The Rattrap – Chapter 4 (NCERT Solutions, Important Questions & Answers) Class 12

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CLASS XII (12th)

Intext Question Answers – The Rattrap – Chapter 4 (NCERT Solutions, Important Questions & Answers) Class 12

On The Page – 34*

Q1. From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?
Answer – The peddler was a very poor man who earned his living by selling the rattraps, he made himself from the materials he got by begging. His mind, thus, was always preoccupied with rattraps. The shelter, food, clothes, riches, and Joys that the world provides are all bits to entrap man. When one is trapped, everything comes to an end.
Q2. Why was the tramp amused by the idea of the world being a rattrap?
Answer – The world had never been kind to the peddler. So he was full of bitterness against the world. He had become a cynic and he enjoyed visualizing the world as a rattrap ready to enter anybody who was tempted by the baits it had to offer. He knew that many people had been ensnared and the others were still circling around the bait.
Q3. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
Answer – The parallel had never been treated kindly why the world. He has meted out a cold treatment wherever he went. He was pleasantly surprised when the crofter treated him with warmth and hospitality. Ordinarily, he always mates “sour faces” when he knocked anyone’s door for shelter and food.
Q4. Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
Answer – The old property was lonely and leading a dreary existence as he had no wife or children. The old man was happy to get someone to talk to, even though it was a tramp. So he welcomes the peddler and extended his hospitality towards him.
Q5. Why did the crofter show the 30 kroner to the peddler?
Answer – The crofter had nobody to share his happiness with. He was really satisfied and overjoyed to earn 30 kroner in a month. Hence, he showed the amount to the peddler. Another possible reason is that he suspected that his guest did not believe him. 
Q6. Did the peddler respect the confidence respond in him by the crofter?

Answer – The peddler found it a little difficult to make both ends meet. His life was involved in better struggles for mere survival. So, the moment he gets to know about the thirty kronor, he is on an lookout to grab them as soon as possible. Finally, he steals the money by smashing a windowpane and how’s no regard for the crofter’s faith.

On The Page – 34*

Q1. What made me peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rat trap?
Answer –
After grabbing the money from the crofters the peddler is cautious enough to avoid the public highway. he gets into The Woods but finally realizes that it is a big and confusing forest. The end of the forest is nowhere in sight. He feels he has come to a dead end as he has been walking around the same part of the forest. That’s when he recalls his thoughts about the world being a rattrap and he realizes that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap.

Q2. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
Answer –
In the glow of the furnace, the ironmaster mistook the peddler to be Nils Olof, his old regimental comrade. He was overwhelmed with sympathy for he is comrade when he saw him in terrible condition.

The ironmaster wanted the peddler to shed his inhibitions and enjoy on the occasion of Christmas. Moreover, the ironmaster wanted to better his comrade’s future prospects.

Q3. Why did the peddler decline the invitation?
Answer –
The pilot did not disclose his real identity and did not make an effort to clear the ironmaster’s misconception. This is because he thought he might get some money in the bargain. But he had to decline the invitation also because of the fear of getting caught as he had stolen the 30 kronor from that old man. To go up to the manor house would be like “throwing, himself voluntary into the lion’s den”.

On-The Page – 41*

Q1. What made the peddler accept Edla Williamson’s invitations?
Answer – The peddler was taken in by Edla’s compassion and friendly behavior. he felt confidence in her when she said: “you will be allowed to leave us just as freely as you came”. Thus the warmth and sincerity shown by the ironmasters daughter mitigated all his fears.
Q2. What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?
Answer – Although young, Edla was a  better judge of human character as compared to her father. When she invited the peddler to the manor house, she concluded immediately that he had either stolen some money or had an escaped from the Jail.
Q3. When did the ironmaster realize his mistake?
Answer – The ironmaster brought the tramp to his house mistaking him to be his old regimental comrade. However, it was not so. The ironmaster realized this when the valet had given the peddler a bath, a save, a haircut and fine clothes. When he was brought before the ironmaster in broad daylight, he understood that he had mistaken the tramp to be his formal comrade in the light of the Furnace. 
Q4. What did the peddler say in his defense when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?
Answer – The peddler told the ironmaster that he never pretended to be the captain. Moreover, he did not accept the ironmaster’s invitation to come to the manor’s house. In fact, he had implored him to stay that night in the forge itself. 
Q5. Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?
Answer – A compassionate girl, a true Christian, Edla could not bear the thought of a poor wretch been turned out of the house on the evening of Christmas. She is pained at the idea that everybody chases the vagabond away. So she wanted that the peddler should “enjoy a day of peace with us here just once in the whole year.”

On-Page 42*

Q1. Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?
Answer – Edla became happy after seeing the gift of the peddler because “the gift” provided by her father’s rigid belief that the peddler was a thief and nothing, including her belief in the part of human being, could change him. However, “the gift” proved that her “belief” was right, so she felt immense joy.

