Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Rattrap;NCERT Solutions and Summary for Class 12

                                The Rattrap
                                                -Selma Lagerlöf
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"The Rattrap" by Selma Lagerlöf is a story of a rattrap seller who leads a very poverty-stricken life.His earnings were meagre too.As a consequence of all this,he had to resort to robbing and begging to make both ends meet.

He is all alone in this enormous world and leads a miserable life.As a result of his loneliness,he starts to knit various kinds of thoughts.One of the thoughts he had was thinking this world to be a big rattrap.He was of the opinion that the world offers us with various kinds of greeds in the form of comforts and luxuries of life.These comforts are however detrimental as getting trapped in these worldly indulgence,we eventually land up ourselves in various miseries.

As the peddler was homeless,he had to wander for shelter everyday.His life was difficult.One evening,he came across a crofter whom he requested for shelter for the night.As was his means of make his living,he robbed the crofter.The next morning,the crofter was very much in dismay and upset as the peddler had stolen his hard-earned money.To keep him ahead of the crofter,the peddler decided to chose the path to flee through the forest which was dense and deserted.However,the peddler was trapped in the forest itself.Sometime later,he was able to find his way and again takes shelter at a forge.

The ironmaster at the forge mistakes the shelter-seeking peddler as his old friend and invites him to his house.The poor peddler however rejects his offers because of the fear of getting caught.

However,he is soon invited by the ironmasters daughter.The next morning he is somehow stopped by the ironmaster's daughter again for Christmas Eve.By then,the ironmatser and his daughter had already realised that the person they had given shelter was actually a peddler and not his friend Captain Stalhe.

The next day after Christmas,the ironmaster and the daughter went to the church to offer their prayers.At the church,they discover that the peddler whom they had given shelter was actually the robber who had robbed the hard working crofter of his money.The ironmaster and his daughter started to fret about what all things,the thief would have stolen by then.They repented by giving shelter to a thief.

However,at this junction of time comes an amazing twist in the story.Instead of stealing,the peddler had actually gifted the ironmaster's daughter a gift in the form of a rattrap.The daughter found a letter of thanks and the stolen money inside the trap.The peddler by the means of the letter thanked Edla for her kindness and requests her to return the stolen money.

The given story presents us a with a very important lesson that goodness in a human being can never be reduced to nothingness.It can be awakened at any time with our own good deeds.Goodness around is can definitely induce a change in our lives.
Difficult Words:
i)Odd Moments:A short span of leisure time.
iii)Plods:Walks heavily.
iv)Bait:Food placed to a hook to trap a prey.
vii)Snare:To trap.
viii)Mjolis:A game played with playing cards.
ix)Crofter:A person who works on a rented form.
x)Creamery:A factory which produces cheese                           and cream.
xi)Kronor:Currency of Sweden.
xiii)Thickets:A dense group of bushes.
xiv)Thumping:The sound of some heavy                                         objects thumping.
xv)Forge:A shop where metal is being heated                      and made into structures.
xvi)Scow:A flat-bottomed boat used for                                transporting cargo to and from ships in                  harbour.
xvii)Sifted:Descended lightly or sparsely as if                          sprinkled from a sieve.
xviii)Rolling Mill:Machine to roll metal into                                         sheets.
xix)Anvil:A heavy iron block with a flat top and 
               concave sides.
xx)Bellows:Air bag that emits a stream of air                            used for blowing.
xxiv)Whipped:(Here)To hit something.
xxvi)Ragamuffin:A person in rags.
xxvii)Deigned:Do something that one considers                           to be beneath one's dignity.
xxviii)Undeceive:To tell someone that his belief                                  is mistaken.

About Author:
Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf was a Swedish author and popular teacher.Born on 20th November,1858 in Marbacka,Spain;she is the first women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.She passed away in 1940.

NCERT Questions:
A)Understanding the Text.
1)The peddler was actually a rattrap seller.As he was poor and had no shelter to rest under,he had resorted to robbery to make both ends meet.He had to wander to seek shelter at someone's place or the other.

