The Rattrap Summary Class 12 | Selma Lagerlof | Chapter 4 | Flamingo


The Rattrap Summary Class 12 by Selma Lagerlof | Chapter 4 | Flamingo |

The Rattrap Summary

The Rattrap Summary : The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof sheds light on human’s loneliness and its dire consequences. It revolves around a rattrap seller, often called as peddler, who roams here and there in order to sell his rattraps which he makes by begging the material from the farms. Besides, he often remains involved in begging and petty thieveries for his survival.

While walking, he gets lost in his own meditations considering this world a rattrap where every human gets trapped just for the sake of little money, greed or love. He is neither welcomed nor sheltered by anyone in this world rather shooed away by the people because of his odd habits and shabby appearance.

Once he is sheltered by a crofter who lives alone and depends on his bossy cow for his survival. The crofter, having sympathized with the rattrap seller, shows latter his hardly-earned thirty kronors which he has earned by selling the milk of his bossy cow to the creamery. Next morning, the kronors stolen by he rattrap seller taking the undue advantage of his leniency.

Having stolen the money, the rattrap seller runs through the woods but he soon realizes that he has been trapped and he can’t come out of it. Before he could give up, he hears the thumping of the iron and reaches Ramsjo Ironworks which is almost closed now. Only little part of it is working and used for production of good quality iron.

Over there, he is mistaken as an old acquaintance by the ironmaster who is the owner of that mill. He requests that vagabond to come to his home but the invitation is declined by the peddler. After a short while, he sends his own daughter to invite the peddler. She, unlike her father, succeeds in bringing the peddler home.

The following day, when the ironmaster sees the peddler in day broad light, he realizes his mistake and decides to hand him in to the police. Edla, his daughter, intervenes and saves him from the anger of his despondent father. She requests her father to let the peddler celebrate Christmas with them. Her father accedes to her request and they all celebrate Christmas together.

On the next day, when Ironmaster and Edla go to Church, they get to know about the rattrap seller and his misdeed of stealing thirty kronors from the home of old crofter, who once used to work in Ramsjo Ironworks. They rush to their home and find that the peddler is already gone. Having  enquired the valet, they find out that the peddler has left a package which contains a letter, a small rattrap and 30 kronors. Besides he thanks Edla for changing a wild beast into a man.

In this way, a beast is converted into a civilized man with love care and affection.


Short Answer Type questions of The Rattrap

Q1. From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap? Why was he amused by that idea?

The rattrap seller was leading a sad and monotonous life. He had no one to stand by or hold him in his bad times. One day he was lost in the thoughts of rattrap which seemed very interesting to him. He thought that the world was nothing but a big rattrap which attracts the people towards it through riches, joys and entertainment. This idea gave him an unwonted joy to think ill of it in that way. It became a cherished pastime of his, during many dreary ploddings, to think of people he knew who had let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare, and of others who were still circling around the bait.

Q2. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?

The peddler had no place to hide himself in that biting-cold weather. But, he was sheltered by an old crofter who lived alone. The latter was a good host and behaved genuinely with the peddler offering him food, serving him tobacco & sharing his sentiments with him. No, he had not expected any hospitality from him since he was being looked down upon by the sour faces he came across on the way.

Q3. What other business was the peddler engaged in?

The peddler got engaged in a couple of business except rattrap selling. He got involved in begging and petty thieveries for his survival. He begged the material from the scrap shop and made rattraps from that material.

Q4. Why did the crofter show the thirty kronor to the peddler? Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?

The crofter was a not only a kind-hearted man but a good host also. He thought the peddler was as isolated and alienated as he was. Believing in him, he showed him the thirty kronors which he had earned by selling the milk of his bossy cow to a creamery. But the peddler responded negatively to the hospitality shown by the crofter. He stole his thirty kronors and ran through woods.

Q5. Why did the peddler choose woods instead of public highway?

Having stolen crofter’s money, the peddler chose woods because he had fear of being caught by the police. In order to escape, he diverted himself towards the woods instead of going through public highway.

Q6. What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?

Having walked through the dense forest the whole day, the peddler noticed that he was at the same place where he started walking from in the morning. He once again felt that the world was a rattrap & he was like a rat who had got trapped in that world. 

Q7. Why made the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?

Ironmaster, while inspecting his iron mill, got to see a man sleeping in front of the furnace. While talking, he mistook him as an old acquaintance that once used to work him in his regiment. Having mistaken the peddler as old comrade, he requested the peddler to come along with him to his home.

Q8. Why did the peddler decline the ironmaster’s invitation?

The peddler knew that he was neither the friend of ironmaster nor he knew who ironmaster was. He thought, going to his home would be like putting himself deliberately into a lion’s den. In order to avoid his arresting by the sheriff, he forbade him to go to ironmaster’s home.

Q9. When did the ironmaster realise his mistake?

When the peddler was brought down by the valet after shaving and changing his clothes, the ironmaster realized his mistake. He threatened the peddler to get him arrested by the sheriff but could not do so due to Edla’s intervention.

Q10. Why did the ironmaster send his daughter to the peddler?

