If you're a Class 12 student studying English, you may be required to read and analyze the short story from Flamingo Chapter 4 The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof. To help you prepare for your exam, we've compiled a list of important questions and answers to guide your study of this classic tale.
|English Language & Literature
|Important Questions and Answers
Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.- Lao Tzu
The Rattrap Class 12 Important Questions & Answers
Q. No. 1) The writer tones down the philosophical load inherent in ‘The Rattrap’ with the inclusion of
a. ironical situations.
b. satirical dialogues.
c. classical references.
d. humor and wit.
Ans. Option (d)
Q. No. 2) Imagine that the peddler from ‘The Rattrap’ turned his life around, and decided to write of his experience. Which of the following is likely to be the peddler’s book, from the popular books shown below?
a. Option (i)
b. Option (ii)
c. Option (iii)
d. Option (iv)
Ans. Option (b)
Q. No. 3) “Left to his own meditations”, one day the peddler fell into “a line of thought, which really seemed to him entertaining”. What does the peddler’s conception of the world as a rattrap, signify about him?
a. The peddler had a lot of time on his hands, with nothing much to do.
b. The peddler was a reflective man whose wisdom did not depend on his status.
c. The peddler was a lonely vagrant trying to make sense of his fortunes.
d. The peddler was a rattrap seller, and his work deeply inspired him.
Ans. Option (c)
Q. No. 4) “Yes, that was a fine fellow you let into the house,” said her father.
What light does the given line throw on the ironmaster as a father?
a. The ironmaster was disapproving of Edla’s decision to let the peddler stay.
b. The ironmaster blamed his daughter for harboring a criminal at home.
c. The ironmaster was playful with Edla and supported her decisions.
d. The ironmaster loved Edla but thought her to be too naïve and idealistic.
Ans. Option (a)
Q. No. 5) Though the reader does not meet Captain von Stahle in person, they encounter the captain symbolically. How?
a. The ironmaster misidentifies the peddler as his old friend, the Captain, and invites him home.
b. The reader realizes the peddler is actually Captain von Stahle when he signs off the letter.
c. Edla attends to the peddler as respectfully, caringly, and kindly, as she would have the Captain.
d. The peddler accepts the error of his ways and displays the qualities expected of a Captain.
Ans. Option (d)
Q. No. 6) Questions based on an extract:
No one can imagine how sad and monotonous life can appear to such a vagabond, who plods along the road, left to his own meditations. 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 rattraps when suddenly he was struck by the idea that the whole world about him — the whole world with its lands and seas, its cities and villages — was nothing but a big rattrap. It had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people.
i. According to the extract, which of these words best describes the man?
Ans. Option (a)
ii. Rewrite the given sentence after replacing the underlined phrase with its synonym.
It had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people.
Ans. It had never existed for any other purpose than to lure people.
iii. On the basis of the extract, choose the correct option with reference to the two statements given below.
- The world offers living beings a life full of pleasure.
- However, only compassionate people can enjoy those pleasures.
a. (2) has been caused by (1)
b. (2) is a hypothesis based on (1)
c. (1) cannot be inferred from the extract but (2) can be
d. (1) can be inferred from the extract but (2) cannot be.
Ans. Option (d)
iv. In one sentence, rationalize the given statement.
It is challenging for others to be able to understand the despair of a vagabond's life.
Ans. because most people's experiences are different from that of the vagabond/people typically live with others (family, friends, community) while a vagabond has no one to call his own and lives alone / because most people live a predictable and stable life while a vagabond lives a nomadic life
v. Replace the underlined word with its antonym from the extract.
The man who thought that the world was a rattrap lived a life that was interesting.
vi. The mood of the extract can be best described as __________.
Ans. Option (a)
Q. No. 7) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract.
…it was a big and confusing forest which he had gotten into. He tried, to be sure, to walk in a definite direction, but the paths twisted back and forth so strangely! He walked and walked without coming to the end of the wood, and finally, he realized that he had only been walking around in the same part of the forest. All at once he recalled his thoughts about the world and the rattrap. Now his own turn had come. He had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught. The whole forest, with its trunks and branches, its thickets and fallen logs, closed in upon him like an impenetrable prison from which he could never escape.
i. How would you characterize the mood of the above extract?
a. mysterious, restful
b. ominous, despairing
c. thoughtful, whimsical
d. philosophical, anguished
Ans. Option (b)
ii. By what bait had the peddler been fooled?
a. He had chosen to take the ‘safe’ forest route.
b. He had decided to avoid the public highway.
c. He had stolen money from the trusting crofter.
d. He didn’t realize the power of his rattrap analogy.
