THE RATTRAP-Question and
1. What was the peddler’s philosophy about rattrap?
Why did it amuse him?
Ans: The peddler’s philosophy was that the whole world is a rattrap with
several baits in it. As one is tempted to bait and touches it the door is closed
and everything comes to an end like in a rattrap. The thought amused him
because he has so far been selling rattrap; but not fallen in this world’s
2.The reader’s sympathy is with
the peddler right from the beginning? Is it justified? Give reasons.
Ans: The rattrap peddler draws reader’s sympathy because of his poverty.
The author’s description of his clothes and appearance like –“his clothes are
in rags, his cheeks are sunken and hunger gleams his eyes” and his resorting to
begging and petty thievery to keep his body and soul together evoke reader’s
3. Who do you think was at fault-the ironmaster or the
peddler? Give two reasons.
Ans: I think the ironmaster was at fault because it was he who invited
the tramp to his house for the Christmas thinking him to be his old
acquaintance; but on knowing he was not his acquaintance he could not oppose
his daughter’s decision to offer him Christmas cheer.
4.Why was the peddler grateful
to the ironmaster and his daughter?
Ans: The peddler was grateful to the ironmaster and his daughter as they
empowered him to release himself from the world’s rattrap through their
selfless hospitality, love, sympathy, compassion, and understanding.
5.What idea suddenly struck in
the mind of the rattrap peddler?
Ans: One day the peddler was moving along the road suddenly an idea
struck to his mind. He viewed that the whole world was a big rattrap to trap
the people in. It offered, riches, joys, shelter, food, heat and clothing like
the rattrap offered cheese and pork to tempt to the rats. The world existed
only to set baits for the people. Anyone who was tempted to touch the bait, the
rattrap was closed in on him.
6. Who was Crofter and how did he welcome the peddler?
Ans: The Crofter was an old man, who lived alone in his house. . The old
crofter was an affectionate and generous host. One dark
evening when the peddler knocked at the door of the Crofter. He was very
hospitable person and offered him supper and bed to sleep He amused him with
the game of ‘mjolis’. He told the fact that he earned
thirty kronor by selling the milk of his cow.
7. How did the peddler rob the crofter?
Ans: The Crofter was living alone in his house. So, he needed someone to
talk in his loneliness. That time the peddler reached at his house. He welcomed
him. The crofter had taken out and stuffed thirty kronor in the presence of the
peddler. Both left in the morning. After half an hour, the peddler returned,
smashed the window pane and stole thirty kronor from the pouch and hung it on
its usual place.
8.Why did the peddler accept Edla’s invitation?
Ans: Earlier the ironmaster had tried his best to invite the peddler to
his house for Christmas. He wanted his company but he declined his offer. So
the ironmaster sent his daughter to invite him as she had better power of
persuasion. She looked at the peddler compassionately. Her friendly manners
aroused confidence in him. So he accepted her invitation.
9. When the ironmaster threatened to call the
Sherriff. How did the peddler conduct?
Ans: The peddler defended himself that he was a poor man. He said that
the whole world is nothing but a big rattrap. All the good things that are
offered to him were just baits. The baits were set out to drag a poor man into
trouble. In case the Sherriff came to lock him up, the day was not far when the
ironmaster would be trapped himself.
Q.1. How can we transform
and clean an evil doing person. Give examples from the story ‘Rattrap’.
“The rattrap.” Express the universal
theme highlighted by the author in the story.
How did the line of thought bring a change in the life
of the rattrap peddler?
Ans: The author, Selma Lagerlof has highlighted a universal theme in
this story. It is that we can arouse the goodness in the life of a man by love,
understanding, sympathy and respect. Once upon a time there was a man who went
around selling self-made small rattraps of wire. His condition was too
miserable to beg and do petty things. One day he thought that the whole world
around him was a big trap. It offered riches, joys ,
food, shelter and clothing like a bait offering cheese and pork in a rattrap
for the rats. Those who were tempted to touch the bait, it closed on them
bringing an end to everything. One dark evening he stayed at crofter’s cottage,
he was given food and shelter. But the next morning he stole thirty kronor from
there. Then he kept on walking all day long on the same path in the forest. On
hearing the sound of hammer strokes, he reached the iron mill and lay near the
surface. The ironmaster mistook him to be his old acquaintance and invited him
for Christmas cheer but he refused. He sent his daughter, Edla
who persuaded him to their house. After he well dressed and came, the iron master
found that he mistook him. So he ordered him to get out at once. The young girl
wanted him to stay as they promised him Christmas cheer. He was treated like
real captain with food. In their absence when they were at the church he left
at the church they learnt the rattrap seller had robbed the old crofter. So
they became worried. When they returned they found that the stranger had taken
nothing with him and left behind a Christmas gift for Edla.
