NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 4 the Rattrap Flamingo based on new edition NCERT books updated for academic session 2023-24. Students can get here very short answer type and long answer type extra important questions with answer.
Class 12 English Chapter 4 Question Answers
Think as you read (Page No. 34)
From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?
One day when he was thinking about something, he got the idea that this entire world is nothing but a rattrap only. He compared this world with his occupation. The way a hunter puts bait for rats and traps it, same way this world is also gets trapped in home, food, shelter, luxury etc. And once they get into it, they never get out of it until death.
Why was he amused by this idea?
He always laughed at this thought of his.He used to make rattraps from scrap and stolen goods and sell them to people.He also used to think about his work that how rats get caught in the greed made by people.And he feels that all the people around him who roam from morning till evening for bread and all the household items are like rats. And the necessities and luxuries are like baits which tempts all human beings.
Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
He certainly didn’t expect it at all. Till today no one used to talk to him properly because of his clothes, work and body language. Only those people talked to him who needed that rattrap.This was the first time that someone had called him in the house after talking with love and offered him something to eat and drink. Crofter treated him like a family member which was unexpected for peddler.
Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
Crofter lived alone. He had neither wife nor kids. He was living a boring life alone. Despite his hard work and good earning, when there was no one to talk at home, it bothered him a lot. When Peddler reached his house, he did not think that he was stranger or what was his background is. He started talking, eating food with him like a true friend. In no time, like any of his old friends, he also started telling him some of his secrets.
Why did he show the thirty kronor to the peddler?
This story shows that Crofter was a simple man who used to trust others quickly.When he shared food and beverages with peddler, he told him something about his recent source of income which he was very happy about. When the peddler did not believe in his earnings, he showed those thirty kronor to make the peddler believe.
Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?
The kind of hospitality exemplified by crofter should have awakened the peddler’s inner soul but it didn’t happen. Thinking of him as his friend, crofter shared everything with him whole heartedly. Peddler should have not deceived him.But his nature was something like this. One whose job was to steal and deceive people was in his blood. Nothing changed in him in one night with crofter. He cheated on him as soon as he got the chance and stole the money.
Who was peddler and how did he make his living?
Peddler was a person whose business was not doing well and for survival he used to make rat traps by collecting wires from here and there. He did not even have enough money to buy raw material for rat traps. He used to make traps with wires by begging or stealing them. His personality was that of a tramp.
How was peddler’s appearance?
His clothes were very dirty; his hardship could be seen through his eyes. His cheeks also sunk inwards due to hunger.And seeing him, no one gave much value because he was always asking for help.He looked like a normal beggar of any other country.
Think as you read (Page No. 37)
What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?
The peddler prided himself on stealing money from the crofter’s house for nearly an hour. Fearing not to be caught, he chose the path of the forest and avoided highway route. After some time, he got lost in it and lost his way because it was a thick forest. Now he started to feel that this stolen money is like bait, in whose greed he has got caught in the same way as a rat in a trap.He started feeling that now he will never be able to get out of this mesh and will become a victim of some hunter. This fear shook him to the core.
Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
The ironmaster spoke kindly to the peddler and invited him home because it was dark in forge furnace and the ironmaster didn’t recognize the peddler correctly. He thought he was his old regimental comrade and friend Captain VonStahle. His appearance was very bad, the ironmaster immediately wanted to help him.After hearing his sad story, he felt bad and wanted to help him and also wanted to enjoy Christmas together.
Why did the peddler decline the invitation?
There were two main reasons for this. One, he was not the captain of his acquaintance which till now Ironmaster was thinking about him. Once he would come to know that he was not a captain but a thief, he could have got him arrested by the police. Secondly, he had just come stealing. Taking refuge in the Ironmaster’s house was like taking refuge in a lion’s cage.Because of this, he had declined the invitation.
What thought came to his mind one day after which he felt happy?
Sitting one day, he thought that this is a similarity between his profession and this world.His job was to make cages for rats. Just as rats have to keep a bait to catch them, due to which they are entrapped, similarly he realizes that this world is also a rat trap and we all humans are those rats who fall in the temptation of luxury, house, clothes and anything else.He finds himself away from any such greed and is happy that he has no such temptation and is free from worldly shackles and all these thoughts please him.
Why do people always treat peddler badly?
People always treated peddler badly because he did not work hard and believed more in stealing and begging. Due to his lack of income and shabby clothes and appearance he was shooed away by everyone when he sought refuge for sheltering.The unfortunate peddler had accepted this shame in his life.
Think as you read (Page No. 41)
What made the peddler accept Edla Williamsson’s invitation?
Edla invited Peddler in a very kind and polite manner. He assured that he can leave their house whenever he wants to. When Edla said that he and his father wanted him to celebrate the biggest day of the year, the Christmas festival, Peddler couldn’t deny it.
What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?
While talking to peddler Edla found that he was scared. If he was really a captain and a comrade, he would have talked openly but it was not the case. From his clothes and his body language, it seemed that he had either escaped by stealing or by breaking jail.
When did the ironmaster realize his mistake?
It was night time and the ironmaster and his daughter had convinced the peddler to bring him home to celebrate Christmas and to look after his pitiable condition. The next day, when the servant brought him to the dining hall for breakfast after shaving and cleaning, he was stunned to see his new look.Then he realized that he had made a mistake in recognizing Peddler the previous night.He was not a captain but a rattrap seller.
