster and the latter mistakes him to be his old regimental comrade. His invitation to the tramp to come for the Christmas Eve to the manor house leaves one astounded. The Peddler’s act of accepting Edla’s invitation, in spite of his guilt feeling about the stolen money and thoughts about entering the lion’s den, baffle us.
The next surprise is when the Peddler, left to himself in the manor house, has every opportunity to slip out with the valuables. Even the ironmaster expects something like this to happen. However, the tramp goes away, leaving behind a small rattrap as a Christmas gift and the thirty kronor to be returned to the rightful owner. This shocks the reader out of his wits.
The tramp’s letter addressed to Edla, expressing his gratitude for elevating him to the status of captain, giving him a chance to free himself from the rattrap of the world and redeeming him, also give us a pleasant surprise. Thus, the story is replete with instances of unexpected reactions and surprises.
How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
The Peddler in the course of his wandering, suddenly thinks about the whole world as a big rattrap. Just as cheese and meat are baits in the rattrap, similarly the riches, joy, shelter and food that the world offers are baits to entrap and ensnare people.
Being an embittered man, shunned by everybody, these thoughts give ‘unwonted joy’ to the tramp. He thinks of all the people around him who have fallen into the trap.The musings of the tramp do have an iota of truth in them. We are tempted by temptations, desires and needs.
We go all out to satisfy them. In this desire to amass and accumulate more and more, we are entrapped by the world. Just in case we do not get the things we want, we are plunged in despair and gloom. In this way the metaphor of the rattrap highlights the human predicament.
The Peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humor. How does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us?
The Peddler, with his subtle sense of humor, equates the rattraps he makes to the world, which he believes is a huge rattrap, offering baits like comfort, food, shelter and material benefits. One day the rattrap traps us and there is no way out. The Peddler’s insistence on staying in the warm forge arid refusal to go with the ironmaster evokes pity. We know that somewhere he is feeling guilty of stealing the kronor.
When the ironmaster realizes his mistake, the tramp’s ‘sermon’ about the world’ being a rattrap, temptations and desires, is really humorous, as it seems out of context. The ironmaster’s daughter’s kind and sympathetic attitude changes him completely. Even she realizes his human worth and treats him with dignity. The tramp’s final act of leaving a token of love, the rattrap and a letter, signing off as the captain is also humorous. Without the tramp’s philosophising element of the rattrap and his treatment of it in a humorous way, the story would have been seeped in seriousness.
The Rattrap Extra Questions Value Based Type
There is a saying ‘Kindness pays, rudeness never’. In the story, The Rattrap’ Ed la’s attitude towards men and matters is different from her father’s attitude. How are the values of concern and compassion brought out in the story, The Rattrap?
‘The Rattrap’ is a story of a Peddler who used to earn his living by selling small rattraps of wire. As his business was .not profitable, he resorted to petty thievery. Nobody treated him with kindness or respect. The first act of compassion was shown by the Crofter who takes the poor Peddler in. But the Peddler stole his money and ran away.
Later, he was given a place to stay by the noble ironmaster and his daughter. Though she was suspicious of him, they promised him Christmas cheer. When his truth was discovered, Edla fought with her father for the Peddler. She not only requested’her father to let the Peddler stay for Christmas, but also treated him like a real captain.
The Peddler was highly touched by this act of concern and compassion and before leaving the house, left the money he had stolen, besides a rattrap as a present for Edla and a letter explaining his behavior. This shows that goodness is latent in the human heart and can be brought out by love, care and understanding.
The Rattrap’is a story which shows that basic human goodness can be brought out by understanding and love. Do you think this is practical in approach? Why/Why not?
Describe how the story, ‘The Rattrap’shows that basic human goodness can be brought out by understanding and love.
‘The Rattrap’ is a story of a Peddler who used to earn his living by selling small rattraps. One day he met a Crofter, who showed him kindness and sympathy, welcoming him in the warmth of his home. However, he also revealed that he had thirty kronor. The Peddler stole his money and ran away.
Later, he was given a place to stay by a young girl against her father’s wish. She showered affection on the Peddler and convinced her father to let him stay with them for Christmas. The Peddler was highly touched by her behavior and before leaving the house, returned the stolen thirty kronor and a small rattrap as a gift.
This shows that the Peddler was not a bad man at heart, but only bound by his poor and unfortunate circumstances, which forced him to steal things. But the love, trust and understanding shown by Edla brought out his basic human goodness.
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