The Rattrap (Selma Lagerlof) Class 12 English Important Questions

Important Questions Class 12

Please refer to The Rattrap (Selma Lagerlof) Class 12 English Important Questions with solutions provided below. These questions and answers have been provided for Class 12 English based on the latest syllabus and examination guidelines issued by CBSE, NCERT, and KVS. Students should learn these problem solutions as it will help them to gain more marks in examinations. We have provided Important Questions for Class 12 English for all chapters in your book. These Board exam questions have been designed by expert teachers of Standard 12.

Class 12 English Important Questions The Rattrap (Selma Lagerlof)

Short Answer Type Questions :

Question. Why did the stranger not tell the ironmaster that he was not Nils Olof ?
Ans. 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.

Question. Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain von Stahle? 
Ans. The peddler signed himself as Captain von Stahle because he had been treated at the ironmaster’s home like a real captain even after knowing he was not a captain. He wanted to repay Edla for her kindness just as a real captain would have done. It was an indication that he wanted to retain the dignity and respect accorded to him.

Question. How did the crofter entertain the peddler.
Ans. The crofter entertained the peddler by sharing his feelings, giving him food and even playing a game of cards with him. He behaved in a friendly manner with the peddler and welcomed him warmly to his house.

Question. Despite his philosophical insights, the vagabond fails to resist temptations. What would you attribute this to? Explain with reference to any instance from the text.
Ans. Despite is philosophical insights, the vagabond fails to resist temptations simply because of his humanness. The vagabond is a poor and a deprived man who is treated and unkindly by the social world around him. Just like every other individual, he is also vulnerable to the baits of food, shelter, luxury, etc.
Hence, the bait comes to him when the old crofter shows him his money. Blinded by the bait, he also falls in the rattrap.

Question. Why did the peddler decline the invitation?


Why did the peddler decline the invitation extended to him by the ironmaster?
Ans. The peddler declined the invitation of the ironmaster because he was carrying the crofter’s money which he had stolen. He is fearful that his real identity would be revealed and he might be handed over to the police.

Question. What did the peddler say in his defense when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?
Ans. In his defense, the peddler said that it was not his fault. He also said that he never pretended to be anything but a poor trader. He pleaded and begged to be allowed to stay in the forge. He added that he had not done any harm and if asked he would put on his rags again and go away.

Question. Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler? 
Ans. Edla was happy to see the gift left by the peddler because it was unexpected. Earlier Edla was shocked to learn that their guest was actually a thief. She had pleaded 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 overjoyed to understand that her kindness and compassion had changed the peddler and brought out his essential goodness.

Question. Why was the peddler amused at the idea of the world being a rattrap. 
Ans. 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 would also be tempted and caught up in the rattrap one day.

Question. What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?

Ans. When Edla met the peddler, he became afraid. This made Edla think that the peddler had stolen something or he had escaped from jail. She doubted whether he was her father’s old regimental comrade. Later she even told her father that there was nothing about him to show that he was once an educated man.

Question. If the world is ‘nothing but a big rattrap’, as the tramp seated in the story ‘The Rattrap’, who might the rattrap peddler be? Discuss.
Ans. If the world is ‘nothing but a big rattrap’ as per the tramp then, the rattrap peddler can become someone who sells the baits of the world. However, he is just another human being in the world, who is tempted into the rattrap as he steals money from the old crofter. He is reduced to just a person who conceptualised the idea but is not saved from it.

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


Why did the peddler keep to the woods after leaving the crofter’s cottage? How did he feel?
Ans. After stealing the crofter’s money, the peddler kept to the woods because he couldn’t walk on the public highway for the fear of getting identified and caught. It was a big and confusing forest and the peddler lost his way in it. 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.

Question. 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?
Ans. The peddler was a vagabond who went around selling rattraps made by him. One day, as he was thinking about his rattraps, he was struck by the idea that the world was a big rattrap. Riches, food, joys and shelter served as baits to tempt people, just like a rattrap offered cheese or meat to tempt rats. As soon as one was tempted to touch the bait, the rattrap closed and the individual was trapped.

Question. Why did Edla decide to entertain the peddler?
Ans. Edla decided to entertain the peddler against the wishes of her father because she felt very bad for him and his miserable condition. Further, it was Christmas time and as a true Christian, it was not fair to turn away the guest on the eve of Christmas.

Question. What made the peddler accept Edla Willmanssons invitation?