Q2. Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain Van Stahle?

Exercise Question Answers – The Rattrap – Chapter 4 (NCERT Solutions, Important Questions & Answers) Class 12

Q1. How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?
– Initially the peddler seems to be a man who has no principles in life.  He heartily accepts the crofter’s hospitality and generosity but robs him of his hard and kronor just because it is easy to get it. He hardly cares for the faith responded to him by the old man.

When the ironmaster mistakes him to be his old regimental comrade. He does not disclose his true identity in the hope of getting a few kronor. However, when the ironmaster pesters him he feels a sense of entrapment, having stolen the money from the crofters and decline the invitation. He feels that to accept the invitation would be alike voluntarily throwing himself into the lion’s den. He only wants to stay for a night in the forge and slip out in the morning. However, on Edla’s invitation, he does go there. When the ironmaster realizes his mistake the peddler acts in an ungrateful manner and gives him a “sermon” about the whole world being a rattrap.

Edla’s warmth, sympathy, and hospitality transform him in the end. He elevating him to the status of a captain makes him redeem himself from a petty thief. It strips the innate goodness of his heart. Edla truly believes him and the rat tramp repays her faith in him by leaving behind the stolen kronor to be returned to the crofter. He also leaves behind a small rattrap as a Christmas gift and thanks to her whole-heartedly. He says that having been treated with such respect, he could not hope to embarrass them. He had been saved from the dubious fate of being caught in the rattrap of the world for which he was indebted to her. That’s the reason why he signs off as Captain Von Stahle.

Q2. What are the instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from that of his daughter in many ways?
A man or power and ambition, the ironmaster was in the habit of visiting the forge at night to ensure that good iron was shipped out from his end. When he saw the tramp near the forge he mistook him to be his old regimental comrade who had fallen into bad times. He wanted to take the man to the manor house, not out of sympathy or philanthropy but out of arrogance. The ironmaster wanted him to realize that resigning from the regiment was a wrong decision and if he (the ironmaster) was there, the comrade would not have been reduced to poverty.

The ironmaster was not a good judge of human character. That’s the reason why he felt that the tramp would regain his sophisticated manners after a bath and change of clothes. When he realizes that he has been mistaken, he thoughtlessly jumps to the conclusion of reporting the matter to the Sheriff. Again, on learning in the Church about the peddler’s theft, he is worried about his own silverware.
On the other hand Edla, his daughter understands at the beginning itself that either the tramp has stolen something or has escaped from the jail. She was not convinced that he had ever been in the armed forces. Still, she retains her sympathetic attitude towards him and persuades her father to let him stay because it would be unjust to turn him out of the house on the Christmas Evening. She takes the stranger by hand and asks him to eat in spite of her father’s unwillingness.

She realizes that the tramp was never welcome anywhere and always been chased away by people. She decides that at least for one day of the year, she would make the tramp feel safe secure and comfortable in her home. Thus, she paves the way for the tramp’s transformation and redemption.

Q3. The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to other behaviors to pick out instances of these surprises.
Answer –
Then the peddler’s act of seeking refuge in the forge meeting the ironmaster and the latter mistaking him to be his old regimental comrade comes as a surprise. His invitation to the tramp to come for Christmas Eve to the manor house leaves one astounded. The peddler’s act of accepting Edla’s invitation in spite of his guilt feeling about the stolen money and thoughts about entering the lion’s den baffle us. The next surprise is when the peddler left to himself in the manor house has every opportunity to slip out with the valuables. Even the ironmaster expects something like this to happen. However, the tramp goes away leaving behind a small rattrap ls a Christmas gift and the thirty kronor to be returned to the rightful owner shocks the reader out of his wits.

The tramp’s letter addressed to Edla expressing his gratitude for elevating him to the status of Captain, giving him a chance to free himself from the rattrap of the world and redeeming him also give us a shock. Thus, the story is replete with instances of unexpected reactions and surprises.

Q4. What made the peddler finally change his ways?
Answer –
Love understanding and acceptance are such things which whenever given shows tremendous and noteworthy results. A similar thing happened in the case of the peddler. A mere thief was transformed into a gentleman who not only left behind the thirty kronor he had stolen for the rightful owner, but he also left a Christmas gift for Edla who was the person responsible for transforming the peddler.
It is not that Edla had treated him extraordinarily but the basic goodness shown towards him was quite effective as that was missing in his life. For the first time, he was made to feel like a gentleman and not a thief. The feeling was so special to feel that it tempted him to remain so forever. It was just the simple human behavior and kindness shown by Edla that compelled the peddler to change his ways.

Q5. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
Answer – Left to his own meditations, the tramp in the course of his wandering, thinks about the whole world as a big rattrap. Just as cheese and pork are traits in the rattrap, similarly the riches, joy, shelter, and food that the world off ensnare traits to entrap and ensnare people.