She found a small rattrap, thirty kronor and a letter in it. The letter stated
that she had taken him as if he were a captain, so he would be nice to her as a
captain. It had given him power to cleanse himself.
Q.2. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to
highlight the human predicament.
Ans: The author Selma Lagerlof tells a universal theme through all her stories.
One cannot imagine how dull and sad a vagabond might be walking slowly along
the roads for his bread. The metaphor of the rattrap struck on one such
occasion. He was plodding along the road, duly lost in his own meditations. The
whole world about him- the whole world with its lands, seas, cities and
villages was nothing but a big rattrap. The world had never existed for any
other purpose than to set baits for people to trap them. The world offered
riches, joys, food, shelter and clothing like a bait offering cheese and pork
in a rattrap for the rats. As soon as anyone is tempted and he to touches the
bait, it closes on him and then everything came to an end for him in life. Like
the poor rattrap seller, people get tempted to the pouch baits hung on the
window frame, break the window pane and steal the kronor. For self-temptation
people like the peddler don’t want to undeceive others about themselves. The
touching of the bait always makes people realize that they are caught in the
world rattrap now. It is their turn now, they must stop, cherish it as their
pastime of thinking about the known who get trapped and others who were
circling around the trap. They must rise above the baits and shun evil doings
like Captain Von Stahle.
Q.3. 'The Rattrap' is a story in which a good deed or
an act of kindness changes a person’s view of the world. Discuss with reference
to the theme of the story. ?
Ans: ‘The Rattrap’ is an
entertaining and philosophical story that reveals the theme of the human tendency
to redeem oneself from dishonest ways. The tramp proves the idea that the
essential goodness of human beings can be awakened through understanding and love.
Circumstances had forced the peddler to indulge in petty crime. Even though he used
to sell rattraps made from scrap metal, his poverty had brought out the worst
in him, making him bitter and killing his conscience. The tramp’s view of the
world was a cynical one; he envied those who were better off than him. He
believed the world to be like a rattrap that offered temptations like shelter and
food for entrapping victims. The peddler does not hesitate to steal the money
from the crofter even though he enjoys his hospitality and warm welcome.
Pangs of guilt trouble him when he
loses his way in the forest. His bitter and hardened temperament receives a
chance for repentance when he encounters the iron master and his daughter.
The author brings about an
effective twist in the story to show that innate goodness exists in all human
beings. It takes a little love, understanding and an act of friendship to bring
it to the fore. The iron master’s daughter showed him sympathy,love and respect and restored his dignity and
self-esteem. This touched a chord in the heart of the peddler who at once felt
that he was no longer the nameless tramp that he had been all his life but
somebody with an identity. Motivated by Edla’s
kindness, he redeemed himself by returning the stolen money and feeling sorry
for his deed .!
Q.4.How has the author of ‘The Rattrap’ developed the theme of the
Ans: The author, Selma
Lagerlof, has used the 'rattrap' as a metaphor to develop the theme of the
story. Almost all human beings find it hard to resist the temptations of
the materialistic world
and consciously fall into the trap. The world is a rattrap where human beings
constantly fall prey to various baits kept for them.
However, the author has brought
across the idea that all human beings possess an essential goodness which can
be tapped through love, compassion and understanding. An individual can redeem
himself from dishonest ways if he makes an effort.
The peddler of rattraps calls the
world a big rattrap. The material benefits like riches and joys, shelter and
food, heat and clothing are temptations that allure a person to fall into the
rattrap. Once a person accepts the bait, he or she is trapped forever. The peddler
gets tempted to steal the crofter’s money. Too afraid to move about in the
open, he chooses to move through the woods. Later, it is the kind, sympathetic
and generous treatment given to him by Edla and her father
that helps him get transformed and free himself from the feelings of guilt and,
later, from the rattrap itself forever. The rattrap becomes a symbol of worldly
temptations and the peddler symbolizes man’s efforts to keep them at bay.