The story “The Rattrap” is about a rattrap-selling vagabond who steals thirty kronors from an old crofter and takes refuge in a iron mill. The owner of the iron mill mistakes him for an old acquaintance and invites him spend Christmas Eve with them. They feed him and let him sleep peacefully.
The Rattrap Solved Short Question and Answers
- Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain Von Stahle?
The ironmaster has invited the peddler to his house mistaking him for Captain Von Stahle. The possibilities of sumptuous dinner, warm bed and an unhazardous sleep lured him pass himself off as Captain.
- How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the Crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?
The peddler interprets the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter differently. He steals crofter’s money despite crofter helping him to find a shelter and arranging his food. But the contrasting style behaviour from father and daughter results a change of heart of the peddler. He is especially overwhelmed at the behaviour of Edla who shows her mercy on him despite all his shortcomings.
- Why does the peddler think that the whole world is a trap?
The peddler lives in a constant state of struggle. He had to move from one place to another, selling rattraps, but didn’t have a proper place to live him. HE was shooed away everywhere he went. Suddenly, one day he had the idea that the whole world was nothing but a big rattrap. Just like a rat is baited with cheese or pork, the world baits people in the form of riches and joy, shelter and food, heat and clothing and more. The moment one is tempted, everything ends for him. The world disguises itself to catch people in the trap of existence.
- Why did the crofter allow the peddler to stay with him for the night?
The crofter was an old man with no family. He lived a lonely life without having anyone to talk to. He was delighted to have some company. He was generous enough to offer him food and tobacco. He even enjoyed playing cards with the peddler.
- Why did the peddler decline the ironmaster’s invitation?
The ironmaster had mistaken the peddler for one of his old acquaintances and had invited him to his home. The peddler decided to play along and did not reveal his identity in the hope that seeing his present plight, the ironmaster might give him a couple of kronors. But he had just stolen thirty kronors from the old crofter and he thought that going to the manor house after committing a thievery would make him vulnerable. He wanted to stay in the forge without attracting the police.
- What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?
The peddler looked really scared when Edla was talking to him. Edla was compassionate and amiable but this made her come to the conclusion that the peddler had either stolen something or else had escaped from the jail.
- What made the peddler accept Edla Willmanson’s invitation?
Edla was very compassionate and friendly in her approach. She requested the peddler to stay with them for Christmas Eve and assured him that he is free to leave whenever he wishes.
- Why did the peddler feel that he had fallen into a rattrap?
After stealing the thirty kronors from the crofter, the peddler decided not to continue on the public highway as that could only attract attention. He took a turn into the woods and continued walking. It was only after some time that he realized that he had been walking around in the same part of the forest. Soon it became dark and he realized that he was lost. The darkness increased the danger and intensified his feelings of despair. His theory on rattraps and the world came to his find as he felt imprisoned in the forest. He realized that he was tempted by the thirty kronors that were just bait offered by the world to trap him.
- What did the peddler say in his defence when the ironmaster realized his mistake?
When the ironmaster realized that he had mistaken the peddler for an old acquaintance, the stranger did not attempt to deceive him. He said that he never pretended to be anything but a poor trader and that it wasn’t his fault. He added that he had repeatedly wished to be left alone in the forge.
The Rattrap Solved Long Questions and Answers
- What is the theme of the story ‘The Rattrap’ and how has it been developed? OR, Kind words can change a devil into a saint. Justify on the basis of the lesson.
The world around us is full of traps and dungeons waiting for our one slip. However no matter how deep the trap is, the inherent goodness of human being can redeem himself from the darkness of the trap. The story in discussion builds around a strong metaphor of rattrap. 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 provoke us to mistakes. The peddler is tempted by thirty kronors of the old crofter. He steals the money and now shivers in the fear of being caught and moves through a deep, dark forest which is an extension of a rattrap. He finds a shelter in the house of ironmaster in assistance with another deception. However, all his inherent darkness is exorcised by the saint-like presence of Edla, the daughter of ironmaster. Instead of judging him on his follies, the lady can see through his inner goodness and her divine presence rouses the good heart of the peddler. He is soon to realise his folly and wants to make quick amendment to this. Thus the faith in humanity and infinite kindness change the person once and for all.
- Why did Edla let the peddler stay even after his true identity was revealed?
Edla was a compassionate and generous individual with a kind heart. When her father was furious at the peddler’s disguise and immediately showed him out, Edla talked in favour of the peddler by saying that he moves from one place to another the whole year and there is not even a single place where he feels at home. He goes to places without anyone welcoming him. He lives in a constant fear of being cross-examined and arrested. She feels that the homeless vagabond deserves one day of peace and rest. She further adds that it would be impolite to chase away someone on Christmas Eve after promising him a Christmas cheer. According to her, it was their fault to mistake him for someone else. She genuinely felt sorry for the poor peddler and took good care of him. She even insisted him to keep the suit he wore as a Christmas present from her father and told him that if he wished to spend the next Christmas in peace then he will definitely be welcomed back again.
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