Thursday, March 2, 2023

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 Flamingo English The Rattrap Question & Answers


Q1. From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?


As the peddler contemplated his rattraps, a sudden realization hit him - the entire world was akin to a giant rattrap. Its purpose was to lure people with its offerings of wealth, happiness, and basic necessities like food, shelter, and warmth - just like a rattrap offers cheese or pork. But as soon as someone succumbed to the temptation and took the bait, the trap would snap shut, and everything would be lost.

Q2. Why was he amused by this idea?


He led a gloomy and monotonous life, trudging from one place to another with great effort. The world had always been unkind to him, and during his bleak wanderings, he took pleasure in entertaining himself with a particular idea. He found it amusing how easily people fell into dangerous traps and how some still circled around the bait.

Q3. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?

The peddler was served porridge for supper and given tobacco for his pipe by the crofter. They even played a game of cards together until it was time to sleep. This hospitality was surprising since people usually reacted with displeasure when the peddler requested a place to stay.

Q4. Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?

The crofter's situation and disposition made him very talkative and amiable with the peddler. Being without a wife or child, he was glad to have someone to converse with and alleviate his loneliness. Additionally, he was very open in sharing his personal thoughts and feelings.

Q5. Why did he show the thirty kronor to the peddler?

The crofter had informed the peddler that he had received thirty kronor for supplying his cow's milk to the creamery. The peddler appeared skeptical, prompting the crofter to show him the thirty kronor as proof and reassure his guest of the truth.

Q6. Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?

Regrettably, the peddler did not uphold the trust placed in him by the crofter. At the earliest chance he had, he broke the window pane, took the money, and returned the leather pouch to its original spot before departing.


Q1. What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?

Recognizing the danger of being caught with the stolen money in his possession, the peddler decided to retreat from the public highway and venture into the woods. However, he continued to wander without reaching the forest's end and eventually realized that he had become ensnared in a trap, having been lured in by bait and deceived.

Q2. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?

As the furnace cast an unsteady light, the ironmaster approached the peddler closely and mistook him for his former regimental comrade, Captain Von Stahle. Believing him to be Nils Olof, the ironmaster spoke kindly to the stranger and extended an invitation to his home.

Q3. Why did the peddler decline the invitation?

The peddler was aware that the ironmaster had confused him for his former regimental comrade and was concerned about the thirty kronor he had stolen. Visiting the ironmaster's home would be risky, like walking into a trap. Therefore, he politely declined the invitation.


Q1. What made the peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation?

Miss Edla Willmansson regarded the peddler with empathy and recognized his fear. She kindly reassured him that he was free to come and go as he pleased and invited him to stay with them for Christmas Eve. The peddler felt reassured by her friendly demeanor and agreed to accept her invitation.

Q2. What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?

When Edla attempted to lift the peddler's hat, he suddenly jumped up in a startled manner and appeared to be quite frightened. Despite her friendly demeanor and explanation of her identity and intentions, the peddler remained uneasy. Edla concluded from his behavior that he may have either stolen something or escaped from jail.

Q3. When did the ironmaster realise his mistake?

The following morning, the stranger appeared well-groomed and neatly dressed after the valet had given him a bath, haircut, and shave. He was escorted to the dining room to have breakfast. In the bright daylight, the ironmaster could see him clearly and no longer mistook him for his old acquaintance. Upon realizing his mistake, the ironmaster became angry and threatened to call the sheriff.

Q4. How did the peddler defend himself against not having revealed his true identity?

The peddler defended himself, stating that he had never attempted to deceive anyone into believing that he was the ironmaster's acquaintance. He insisted that he had been honest about his circumstances, revealing that he was a poor trader. He had begged for permission to stay at the forge and had caused no harm during his stay. He offered to put his rags back on and leave if that was what the ironmaster desired.

Q5. Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?

Despite learning the truth about the peddler's mistaken identity and his past, Edla felt it would be unkind to turn him away after having invited him into their home and promised him a joyful Christmas celebration. She empathized with the difficult circumstances of the peddler's life and wished to offer him a day of respite and comfort. Therefore, she continued to extend hospitality to the peddler.