Ans. Option (c)
iii. The consequence of ‘his own turn’ having come was that the peddler had ___________
a. got irreversibly lost in the thick, warped forest.
b. been fooled and imprisoned in a hopeless prison.
c. been walking around the same part of the forest.
d. walked the whole forest without finding the end.
Ans. Option (a)
iv. The above extract richly employs literary devices. Look at the table below.
Choose the option that correctly matches the instances/ examples in Column A with the literary devices in Column B:
|1. The forest closed in upon the peddler like an impenetrable prison.
|2. The big and confusing forest with its twisted paths, trunks, branches, thickets, and fallen logs.
|3. The lost peddler was reminded of the world and the rattrap.
|4. It was a big and confusing forest that he had gotten into. The peddler had been fooled and was trapped in the forest.
a. 1 - (i); 2 – (ii); 3 – (iii); 4 – (iv)
b. 1 – (iv); 2 – (i); 3 – (ii); 4 – (iii)
c. 1 – (iii); 2 – (iv); 3 – (i); 4 – (ii)
d. 1 – (ii); 2 – (iii); 3 – (iv); 4 – (i)
Ans. Option (b)
Q. No. 8) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract.
“Since you have been so nice to me all day long as if I was a captain, I want to be nice to you, in return, as if I was a real captain — for I do not want you to be embarrassed at this Christmas season by a thief; but you can give back the money to the old man on the roadside, who has the money pouch hanging on the window frame as a bait for poor wanderers.
The rattrap is a Christmas present from a rat who would have been caught in this world’s rattrap if he had not been raised to captain, because in that way he got power to clear himself.
“Written with friendship and high regard,
Captain von Stahle.”
i. Which of the following CANNOT be attributed to the peddler, according to the above extract?
Ans. Option (c)
ii. Why did the peddler gift a rattrap as a Christmas present?
a. It was all the peddler had that he could give away, and represented his turn to honesty.
b. It symbolized his successful escape from entrapment as he returned the stolen money.
c. It served as a reminder for Edla to be wary of the dangerous temptations of the world.
d. It was a practical and convenient present that the lady of the house could effectively use.
Ans. Option (a)
iii. The word ‘frame’ has been used to indicate a rigid structure that surrounds something such as a picture, door, or windowpane. There are other meanings of ‘frame’ too.
|1. a person's body with reference to its size or build
|2. a single complete picture in a series forming a cinema, television, or video film.
|3. a triangular structure for positioning the red balls in snooker.
|4. a thin solid object that seals a container or hole; a lid
Choose the option that DOES NOT list the meaning of ‘frame’.
a. Option (1)
b. Option (2)
c. Option (3)
d. Option (4)
Ans. Option (d)
iv. This communication includes
- a promise
- an apology
a. only 4
b. only 1
c. 1 & 3
d. 2 & 4
Ans. Option (c)
Q. No. 9) If the world is “nothing but a big rattrap” as the tramp stated in the story ‘The Rattrap’, who might the rattrap peddler be? Discuss.
Ans. In the story "The Rattrap," if the world is considered "nothing but a big rattrap," the rattrap peddler could symbolize the individuals who manipulate and deceive others, trapping them in a cycle of greed and materialism. He represents the temptations and traps that lead people astray from genuine human connection and happiness.
Q. No. 10) 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 his philosophical insights, the vagabond fails to resist temptations due to his deep-rooted desire for material comfort and security. This is evident when he succumbs to the allure of money and steals the banknotes from the ironmaster's house, disregarding his own principles and succumbing to the temptation of immediate gain.
Q. No. 11) What might be the significance of setting the story’s events during Christmas? Justify your opinion.
Ans. Setting the story's events during Christmas adds a significant layer of symbolism. Christmas is a time associated with generosity, compassion, and the spirit of giving. By placing the events during this holiday, the author highlights the themes of redemption, kindness, and the potential for positive transformation, emphasizing that even those who are trapped in their circumstances can find hope and a chance for change.
Q. No. 12) Do you think the story reinforces a stereotype that women are more trusting, forgiving, and less practical than men? Comment with reference to Edla’s actions in the story.
Ans. The story does not necessarily reinforce the stereotype that women are more trusting, forgiving, and less practical than men. Edla's actions in the story, where she shows kindness and compassion towards the vagabond, can be seen as acts of empathy and a belief in the potential for goodness in others, rather than solely based on her gender.
Q. No. 13) How did Edla persuade her father to let the pedlar stay in their home till Christmas?
Ans. Walks the whole year long/chased away/ no home that makes him feel welcome/afraid of being arrested/wants him to enjoy at least one day of peace/morally they ought not to turn away a human whom they have invited for Christmas and promised Christmas cheer.