Ironmaster had failed to bring his friend home. When his adamancy reached its peak, he thought it would be a better idea to send his daughter to his friend to convince him. He knew his daughter had better persuasion powers & she could easily convince any one. Therefore, he sent his daughter to invite the peddler.

Q11. Who was Edla Willmanson? What made the peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation?

Edla Willmanson was the only daughter of the ironmaster. She was a modest girl but had great persuasion powers. She talked very politely to the peddler and invited him to their home. Seeing her courtesy and respect given by her, the peddler accepted the invitation to go to manor’s house.

Q12. What did the ironmaster and his daughter get to hear at Church?

The ironmaster & his daughter had gone to Church for service. There, they got to hear that one of their fotmer employees (Crofter) had been robbed by a man who went around selling rattraps. This doubled their doubt about the man who was staying at their home for Christmas.

Q13. What had the peddler left for Edla Willmanson?

The peddler was embarrassed at what he had done with the crofter. Besides, he was amazed at Edla’s protecting him from her father. Realising his past mistakes, he had left a packet containing a rattrap, 30 kronors to be returned back to the crofter & a letter for Edla Willmanson in jagged letters. In nutshell, he wanted to thank Edla for changing his life.

Q14. Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain Von Stahle?

The peddler signed himself as Captain Von Stahle because he was treated and raised as if he were a real captain at Ironmaster’s home by Edla Willmanson. He was not only offered delicious food to eat but given due respect which changed him from a wild beast into a man.

Q15. What did the peddler write in his letter left for Edla Willmanson?

The peddler was amazed at what Edla Willmanson had done for him despite knowing his reality. To thank Edla, the peddler wrote in a letter that he had been transformed into a man by Edla Willmanson with her love, care and affection. He further added, had he not met Edla, he would have been trapped into this world again.

Q16. What two things did the peddler do throughout the day during his stay at Ironmaster’s home?

The peddler remained engaged in two activities throughout the day. First one was to sleep and second was to eat. He slept all the day as if he had slept for the first time and eat as though it was the first time he was eating such delicious food.

Q17. Why did the peddler want to get into the iron mill as soon as possible?

Having wandered the woods throughout the day, the peddler was dead-tired and unable to lift himself up. He thought his end was near for he had nothing to eat and there was a fear of wild animals too. In order to protect himself from coldness, he had wanted to get into the iron mill as soon as possible.

Q19. Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?

The crofter lived in a cottage and had no one to share his feelings. When he found the peddler asking for shelter, he behaved respectfully and offered him porridge, a slice of tobacco & showed him his thirty kronors which he had earned by selling the milk of his bossy cow.

Q20. What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?

When Edla went to her father’s iron mill to bring her father’s comrade to their home, she saw the peddler sleeping in front of a furnace. Having seen him, she doubted him of being a captain. Seeing him in filthy rags, she guessed that he was either a thief or had escaped from the jail.

Q21. What did the peddler say in his defence when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?

When the peddler was seen in day broad light, the ironmaster realised his mistake. He threatened the vagabond to call the sheriff and tell him exactly what had happened. In his defence, the peddler stated that it was never his wish but ironmaster and his daughter’s who brought him their home. He further added that he never wanted to come there but forced to do so.

Q22. Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?

Edla knew that the peddler was either a thief or had escaped from the jail. Although she had a fair enough idea about what the reality was yet she invited him to their home for it was her father’s wish and she could not displease him.

Long Answer Type questions of The Rattrap

Q1. Write a brief character sketch of the rattrap seller.

The rattrap seller was a tramp who kept on wandering here and there for selling his hand-made rattraps from the material he begged from the farms. He always wore rags and kept on looking for a place to shelter himself during the cold & wintry season. But, he was neither welcomed to homes nor respected anywhere. As a result, he thought that the world was nothing but a big rattrap & they all were rats who had to get trapped into that rattrap one day or the other. He showed his real face to the world by cheating on the man who sheltered him, offered him food and shared his emotions with him. He stole his thirty kronors and ran away through the woods in order to shun the police.

Later on, he reached Ramsjo iron mill where he was mistaken as an old acquaintance by the owner. He was brought home with the help of iron master’s daughter. He had gone there with an intention of stealing something but when he saw the hospitality of Edla, he mended his way and got changed into a man from a wild beast. In the end, he returned all the stolen kronors back to the crofter, thanked Edla for changing him into a man and signed himself as Captain Von Stahle.

Q2. “Anyone can be changed with love and care”? Do you agree to this statement? Give reasons in support to your answer.

Yes, I think anyone can be changed with love and affection. One can be convinced and transformed by respecting him, showing concern and giving attention to him. Love is a panacea that can cure anything and help converting a wild beast into a man. Having gone through the chapter ‘The Rattrap’ we can conclude that things and mindsets of people change with the passage of time. We witness that how a devil was transformed into a human by Edla through her love, care and respect. The man who thought of stealing others returned the stolen money and assured her of not repeating such mistakes again. In this way we can say that not only the rattrap seller but everyone in this world can be set to right way through love and respect. 


# The Rattrap Summary

# The Rattrap Summary Class 12

# The Rattrap Summary and Questions Answers

# The Rattrap Summary & Notes


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