Q1. Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?

Upon opening the gift package, Edla discovered a small rattrap containing three crumpled ten kronor notes and a letter addressed to her. The peddler had given her this gift as a gesture of gratitude for her kindness throughout the day, and also as a way of showing that he did not wish to cause any embarrassment or shame to her during the Christmas season by being seen as a thief.

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

The peddler was initially mistaken for Captain von Stahle by the ironmaster and invited to his house. Despite the truth being revealed, the ironmaster and his daughter still welcomed and treated the peddler kindly. This allowed the peddler to redeem himself and act honourably, by returning stolen money and presenting a gift to Edla in return for her kindness.


Q1. How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the iron master and his daughter?

The peddler has a different perspective on the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the iron master, and his daughter. He takes advantage of the crofter's loneliness and steals from him. He tries to swindle a few kronors from the iron master, and he is surprised by the contrasting behavior of the father and daughter. However, he is deeply moved by Edla's kindness, care, and intervention on his behalf.

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?

The ironmaster's actions are impulsive, while his daughter is more composed, compassionate, and logical. Due to the uncertain lighting, the ironmaster mistakes the stranger for his old comrade and invites him to stay at his home, providing him with food and clothing. However, when he sees the stranger in daylight, he accuses him of being dishonest and threatens to call the sheriff. In contrast, his daughter is more observant and picks up on the stranger's fear, suspecting that he may be a thief or a runaway prisoner. Despite this, she remains kind and friendly towards him and continues to treat him with respect and hospitality, even after learning about the mistaken identity.

Q3. The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.

The peddler is taken aback by the crofter's warm hospitality, including a generous supper and friendly conversation. The ironmaster mistakes him for his old regimental comrade, Captain von Stahle, but is corrected when he addresses him as Nils Olof. The peddler declines the invitation to stay the night, and the ironmaster assumes it is due to embarrassment over his shabby clothing. The peddler's analogy of the world being a rattrap amuses the ironmaster and he decides not to involve the sheriff.

Edla surprises the peddler with a Christmas gift of new clothes and an invitation to spend next Christmas with them. Despite discovering the truth about his identity, she remains kind and hospitable. Unfortunately, the peddler repays the crofter's hospitality by stealing from him.

Q4. What made the peddler finally change his ways?

Edla Willmansson exhibited a kind and friendly attitude towards the peddler, even interceding on his behalf when her father threatened to turn him out. Despite learning the truth about his identity, she continued to entertain him and even offered him a suit as a Christmas present, along with an invitation to spend the next Christmas with them. Her love and understanding towards the peddler brought out the good in him, ultimately leading to a positive change in his ways.

Q5. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?

The world allures individuals with its pleasures such as wealth, happiness, shelter, food, warmth, and clothing, which are akin to the baits in a rattrap. Once one falls prey to the bait, the world traps them. Similarly, the peddler is lured by the thirty kronor offered by the crofter. He hides and wanders through the woods, fearing to go to the Manor house. He finds peace only after returning the bait, the money.

Q6. The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour. How7 does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us?

The peddler displays a clever sense of humor in his conversations with the ironmaster and his daughter, even after his true identity is revealed. He doesn't seem to be afraid of being turned out into the cold in his rags or being sent to prison. Instead, he lightens the mood with his use of the rattrap metaphor, which even makes the ironmaster laugh. Furthermore, his letter with the Christmas present to Edla showcases his ability to make others laugh at his own expense, endearing himself to the reader. Overall, his humor adds a light-hearted touch to the story's serious themes.


Discuss the following in groups of four. Each group can deal with one topic and present the views of your group to the whole class.

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

The peddler garners our sympathy due to his difficult life and how he is treated by the world around him. His occupation of making rattraps is not very profitable, and he often has to resort to begging and petty thievery to survive. He leads a lonely and monotonous life, often ignored or looked down upon by those around him. Whenever he seeks shelter for the night, he is met with sour faces and unwelcoming attitudes. Even the blacksmiths at the forge barely acknowledge him.