Why did the peddler accept the invitation extended by Edla having already declined the one from her father ?
Ans. Edla’s kindness made the peddler feel that he could trust her and this made him accept her invitation. Edla 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.

Question. Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?
Ans. No, the peddler didn’t respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter. The crofter had showed him the thirty kronor which he had earned and where it was kept in a pouch near a window. The next day, when the crofter had gone out to deliver the cow’s milk to the creamery, the peddler came back, broke the window pane, and stole the thirty kronor.

Question. Edla sat and hung her head even more dejectedly than usual. Which two reasons forced her to behave in that manner? 
Ans. 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.

Question. What do we learn about the crofter’s nature from the story ‘The Ratrap’? 
Ans. The crofter was a lonely person without wife or child. He was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness. He was also generous and trusting person because he hosted the peddler for a night and even showed him where he had kept his money.

Question. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home? 
Ans. The ironmaster spoke kindly to the peddler and invited him home because he mistook the peddler for his old regimental comrade, Nils Olof, who had, fallen on evil days.
This happened when the ironmaster came to the mill for inspection and noticed the peddler lying close to the furnace. Due to the dim light and the peddler’s dirty appearance, he mistook him for his former colleague. 

Long Answer Type Questions :

Question. To be grateful is a great virtue of a gentleman. How did the peddler show his gratitude to Edla? 
Ans. It is truly said that a gentlemen shows the virtue of gratefulness. This statement stands true for the character of the peddler in the story ‘The Rattrap’ wherein the peddler transforms into a gentleman due to the compassion and kindness shown by Edla.
Edla knew that her father was mistaken when he invited the peddler home thinking he was his long lost friend. Later it was revealed that he was a complete stranger and not her father’s acquaintance. Despite this Edla begged her father not to send him away on Christmas Eve. She invited him home and gave him food, shelter and clothes. Her kindness, compassion and sympathy bring out the goodness in the peddler.
He leaves a packet for her as a Christmas gift which contains a rattrap and three ten kronor notes stolen from the crofter. It also contained a letter in which he signs himself as captain and requests her to return the stolen money to the crofter. Hence, by transforming himself into a dignified gentleman the peddler showed his gratitude to Edla and Edla’s care and concern.

Question. A good deed or an act of kindness can change a person’s view of the world. What characteristics of Edla’s conduct inspire the peddler to redeem himself and change his ways? 
Ans. There is great transforming power in the act of kindness. There are many fictional and real life stories which reveal us how compassion and kindness changed bad people into good human beings; these stories teach us the lesson of being kind. Edla’s empathy and kindness changed the life of the vagabond rattrap seller.
Edla restored his dignity and self-worth and treated him like a Captain of the army though she was aware that he was a common tramp. She was empathetic towards the peddler and the kindness and concern she showed towards the peddler touched the core of his heart and transformed his way of thinking. Her kindness and caring nature transformed the unscrupulous vagabond into a good human being.
This shows that the peddler was not a bad man at heart, but was 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.

Question. The peddler believed that the whole world is a rattrap. How did he himself get caught in the same? 
Ans. The peddler in the story ‘The Rattrap’ believed very strongly that this world was a big rattrap. It offered comforts and joys just like the rattrap offered food to a rat. As soon as a rat was tempted to touch the bait, it trapped him. In same way food, joys and shelter served as baits to tempt people who get trapped thereafter.
But one day peddler himself was caught in such a trap. One day when he sought refuge at a crofter’s house, he came across a bait. The old crofter showed him the money which he had earned. The crofter’s hospitality served as a bait for the peddler as, the next morning, he stole the money and fled into the forest.
He got lost there and felt the forest was a big rattrap into which he had fallen. Later, he again gets caught into the trap when Edla invites him home with the assurance of Christmas cheer. Devoid of happiness, food and shelter, the peddler repeatedly surrenders to worldly temptations.

Question. ‘The Rattrap’ focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Comment
Ans. All the characters in the story, ‘The Rattrap’, suffer from loneliness and are dreary souls. First of all, the tramp appears to lead a sad, monotonous existence, left to his own musings. He is always greeted by sour faces and cold words wherever he goes.
Next, the old crofter lives all alone in a cottage by the roadside. He is 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.
Then the ironmaster and his daughter Edla also have no company for Christmas. The ironmaster takes the tramp home, mistaking him to be his old comrade. He, with his daughter, is happy to play the perfect host to his former colleague.
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 practise their Christian virtues of kindness, sympathy and hospitality. The compassion and sincerity shown by Edla changes peddler into a man who is one of the members of society.

