The Rattrap Summary Class 12 English. Summary with questions and answers. This chapter is about a rat trap maker who falls in his own rat trap and how he eventually becomes a better person and comes out of his rat trap. The chapter ‘The Rattrap‘ of Class 12 English is written by the author Selma Lagerlof. Here you will find the The Rattrap Summary Class 12 English with questions and answers, with a small gist/explanation of the chapter.
Table of Contents
The Rattrap Summary Class 12 English: Introduction
There was a rattrap selling person. He made small rattraps of wire. But these rattraps were not enough to make a livelihood and therefore sometimes he had to steal.
The world is a huge rat trap
One day he thought to himself that the whole world was actually a big rattrap. He felt that the world offered riches and joys as bait to the people to trap in happiness, exactly like the rattrap offered cheese or pork to rats to trap them eventually. But when he thought about himself being trapped in the bait, he ended the thought.
The world was not kind to him. So, he was happy to think bad about it. It was entertaining to him and became his favourite pastime. He thought about people whom he knew who were caught in the dangerous situations and others who were still circling around the bait.
The lonely old man
Then, one evening, he saw a little gray cottage by the roadside, he knocked on the door to ask shelter for the night. He thought he would be refused but he was welcomed with a happy face by a man who lived there. The old man was happy to talk to someone because he was very lonely. He gave his guest food and they played ‘Mjölis’ until it was bedtime.
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The old man told his guest about his past when he was a crofter at Ramsjö Ironworks and had worked on the land. Now he was old and thus he had a cow who supported him. He showed his guest three ten kronor bills that he made from his cow last month and then put them on his pouch.
The rat trap making person fell in his own rat trap
The the next day both men got up. The old man was in a hurry to milk his cow. The man with the rattraps said goodbye and thankyou, and then both of them went on their own way. Half an hour later the rattrap peddler was again before the door of the old man’s house. Then he smashed a window pane and got the thirty kronor bill and put it in his own pocket. He hung the pouch back in its place and went away. He went into the woods so that he could not be caught.
Since it was December the morning light disappeared soon. He soon realised that he was circling in the forest. But now he was thinking that he also fell for a rattrap. He had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught.
Shelter at Ramsjo Ironworks
Darkness was already descending over the forest. This increased the danger, and increased also his gloom and despair. Finally he thought he would die in the forest. But he suddenly heard the sound of the nearby iron mill. He rushed towards it. It was the Ramsjo Ironworks. He thought he would spend the night there. The blacksmiths glanced at him casually. He asked permission to stay, and the master blacksmith nodded.
The iron master thought that he recognised the rattrap person and mistook him for his old acquaintance Nils Olof. After a great conversation the iron master insisted the rat trapper to go to his home. The rat trapper declined politely but then the iron master’s oldest daughter Edla Willmansson came to him and compassionately asked the rat trapper to join them for the night. The rat trapper had no choice and accepted the offer.
Christmas celebration at the ironmaster’s
He visited their house and became ready to stay the night there. Sometimes he thought about the lonely old man, and felt sorry for stealing his money. The ironmaster and his daughter helped the peddler. They gave him nice clothes, shaved his beard and gave him food. They kept on conversing. After sometime, the ironmaster realized that he had made a mistake; the peddler was not his old acquaintance.
Thus, the ironmaster at once thought to turn in the rat trap person. However, Edla insisted her father to let the rat trap maker stay since is was Christmas Eve and also celebrate Christmas with them. Her father agrees, and they celebrate Christmas together. After the day was over, the next day the ironmaster and Edla learn that the peddler was a thief when they were in the church. They at once decide to go home since they thought he might have stolen their precious belongings. However, to their surprise, the peddler did not steal a thing. He left a note for Edla in the form a tiny rattrap. There he told her that her kindly action made him get away from the feeling of being trapped in the rat trap. He also left the lonely old man’s money and asked them to return it to him.
Rattrap Summary Class 12 English: Conclusion
The Rattrap Summary Class 12 English teaches us that the world is like a huge rat trap and everyone is wanting to fulfill their own wishes. Like the rat trap maker who makes trap for rats but later fell in his own rat trap in order to get more money. This rat trap situations will keep on happening but love, kindness towards each other and empathy can be used to get relief from this feeling of being in a rat trap and it can help in us long way.
The Rattrap Summary Class 12 English: Question and Answers
1Q. How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?
Ans. The peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter differently. He betrays the crofter after the crofter welcomes him to his house. Even after giving food and shelter for the night he steals the last month’s savings of the crofter.
The ironmaster and his daughter’s kindness touched him and he changed himself. He even gave away the stolen money and told them to return it to the crofter.
2. 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?
Ans. Edla let the peddler stay even after knowing he was a fraud, but the iron master wanted to turn him in. This shows that the daughter was genuinely kind towards everyone but the iron master was only kind and favours people whom he knows. This shows that the character of the ironmaster is different from that of his daughter in many ways.
3. The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
Ans. Firstly, the lonely old man welcomed the rat trap maker with a big smile in the evening. Most people would have turned down the peddler, so this was an unexpected behaviour.
Secondly, Edla, let the peddler stay even after knowing that he was a fraud was also a very unexpected reaction.
4. What made the peddler finally change his ways?
Ans. Edla’s kindness made the peddler finally change his ways
5. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
Ans. Like the rat trap maker who makes trap for rats but later fell in his own rat trap in order to get more money, everyone falls in rat traps in search of their need or greed. This rat trap situations will keep on happening but love, kindness towards each other and empathy can be used to get relief from this feeling of being in a rat trap and it can help in us long way.