The Rattrap Summary in English by Selma Lagerlof

The Rattrap Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Rattrap is written by Selma Lagerlof.

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The Rattrap Summary in English by Selma Lagerlof

The Rattrap by Selma Lagerlof About the Author

Selma Lagerlof (20 November 1858 – 16 March 1940), a Swedish writer, was the first female to win a Nobel Prize in literature in 1909. Her most remembered book is ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Nils’. Initially a teacher, in 1895, she devoted herself completely to writing. She wrote several books, including novels and collection of stories such as Gosta Berling’s Saga, Invisible Links and The Miracles of the Antichrist.

Author Name Selma Lagerlof
Born 20 November 1858, Marbacka, Sweden
Died 16 March 1940, Marbacka, Sweden
Profession Writer, Teacher
Movies The Enchanted Boy, The Saga of Gosta Berling
Selma Lagerlof - the rattrap summary in english class 12
Selma Lagerlof

The Rattrap Theme

‘The Rattrap’ provides a glimpse into human nature. It emphasises the fact that everybody has an essential goodness deep inside which can be awakened through love and understanding. The story highlights the fact that there is an essential goodness in every human being. At times due to circumstances and situation, a person kills his conscience but the same man, when bestowed with love and affection, exhibits a totally different side of his character.

The Rattrap Summary in English

This story deals with a peddler who sells rattraps of wire that he begged for or had stolen. He is a vagabond, has no home to live in and many times no food to eat. Life is very difficult for him. One day it occurs to him that the entire world is a rattrap and shelter, food, clothing, comforts and luxuries are like baits to entrap people. This idea amuses him and leaves him satisfied as he is deprived of all these things.

One winter evening the peddler, on his rounds, finds a cottage by the roadside. In order to ask for the night shelter, he knocks at the door. He is surprised to get a warm welcome from the host. He is offered not only shelter but food and tobacco. The crofter entertains him with the game of ‘majolis’ and shares with him the secret of his earning of thirty kronor which he has collected by selling milk.

The next day when they both leave the house, the peddler comes back and steals the money. He decides to walk through the woods, instead of taking a road, so as to avoid being caught. But as the night falls, he loses his way in the forest. He is completely exhausted, hungry and cold. He then realises that he is probably walking around the same spot. At this point, he is reminded of the rattrap and begins to feel that the dark forest with its trees, trunk and branches is like a rattrap in which he is caught, having been lured by the thirty kronor that he has stolen.

Fortunately enough, the peddler hears the sound of hammer strokes from an iron mill. Following the sound, he reaches ‘Ramsjo Ironworks. He sleeps near the furnace. The owner of the mill mistakes him for his old regimental comrade Nils Olof. He invites him to his house which he refuses. But when the ironmaster’s daughter Edla Willmansson persuades him to come along with her to their home and spend the Christmas eve with them, he agrees to the same.

The peddler is given proper food and comfort at the ironmaster’s house. Though Edla is not convinced that a captain from the army can fall to such a sorry state, her father says that after a bath and change of clothes, he will emerge polished as a captain. But, on the contrary, when the tramp is given a bath and a shaved the next morning the ironmaster realises his mistake. He finds that the peddler is not his old comrade. At this point, Edla allows him to stay and spend Christmas with them.

The next morning Edla and his father learned in the church that a tramp has robbed a crofter and apprehended that this is the same man. They think that he would have taken away all their silver. But when they reach home, they find that nothing has been stolen. The tramp has already gone. He had left a rattrap as a Christmas present for Edla along with a note and thirty kroner. In his note, he had requested that the stolen money was to be returned to the rightful owner. He told Edla that having been treated with so much dignity and having had his status elevated to that of a captain, he felt that he could not embarrass them. He signed himself as Captain von Stahle.

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