Q. No. 14) How does the setting of the remote forest location in 'The Rattrap' contribute to the overall tone and mood of the story?
Ans. Serves as a significant backdrop for the events that unfold in the story.
- creates a sense of isolation and desolation, emphasizing the loneliness and despair that the peddler experiences
- the harsh winter conditions and the barren landscape add to the overall tone of melancholy and hopelessness
- the forest also represents the metaphorical wilderness of the human soul, highlighting the struggles and temptations that people face in their journey through life.
Therefore, the setting plays a vital role in establishing the mood and atmosphere of the story.
Q. No. 15) A mistaken identity led to a discovery of a new one for the rattrap peddler. How did this impact him?
- Gave him the power to clear his conscience
- Brought out his latent goodness
- Lent him the conviction to become a better human/ a chance at elevating himself from being a thief
- Allowed him the opportunity to behave in a dignified manner befitting that of a Captain.
Q. No. 16) If the Christmas spirit is about selflessness, forgiveness, and becoming 'better' versions of ourselves amongst other things, Edla Willmansson is the epitome of this spirit. Justify with two points of evidence from The Rattrap.
Ans. Edla - Despite knowing the truth about the peddler –
- gave him shelter and treated him with full respect. (forgiveness)
- even invited him for Christmas next year. (a better version of herself)
Q. No. 17) What did the gift of the rat trap signify?
- small rat trap with thirty kronor and a note
- wishes money to be returned to the crofter
- confesses that he had made a mistake
- got caught in his own rat trap
- thanks for treating him like a real captain
- turns over a new leaf
- Life is one big rat trap, one gets trapped by own deeds
- everyone should get a second chance to improve oneself.
Q. No. 18) How does the story, 'Rattrap' highlight the importance of community over isolation? Support your rationale with textual evidence.
- The rattrap seller undergoes a change in his personality as he experiences the shift from isolation to community.
- Rattrap seller is devoid of family and friends, he is depicted as a loner
- Instances that depict his engagement with the community
- the hospitality of the old man, the Christmas episode
- His experience of friendship leads to a change in his persona.
Q. No. 19) Edla is able to bring about a change of heart in the Pedlar. Justify this with reference to the story, ‘The Rattrap’. What qualities helped her bring about this transformation?
- Edla’s kindness and hospitality awaken his conscience
- The ironmaster’s daughter treats him with respect and shows compassion and understanding toward his condition.
- She does not force herself upon him but tries to persuade him to spend Christmas Eve with them.
- He reposes trust in her due to her friendliness.
- Later she persuades her father not to send the man away when his identity is revealed as they had invited him and promised him Christmas cheer.
- She also tells him that he is welcome again next year if he wishes so.
- This brings about a change in the man and he is reformed.
- Realizes that there is a way out of the trap.
- Returns the money through Edla.
Q. No. 20) Edla's empathetic and compassionate behavior changed the life of the rat trap seller. Do you think that an act of kindness can change a person's view of the world?
- The peddler had been living a despicable life of poverty, despair, and frustration
- he repaid the crofter’s hospitality by stealing his earnings
- he repaid the ironmaster’s invitation to the manor house by giving a piece of his mind when the latter talked of taking the matter to the sheriff.
- the meeting with the ironmaster’s daughter was a turning point in his life.
- the kindness, concern, and understanding that she showed him touched the core of his heart and transformed his way of thinking.
- the ironmaster’s daughter understood that he needed security and succor
- she convinced her father to allow him to stay on in their house to share the Christmas cheer.
- she restored his dignity and self-worth.
- she treated him like a captain of the army though she was aware that he was a common tramp.
- when the girl treated him like a Captain, he spontaneously behaved like a real Captain.
- he left a rattrap as a Christmas gift for her and enclosed a letter of thanks and confession in it.
- leaving behind the stolen money to be restored to the owner, he redeemed himself from his dishonest ways
- he emerged as an altogether transformed person.
Q. No. 21) How would you compare the peddler’s 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 and Edla highlight the complexities of human behavior and the transformative power of kindness. While the peddler initially approaches the crofter with dishonest intentions, trying to deceive him, the crofter shows kindness by offering him shelter and treating him with compassion. However, the peddler steals the crofter's money and escapes, demonstrating that his initial experiences of kindness did not lead to a transformation in his behavior.
On the other hand, when the peddler encounters Edla, she treats him with genuine kindness and offers him a safe haven. She shows trust in him and believes in his potential for goodness. This act of kindness has a profound impact on the peddler, leading to a change in his attitude and actions. He feels remorse for his past behavior and decides to return the stolen money.