Question. The peddler’s story speaks on a general level to society, urging for a different outlook towards those maligned individuals who can be redeemed by  compassion and understanding. In the light of the story ‘The Rattrap’ mentioned, how do you think society can help individuals, specially juvenile delinquents, from falling prey to petty crimes and bad habits?
Ans. The peddler in the story, ‘The Rattrap’, used to earn his living by selling small rattraps. Since his business was not profitable, he resorted to petty thefts. Nobody treated him with kindness or respect. But when he was showered with affection and respect by Edla, he was highly touched. The act of concern and compassion impacted him so much that he left the stolen money at her home. This shows that goodness is latent in the human heart which can be brought out by love, care and understanding.
The peddler’s instance, thus, urges society to change its outlook towards those maligned individuals who can be redeemed by compassion and understanding. Society can help such individuals by being sympathetic and compassionate.
It should treat these individuals, particularly juvenile delinquents, with love and kindness and help them from falling prey to petty crimes and bad habits. Society should thus develop an empathetic attitude towards them and try to understand human nature.

Question. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
Ans. 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 does 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 into despair and gloom. In this way, the metaphor of the rattrap highlights the human predicament.

Question. Compare and contrast the character of the iron master with that of his daughter. 
Ans. The ironmaster was a man of power and ambition. He was so hardwarking, disciplined and sober that he did rounds in his mills to make sure that everything was working properly. But he was also impulsive and completely non-persuasive. He invited the peddler home without confirming his identity and even when the pedder refused, he sent his daughter to convince the latter to come to his home.
The ironmaster is also a realist. He is practical and morally strict. As soon as he sees the peddlers true identity he orders him to leave. While he does not show any softness with the peddler, he does so with his daughter whose wishes he accepts.
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 is observant and suspicious of the peddler’s identity.
She treated him with respect and dignity even after knowing that was not a captain. It was her generous attitude which finally changed the peddler, bringing out the essential goodness of his nature.

Question. How would your compare the peddler’ actions in relation to the crofter and Edla? Would you say kindness does not always beget kindness, and that the conditions for receiving kindness are important for it to truly transform people? Elaborate. Provide relevant textual details to support the analysis. 
Ans. The Peddler’s actions in relation to the crofter is very different from his actions in relation to Edla. In the case of the crofter’s, the peddler falls for the bait. The old crofter’s amiable, friendly and kind attitude tempts the peddler with livelihood. The thirty kronors shown by the crofter finally entraps the peddler.
Therefore, the paddler broke the confidence and turst reposed in him by the old crofter.
In contrast, the peddler reposed the trust and kindness shown to him by Edla. Edla treats the peddler with kindness, compassion and respect worthy of a captain, even after knowing that was a mere tramp. As a consequence, the peddler decided to change his ways and start leading a respectful life.
In light of the peddler’s reaction to the kindness shown by the crofter and Edla, we can say that kindness does not always beget kindness and that the conditions for receiving kindness are important to transform people. The kindness shown by the old crofter does not effect the peddler to change him. In fact, the crofters kindness baits him to fall in a rattrap of luxuries.
The peddler in return to the crofter ‘s kindness brings him misery by stealing his earnings. A similar kindness is shown by Edla. She treats the peddler like a captain. However, unlike the case the crofter the situation is different. The entrapped peddler, is regretting his acts so much that Edla’s respect and kindness starts a process of transformation. Consequently, the kindness shown by Edla is begetted by her with the peddler leaving behind the stolen money to be returned.

Question. The people we meet in life leave an impression on us. How is the rattrap seller affected by meeting the crofter and Edla? 
Ans. It is true that the people we meet in life leaves an impression on us. In the story. ‘The rattrap’, the peddler comes across two people who change his life for the better.
The Crofter He was the first person that the peddler found to be hospitable. He treated him like a guest, gave him food and entertained him by playing a game of cards with him after dinner. The crofter also shared his confidences with the peddler, but the peddler robbed him of his money. Thus, the crofter’s hospitality did not affect the peddler’s behaviour although, later on, the eddler’s conscience pricked him for robbing the crofter’s money.
Edla She persuaded him to come home for Christmas and treated him with dignity and respect befitting a captain and a guest even after realising the truth that he was not the person her father thought him to be. She was kind and compassionate, spread Christmas cheer and gave him gifts. All this finally brought about a change in the peddler. He decided to change his ways and live with dignity and respect. When he got the chance to show his goodness, he returned the stolen money with a note to give it back to the crofter. He also left a rattrap for Edla as a Christmas present. 

