The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
Class 12 Book Flamingo
Important MCQs: The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
1 How did the peddler get materials for making rattraps?
a. He bagged.
b. He stole.
c. He purchased
d. None of these
2 How was the life of the paddler?
d. None of these
3 What metaphor does the author/ the paddler use for this world?
a. An orange
b. A rattrap
c. A car
d. A jail
4 What was the reaction of the Crofter to see the paddler at his door?
d. None of these
5 Which game did the Crofter and the Paddler play at that night?
6 What did the crofter cook for the paddler?
c. rice and fish
7 What did the crofter share with the peddler?
a. cold drink
8 How much the crofter earn from the creamery last month?
a. 30 kroner
b. 35 kroner
c. 40 kroner
d. 50 kroner
9 Where did the crofter work?
a. Ram Ironworks
b. TMT Ironworks
c. Ramsjo Ironworks
d. None of these
10 What was the name of the Iron master’s elder daughter?
a. Juia Willmanson
b. Edla Willmansson
c. Maria Menson
d. Rosie Moore
11 By what name did the paddler sign the letter?
a. The crofter
b. The paddler
c. Captain von Stahle
c. Captain Comrade
Ans: 1-a, 2-c, 3-b, 4-a, 5-d, 6-b, 7-d, 8-a, 9-c, 10-b, 11-c
Fill in the blanks: The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
1 Edla Willmension came to persuade . (the crofter/the paddler)
2 The paddler went around selling small of wire. (rattraps/rats)
3 The paddler knocked on the door to shelter for that night. (tell/ask)
4 The crofter showed the paddler wrinkled ten-kronor bills. (three/thirty)
5 The crofter gifted to Edla a . (a cake/a rattrap)
Ans: 1-the paddler, 2-rattraps, 3-ask, 4-three, 5- a rattrap
Important questions answers: The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
1. How does the author use the metaphor of ‘rattrap’ effectively in the story?
Ans. The author uses the metaphor of ‘rattrap’ very often but effectively in the story. According to him, this world is nothing but a big rattrap. It’s only aiming to set trap for people. Riches or joy, food and shelter are just baiting to tempt the people. If one is tempted to touch the bait, the trap closes on him.
2. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
Ans. The Ironmaster spoke kindly to the paddler because he thought the paddler was his old regimental comrade, Captain Von Stahle. The ironmaster wanted to help the peddler, not only in regaining his health but also in taking up a new vocation. Moreover, the ironmaster was a lonely fellow who lived with his oldest daughter after the death of his wife and the departure of his sons. He wanted a new company on Christmas Eve, so he invited the peddler to his home.
3. Why did the paddler decline the invitation?
Ans. The peddler declined the invitation of the ironmaster to go to his house. He had stolen thirty kroner 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. He was afraid if the ironmaster would come to know that he is a thief and then the police might arrest him. So, he declined the ironmaster’s invitation.
4. What doubt Elda have about the paddler?
Ans. As Edla lifted the peddler’s hat, he jumped up abruptly and seemed to be quite frightened. Even her kind looks, disclosure of her name and purpose of visit failed to calm him. From his fear, she thought that either he had stolen something, or he had escaped from jail.
5. Why did he show the thirty kroner to the peddler?
Ans. 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 the payment. Thinking that the stranger might not believe this, he showed the wrinkled three ten-kronor bills to him from a leather pouch.
6. What did the Rattrap seller think of the world and its people?
Ans: One day the peddler was thinking of his rattrap. Suddenly, an idea came to his mind that the whole world about him was nothing but a rattrap. All its riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing were just baits for people. It is the same as the rattrap offered cheese and pork for rats.
7. What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?
Ans: The peddler recalled his thought about the world and the rattrap. Now his turn had come. He had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught. He thought of the thirty kroner that he stole. And now the ironmaster was inviting him to his manor house. It seemed that he was throwing himself into the lion’s den.
8. Why did the peddler have to resort to both begging and petty issue?
Ans: The peddler used to move from place to place selling small rattraps of wire. He made them himself at odd hours. He got the material by begging in the stores or at the big farms. But from this, he couldn’t earn much. So he had to resort to both begging and petty thievery to keep his body and soul together.