Being an embittered man shunned by everybody, these thoughts give unwonted joy to the tramp. A sadistic and a cynic, he thinks of all the people around him who have fallen into the trap.
The musings of the tramp, to have an iota of truth in them. We are tempted by all the temptations, desires and needs. We go all out to pursue them. In this desire to amass and accumulate more and more, we are entrapped by the world. Just in case we do not get tine things we want, we are plunged in despair and gloom. Caught in the rut, we find ourselves incapable of wriggling out of our day-to-day wishes and desires. The more we try to escape, the more we are engulfed. Into the trap and lose all means of escape.

Q6. The peddler comes out as a person with a subtitle sense of humor. How does it serve in lighting the seriousness of the theme of the story and also and endear him to us?

Answer – The peddler with his subtle sense of humor equates the rattraps he makes to the world which he believes is a huge rattrap, offering baits like comfort, food shelter, and material benefits. One day, the rattrap encloses us and there is no way out. In this way, the peddler consoles himself about his not-so-worldly ways. His thinking in this manner about the world and his sad and melancholy-self endears him to us.

He manages to arouse our sympathy in spite of his theft at the old crofter’s place and breaching his trust. Somewhere, he is right because the old man was wrong in trusting a stranger so much. The leather pouch with the kronor is, indeed, a bit. His insistence on staying in the warm forge and refusal to go with the ironmaster evokes pity. We know that somewhere he is feeling guilty of stealing the kronor. When the ironmaster realizes his mistakes, the tramp’s ‘sermon’ about the. the world being a rattrap, temptations and desires are really humorous as it seems out of context.

The ironmaster’s daughter’s kind and sympathetic attitude change him completely. Even she realizes his human worth and treats him with dignity. The tramp’s final act of returning the token of love by writing a letter, signing off as the captain and returning the stolen money elevates him in our eyes also. This is the beginning of his transformation into a sensitive and courteous human being. This act of his really evokes our empathy makes him truly humane and thus, endears him to us.

Without the tramp’s philosophizing element of the rattrap and his treatment of it in a humorous way, the story would have seeped in seriousness.

Talking About The Text – The Rattrap – Chapter 4 (NCERT Solutions, Important Questions & Answers) The Rattrap Class 12

Q1. The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so? Is the sympathy justified?

Answer – The pitiable condition and pathetic lifestyle of the peddler who is forced to steal to make both ends meet arouses our sympathy. This is justified because although the peddler is trying hard, fortune does not favor him. He is chased away by the people and forced to leave in impoverishment. 

Q2. The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. explain?
– All the characters in the story suffer from loneliness and dreary souls. First of all, the tramp appears to lead a sad, monotonous existence, left to his own musings. He is always greeted by soul faces and cold words. He trudges along the journey of life in a listless manner with no hopes of redemption.
The old crofter’s fate has been somewhat kinder to him. Bereft of his wife and children, he lives all alone in a cottage by the roadside. He is only too happy to get someone to talk to in the absence of his loneliness, That’s the reason why he is so generous and hospitable as a host.

As the plot moves further, we have the ironmaster and his daughter, Edla, who have no company for Christmas. The ironmaster’s wife is dead and his sons have settled abroad. The ironmaster takes the tramp home by mistaking him to be his old comrade home and he, with his daughter, is happy to play perfect hosts for his friend. Thus, all of them lave 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 practice their Christian virtues of kindness, sympathy, and hospitality. It is bonding with the young girl that transforms the peddler. The love understanding and dignity that he gets from the girl makes him leave his dishonest ways and redeem him.

Q3. The story is both entertaining and philosophical. Discuss.
Answer – The story is both entertaining and philosophical. This statement is quite true. The fast-paced narrative in the third person, generous use of dialogue by the author and different characters belonging to different mindsets and locales in addition to the irony, make the story interesting.
In the beginning, the crofter’s invitation to the tramp surprises us. What’s more surprising is the tramp’s attitude of walking away with the thirty kronor. The peddler comes across as a poor, pathetic soul but we never thought he is dishonest too! The incidents in the forge, with the ironmaster coming at midnight hold our attention. The peddler’s incessant refusals to the ironmaster to accompany him but. Accepting Edla’s invitation in one go, make the story gripping.

The reader is pleasantly surprised when the ironmaster realizes that there is the problem of mistaken identities. Tables turn when Edla’s sympathetic attitude and dignity towards the peddler, transform him. These events really never make us lose our focus on the story. One feels really overwhelmed and relieved when the peddler realizes Edlas virtues of generosity and sympathy, by leaving behind the letter owing thanks to her. While all the above events make the story interesting, there is also an element of philosophy in the story. Somewhere, the peddler’s theory of the world being a rattrap is true. One feels caught up like a rat in the entrapping of the world. Some people fall into this trap never to come out of it again. However, the fortunate ones are those like the tramp who break free from the circle of temptations and discover their latent goodness. The story teaches us that being human beings we are not above temptations. We should not be judgemental because we ourselves are not infallible.

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