Extract Based Questions :

Question. Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow
The stranger must have seemed incredulous, for the old man got up and went to the window, took down a leather pouch which hung on a nail in the very window frame, and picked out three wrinkled ten-kronor bills. These he held up before the eyes of his guest, nodding knowingly, and then stuffed them back into the pouch. The next day both men got up in good season. The crofter was in a hurry to milk his cow, and the other man probably thought he should not stay in bed when the head of the house had gotten up.
(i) Why does the author say that the stranger must have seemed incredulous?
(ii) How did the old man earn his thirty kronor bills with him?
(iii) What does the given lines tell us about the old man?
(iv) The next day bothmen got up in good season’.Explain.
(v) What is the significance of the given lines?
Ans. (i) The author says that the stranger must have seemed incredulous because the information that the old man had thirty kronors with him seemed unbelievable to him.
(ii) The old man had earned the thirty kronors by selling milk that his cow gave.
(iii) The given lines show us that the old man was very happy and delighted to have someone to talk to. He is so innocent that he forgets that he is too trusting of the stranger and had shown him where he kept his earnings.
(iv) Both the men in the cottage had a great time together. The old man got someone to talk to and the peddler got to enjoy some good hospitality from the crofter.
(v) The given lines are significant because it shows the trusting and gullible nature of the oldman. It points out that the old man made a mistake in blindly trusting a strange man by showing him his money.

Question. Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow
The ironmaster began to laugh.
“That was not so badly said, my good fellow.
Perhaps we should let the sheriff alone on Christmas Eve. But now get out of here as fast as you can.”
But just as the man was opening the door, the daughter said, “I think he ought to stay with us today. I don’t want him to go.” And with that she went and closed the door.
“What in the world are you doing?” Said the father. 
(i) Why did the ironmaster begin to laugh?
(ii) What does the given lines showabout the ironmaster?
(iii) Why was the man leaving?
(iv) Why does Edla stop the man from leaving?
(v) How can you justify the ironmaster’s reaction for his daughter’s decision?
Ans. (i) The ironmaster began to laugh because of the philosophy of the strange man. The strange man had just warned the ironmaster that the world is a rattrap wherein he will also be caught.
(ii) The given lines show that the ironmaster was a jovial and a good natured fellow.
(iii) The man was leaving because it was found that he was not a captain friend of the ironmaster. He was, in fact, just a tramp who had been misidentified.
(iv) Edla stopped the man from leaving because she wanted to do something good on Christmas by helping the poor tramp. Further, they had promised the tramp Christmas cheer and felt that it would be wrong to send him away without it.
(v) As a rational man, the ironmaster knows that sheltering the tramp would bring problems to their house. So, he wanted the tramp to leave and he had not expected his daughter would go against his decision.

Question. Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow
No one can imagine how sad and monotonous life can appear to such a vagabond who plots along the read, left to his own meditatious but one day this man had fallen into a line of thought, which really seemed to him entertaining. He had naturally been thinking of his rattrap when suddenly he was struck by the idea that the whole world about him. The whole word with its lands and seas, it cities and villages-was nothing but a big rattrap. It had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people.
(i) Why is life ‘sad and monotonous’ for the peddler?
(ii) For what reason was the line of thought entertaining of the peddler?
(iii) “He had naturally been thinking of his rattrap”. What does the use of ‘naturally’ indicate in the extract?
(iv) What are the baits that tempt man to fall in the trap of the world?
(v) If the world is ‘nothing but a big rattrap’ who might the rattrap peddler be?
Ans. (i) Life is sad and monotonous for the peddler because he was poor and lonely. He had to make rattraps everyday or indulge in begging and theft to make his living. He could not rest or have peace for even one day.
(ii) The line of thought was entertaining to the peddler because of the hostility he received from people. It made him feel good when people get caught in the rattrap were circling around the bait. 
(iii) The word ‘naturally’ in the extract indicates the association of the peddler with rattraps. The peddler was a rattrap seller and it is natural for him to think about them.
(iv) The baits that tempt a man to fall in the trap of the world include all the basic necessities and luxuries of life. These include the riches, joys, shelter, food, heat, etc.
(v) If the world is ‘nothing but a big rattrap’, the rattrap peddler can be someone who sells baits to people so that they can be entrapped. However, as per the story, the peddler himself falls prey into the rattrap.