9. What kind of hospitality did the peddler receive from the crofter?
Ans: The peddler needed shelter for that night. He knocked on the door of a cottage. He expected “sour faces” to greet him. But to his great surprise, the old crofter welcomed the peddler. He was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness. The peddler was served supper. He offered tobacco for his pipe. Both of them played “mjolis” also.
10. How did the old crofter earn 30 kroner?
Ans: The crofter had a cow that supported him. She could give milk for the creamery every day and last month he had received all of thirty kroner in payment.
11. What did the old crofter do with the pouch and why?
Ans: The old crofter took down a leather pouch that hung on a nail in the window frame. He picked out three wrinkled ten kroner notes. These he held before the eyes of his guest knowingly. Then he stuffed them back into the pouch. Perhaps he was setting bait for the peddler.
12. Why did the peddler decide to take his way through the forest? Or,
Why was the peddler afraid to walk on the highway?
Ans: The peddler walked along with the stolen money in his pocket. He did not want to take an unexpected risk. He dared not continue on the public highway. He must turn off the road, into the forest. Hence, he took his way through the forest. That could save him from being chased and caught red-handed.
13. Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain von Stahle?
Ans: At the ironmaster’s house the peddler was honoured as captain. The host took him to be his old regimental comrade. The peddler was a vagabond. In this role, he raised himself above petty temptations. The kindness and hospitality shown by Edla towards him raised basic human qualities in him. Now he did not want to disclose his real identity. So he signed himself as Captain Von Stahle.
Long Answer Type Questions: The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
1. Attempt a character sketch of the crofter. How did he treat the peddler?
Ans: The crofter was a generous host and a good companion. He was an old man without a wife or child. He was a lonely man always in search of good company. He was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness. Hence, when the peddler knocked on the door of his cottage to ask for shelter for that night, he was happy to receive him.
The old man was equally generous with his confidences. In his days of prosperity, he had been a Crofter at Ramsjo Ironworks. Now it was his cow that supported him. He picked out three ten kroner notes from the pouch. He did it in the presence of his guest. He stuffed them back into the pouch. It proved to be bait difficult to be resisted by the peddler.
The generous host made every effort to make his guest comfortable. Immediately he put the porridge pot on the fire and gave him supper. He carved off a big slice from his tobacco roll and gave it to the guest. Finally, he got out an old pack of cards. He played ‘mjolis’ with his guest until bedtime.
2. Give a character sketch of the peddler as portrayed by Selma Lagerlof in ‘The Rattrap’.
Ans: In the story ‘The Rattrap’, Selma Lagerlof draws a very interesting character as the peddler. He is full of deceit but he is not without goodness deep within his heart. The peddler represents some human weaknesses which are the product of circumstances. But he is never devoid of basic human goodness. The essential goodness in him is awakened through the love and understanding of Miss Edla Willmansson.
The peddler is a vagabond cum beggar cum a petty thief. At moments he can raise himself to a philosopher. He philosophies life and compares the world to a big rattrap. He is not above temptation. He steals crofter’s money. Finally, Edla’s kind behaviour transforms him into a genuine person.
He is witty and humorous. He knows how to deal with men and tricky situations. He thanks Miss Edla for her kindness and hospitality. He realizes his fault and decides to return 30 kroner to the rightful owner, the old crofter. The peddler enjoys the sympathy of readers’ right from the beginning of the story but this self-realization reflects a kind of heroic quality hidden in him. The readers develop sympathy and appreciation for him. They forgive him for his little human weaknesses.
3. What did Edla Wilmansson find inside her Christmas present? What had the peddler written in his letter?
Ans: The peddler had left behind a little Christmas gift for Miss Williamson. Inside her Christmas present, Edla Willmansson found a rattrap and in it laid three wrinkled ten kroner notes. In the rattrap laid a letter. It was addressed to her.
In the peddler’s letter, Edla was praised for being so nice to him. Miss Willmansson had been so nice to him all day long as if he were a captain. In return, he did not want her to be embarrassed by a thief. He urged her to give back the money to the rightful owner.
He also thanked Edla for bringing such change in him. He would have been caught in this world’s rattrap if he had not been raised to a captain. That gave power to him to raise himself above petty worldly temptations.
He signed himself as captain von Stahle.
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