Once he had to take shelter at a crofter's place.The crofter showed kindness towards the peddler by sharing his porridge and tobacco.However,the peddler betrayed him by robbing him of his hard earned money.After fleeing away,he had to again take shelter at some place.This time it was a forge and the ironmaster mistook him for his old mate Captain Von Stalhe.With utmost warmth,he welcomed him and let him stay at their residence.The peddler also didn't bother to clear the air of confusion as this would help him get some money.On the other hand,the daughter of the Ironmaster Edla Williamson was an exceptional host.She convinced her father to let her stay even after it was found that the peddler was not Captain Von Stalhe.

All these acts of kindness were interpreted differently by the peddler.He thinks that the kindness and generosity by Edla was completely selfless and also reformed him forever.For this transformation,the peddler also reciprocated by gifting her with a rattrap along with the crofter's money which he had earlier robbed.

2)In the above story,there are many notable examples of how the characters of the daughter and ironmaster were poles apart.They were totally different.

The ironmaster was a proud one.When he saw the peddler for the initial time,he mistook him for his old acquaintance Captain Von Stalhe.He was an old regimental comrade.He tried to provide him shelter in order to create a good impression in the Captain's mind.However,soon when it was revealed that the person he was hosting was not actually the Captain but a mere peddler,he called him dishonest.He even threatened him to leave him at the mercy of the village sheriff.

On the other hand,Edla,the ironmaster's daughter was a kind lady.After even the revealation that the peddler was not the person they supposed him to be,she convinced her father that the petty peddler meant no harm.She treated him with all the due respect he deserved which also proved to be instrumental in the transformation of the peddler.

3)The story has certainly various instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to other's behaviour.For instance,one evening when the peddler seeked shelter at the door of a little hut,he was rather accepted by the crofter rather than declining his request.Another such noted instance is that when the peddler was found that he was not actually Captain Von Stalhe.The owner of the forge,the ironmaster,was livid at this revealation.He called him dishonest as he thought him to be taking advantage of his mistaken identity but her Edla convinced his father to not to punish him by any means.Moreover,she let the peddler to live in their house till Christmas Eve.

4)The peddler by the end of the story had completely changed for the good.The kindness which came unexpected in his way from Edla Williamson reformed him forever.Her generosity was so huge that it killed the robber inside the peddler.He,who had resorted to robbery for his survival,now mended his ways.The peddler gifted her a rattrap along with three ten kronor notes which had been stolen from the crofter.He requested her to return the money to the crofter.Along with all this,he also a heartwarming letter to her for treating him well like a real Captain.

5)The world is full of various things which are tempting for humans.These include material pleasures,luxuries,joy,lust etc.The rattrap seller thinks that these things are like a bait which is planted to trap someone in the rattrap of the world.In the story,the peddler attracted by the three ten kronors of the crofter which he eventually stole from him.Later on,he found himself that he is now trapped by the forest while walking through the woods.He is of the opinion that this was a punishment for him for the sin he committed.

6)The peddler has a good sense of humour.All during the whole story,his sense of humour is quite notable.When his original identity is revealed,he made the ironmaster laugh with his metaphor of the world.His interactions with the other characters in the story also throws light on the subtle sense of humour.This not only lightens the seriousness of the story but also makes the readers emphatise with him.

B)Talking about the Text.
1)The peddler's way of describing himself as an underprivileged rattrap seller and how the world treats him helps him win the reader's sympathy.The sympathy is well justified considering the underdog narrative he created around him.

2)The story has 3 characters who suffer from loneliness.The characters are the rattrap seller,old crofter and the ironmaster suffer from loneliness.Had the peddler got company from the initial stage,he would have definitely not resorted to robbery and other vices.

3)A very notable story is about Hari Singh who is a character in the story 'A Thief's Story' by Ruskin Bond.Here,after his owner knew that Hari Singh had stolen his money,he didn't hand over him to the authorities.This reformed him forever to become a good person.

4)There are several instances such as mistaking the peddler for a Captain,the complete change in the attitude of the ironmaster when it was revealed that he is not a peddler.There is also a philosophical angle to it where the peddler thinks the world to be a rattrap.

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