The only people who treat him with kindness are the old crofter who enjoys his company, and Edla Willmansson, who remains friendly and understanding even after learning the truth about his identity. Her kind treatment of him brings out the peddler's better nature, and he ultimately redeems himself by returning the stolen money. Therefore, it is clear that the sympathy he receives is both earned and justified.

Q2. The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others.

In the story, we see three characters from different strata of society who suffer from loneliness and express a need for companionship. The peddler with the rattraps is often referred to as a tramp or vagabond and moves wearily from place to place, seeking shelter for the night. Even the blacksmiths give him only a haughty nod. The old crofter is also lonely as he has no wife or children, and finds solace in the peddler's company. The ironmaster, whose wife has died and whose sons are abroad, is also lonely in his manor house. He requests Captain von Stehle to spend Christmas with him, indicating his need for human bonding. The stranger declines the invitation not because he doesn't want to bond with others, but because he fears getting caught with stolen money. These characters' loneliness evokes empathy in us, highlighting the importance of human connection in our lives.

Q3. Have you known/heard of an episode where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a person’s view of the world?

I am familiar with the story of how the compassion shown by a Bishop helped to transform a hardened convict into a man of faith and compassion once again. The story is famously depicted in the play 'The Bishop's Candlesticks'.

The Bishop extends kindness and hospitality to a runaway convict who threatens him with a knife in the dead of night. Years of imprisonment and harsh treatment aboard a prison ship have transformed the convict into a beast, devoid of all human feelings. The convict steals the Bishop's silver candlesticks before fleeing, but is later apprehended by the police.

In order to spare the convict from further punishment and suffering, the Bishop informs the police officer that the man is a friend of his and that he had given him the candlesticks as a gift. This selfless act of kindness on the Bishop's part touches the convict's heart, melting his hardened exterior. He breaks down in tears, promising to reform and become a man once again.

Q4. The story is both entertaining and philosophical. Discuss.

The story offers insight into human nature and how people respond to different circumstances, providing entertaining glimpses of their reactions. The peddler's comical actions following his theft of thirty kronor, and the blacksmiths' casual and indifferent attitude towards his plea for shelter, illustrate the whimsical nature of human behavior. The ironmaster's sudden change of heart towards the vagabond, mistaking him for his old regimental comrade, highlights the selfish and ignorant tendencies of human beings. The ironmaster initially insists the stranger spend Christmas with his family, then threatens to turn him over to the sheriff when he sees him in the daylight, blaming him for the misunderstanding. However, the peddler's use of the metaphor of the world as a rattrap saves the situation, although the ironmaster still wants him gone. The daughter's witty and philosophical comments add to the entertainment value, as she urges her father to let the tramp enjoy a peaceful day and not chase away someone they had invited home for Christmas.


Q1. The man selling rattraps is referred to by many terms such as “peddler, stranger” etc. Pick out all such references to him. What does each of these labels indicate of the context or the attitude of the people around him.

At first, the man selling wire rattraps is labeled a "vagabond" as he walks along lost in his own thoughts. When he meets the old crofter, he is referred to as "stranger" by the narrator. After leaving, he is called "the man with rattraps." Upon returning to steal money, he becomes "the rattrap peddler."

To the blacksmiths at the forge, he is an intruder and now labeled a "tramp" by the narrator. To the wealthy ironmaster, he is a "ragamuffin," and since the peddler had never met or known the ironmaster's name, he is still referred to as "stranger." While stretching out on the floor after the ironmaster leaves, he is still described as "stranger," and the label remains during his stay at the manor house as a guest. These labels reflect the social differences between the characters and the rattrap peddler, as well as their attitudes towards him.

Q2. You came across the words, plod, trudge, stagger in the story. These words indicate movement accompanied by weariness. Find five other such words with a similar meaning.

Some other words that have a similar meaning to "plod" include "clomp," "lumber," "lurch," "reel," and "stumble."

No comments:

Post a Comment