This suggests that while kindness has the potential to transform people, the conditions for receiving that kindness are crucial. Edla's unconditional kindness, trust, and belief in the peddler's goodness create an environment where he feels genuinely valued and worthy of redemption. In contrast, the crofter's kindness, although well-intentioned, is not enough to evoke a lasting change in the peddler.
Q. No. 22) Franz from The Last Lesson and the peddler from The Rattrap demonstrate the importance of learning from our mistakes to evolve into better people. Imagine that Shubhangi, your friend, feels as if she has made a mistake by not taking her academics seriously. Write an essay to Shubhangi in 120–150 words discussing instances from the two texts to give her an insight into the human tendency to make mistakes and learn from them.
You may begin like this:
Shubhangi, all of us have made mistakes at one point or another in our lives. After all, to err is human...........
- Mistakes are common - all of us, whether old or young, may make numerous mistakes. For example, little Franz is careless, indisciplined, and unpunctual while the vagabond, who is much older than Franz, remains greedy and chooses to engage in petty thievery.
- If not corrected in time, our mistakes bring our growth to a standstill. As in the case of Franz, since he does not take Mr. Hamel’s classes seriously, he is unable to learn French despite being present in the classroom. The man with the rattrap, on the other hand, is not satisfied by people’s kindness to him. Instead, he steals from compassionate people like the old crofter who shared his meal with him and gave him a place to rest, without any remorse. He also greedily pretends to be the master blacksmith’s long-lost acquaintance, hoping for money from the blacksmith.
- However, when they are confronted with their respective situations, they realize their mistakes. Franz attends the last lesson only to realize that he had lost the only opportunity to learn his mother tongue while the vagabond who pretended to be Captain Von Stahle was taken aback by the goodness of Edla.
- Upon this realization, Franz is filled with remorse and tries his best to recite the lesson. He is unable to do so and feels guilty, so he listens to the remaining part of the lesson with rapt attention. Similarly, inspired by Edla’s kindness to him, the rattrap man returns the stolen money.
- Both of these characters thus realize their mistakes and take the initiative to fix them. They make the choice to evolve into better people by learning from their mistakes, something that makes a difference in their lives.
Q. No. 23) Imagine that you overheard the following snippet of an interaction between the valet and the housekeeper at the ironmaster’s mansion at the end of the story.
Speaker 1 - Trust is a difficult choice, which may or may not be rewarded.
Speaker 2 – Yes, indeed. Ms. Willmansson really believed in that fellow, didn’t she? And he didn’t disappoint. She was so happy reading his letter, oh her tears of joy filled my heart with so much admiration for her. Such a kind, wonderful young lady.
Speaker 1 – Absolutely. But I wonder, what if that vagabond had run away with the silver spoons? Would you speak so glowingly of Ms. Willmansson then? Our master’s daughter was a bit too gullible. Wouldn’t you say?
Speaker 2 – But she did what was right. That must count for something. It’s Christmas, and she helped that poor man. It didn’t matter what he did. Surely the choice of right and wrong does not depend on the outcome.
Speaker 1 – Wouldn’t it? I should jolly well think so.
How would you respond to the questions raised in this conversation in relation to the story? Write your response in the form of an entry in your daily journal.
Ans. Dear Journal,
Today, I overheard an intriguing conversation between the valet and the housekeeper at the ironmaster's mansion. They were discussing the actions of Ms. Willmansson, the ironmaster's daughter, in relation to the vagabond in the story "The Rattrap." The conversation raised thought-provoking questions about trust, kindness, and the choice between right and wrong.
Speaker 1 questioned whether the valet would still speak highly of Ms. Willmansson if the vagabond had stolen the silver spoons. The valet, Speaker 2, defended Ms. Willmansson, emphasizing that she did what was right by helping the poor man, regardless of the outcome. He believed that the choice of right and wrong should not depend on the result.
These contrasting viewpoints shed light on the complexities of moral decisions. While Speaker 1 seemed to question Ms. Willmansson's trust and labeled her as gullible, Speaker 2 argued that her actions were praiseworthy because she chose to do what she believed was right.
Reflecting on the story, I believe that Speaker 2's perspective resonates with the author's intention. Selma Lagerlöf uses the character of Ms. Willmansson to highlight the power of kindness and the potential for transformation. Ms. Willmansson's unwavering belief in the vagabond's goodness and her act of helping him symbolize the importance of extending kindness without expecting anything in return.
In the end, it is not solely about the outcome or whether the vagabond could have betrayed her trust. It is about the choices we make and the values we uphold, even when faced with uncertainty. Ms. Willmansson's compassion and kindness exemplify the true spirit of Christmas and the potential for positive change in all of us.
Hope you liked these questions and answers from Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 4 The Rattrap. Please share this with your friends and do comment if you have any doubts/suggestions to share.