What did the peddler say in his defense when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?
After Peddler revealed his true face, he said in clear words that he had never promised to be the captain or a person of his contact. He only wanted to spend the night in that forge. But iron master and his daughter forced him to spend time at their home. Moreover, he has not harmed anyone in any way by coming to their house.If he allows, he will want to pick up his belongings and leave immediately.
Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?
Eedla was a kind hearted person. She had already taken pity on peddler.She knew that the peddler had not played any tricks before entering the house, nor he had caused any harm to anyone.That’s why she didn’t want to leave the house by hitting him. Rather, she wanted to give him a chance during the festival and wanted to enjoy Christmas together.
Who does peddler meet one day who treats him differently?
One day peddler met an aged person who was once a crofter. Now he lived alone in that cottage and he has no one in the family.He doesn’t see a bad face of peddler and invites him into the house.He gives him food to eat and drink and shares tobacco with him and also plays their regional indoor game Mjolis before going to bed. This was all new to peddler as he had never received so much respect and hospitality in life prior to this.
What was the reason behind the exceptional hospitality of the crofter?
Crofter lived alone. He did not have any family member with him.His life was very monotonous and he was fond of talking.When he met peddler, he trusted him without knowing his background and gave him refuge in his heart and at home.His hospitality can be gauged from the fact that he gave food to the peddler, shared drinks and tobacco and played mjolis (regional card game) before going to bed.He was getting pleasure from serving even a stranger.
Think as you read (Page No. 42)
Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?
Edla was disappointed when she learned that the Crofter’s house had been robbed and for this his guest peddler was responsible. But when she saw peddler’s gift on return i.e a rattrap with ten kronor notes, she was overjoyed to go against his father’s decision to help him the previous night. And this help made a big difference to peddler. With this gift, peddler gave a message to Edla that he was grateful to her and was ready to live a new life from today.
Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain von Stahle?
Wherever Peddler went till date, he was not treated well. His thinking had become that this world is also a rat trap.He got a lot of respect at the ironmaster’s house even after knowing that he was a thief. With this respect and honour, he had changed himself. He signed himself off as Captain von Stahle because he wrote the letter as a dignified and respected man and not as a peddler.
Where did this old man (crofter)get thirty kronos and where was he keeping it?
He got this money from his last month’s hard work because he had kept a buffalo which gave a lot of milk and cream. It was a good job that he was able to do in his old age. He had kept that money in a leather pouch with a nail hanging on the window. He also told about this to peddler and showed him thirty kronos to make him believe that he is earning this much post his retirement.
Why did the peddler who laughs at the world become a victim of greed?
Though peddler compares his profession with world’s materialistic hunger and greed but he used to watch with that vision until he had got a chance to taste the materialistic bait himself.When he first got the chance at the crofter’s house, he didn’t miss a chance to deceive the old and lonely man.And in this greed, as the peddler thinks, the same thing happens to him. He gets entangled in the web woven by his greed.
Understanding the text (Page No. 43)
How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the iron master and his daughter?
Peddler interprets the acts of kindness shown by the crofter, the iron master and Edla distinctively. He looked at the crofter through the eyes of a moneylender or a rich man. He did not respect the hospitality accorded to him by the crofter and stole the money held by him. On the contrary, he understood the favor the Iron Master and his daughter did to Peddler and promised a return gift and a big change in himself.
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 way of thinking of Ironmaster and his daughter was completely different.Ironmaster lands on conclusion very quickly. First he did not recognize the peddler in first instance but when he recognized him he called in the sherrif without delays. On the other hand, his daughter Edla was cool and calm lady who used to take decisions by looking at the exigencies of the occasion. If the daughter had not given a chance to the peddler and had thought like the father, then the peddler would not have changed even today and his stealing habit would still have remained.
The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
There are many instances of unexpected reactions from all the characters. It was a big surprise for peddler when the crofter invited him into the house and fed him with respect and shared secrets.It was astonishing to him when the ironmaster addressed the peddler as captain. Ironmaster thought it was his old regimental comrade and Captain while this was not the case and it was revealed the next day when Peddler came in front of him after taking a shower and hair- cut. Even after knowing the truth about peddler, sheltering him in the house was an unexpected thing for peddler. Last but not the least, it was totally unexpected for Edla when a thief changes himself just because of the humanity she did with him.
What made the peddler finally change his ways?
Edla was responsible for the change in peddler. The things which could not be done by force out of anger till now were done by Edla with love. She convinced peddler to come home first from her words and then did not get him arrested even after knowing his truth.These things left a deep impression on his heart. Not only had this she also presented him with Christmas suit as gift. All these things changed peddler’s way.
How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
Rattrap’s metaphor has been presented in this story many times in different ways by author. This world has been described as rattrap and materialistic things as cheese. Name, fame, money, shelter, food, luxury are some of the things behind which a person is engaged from life to death.Not being happy with basic necessities and following them, humans are not able to get out of it even though they feel themselves trapped in a rat trap. Similar was the case with peddler who got caught in the rattrap due to the greed of thirty kronos and escaped only when he returned it.
The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour. How does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us?
The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour which is disclosed during his interactions with ironmaster and his daughter Edla. Due to his strange thoughts, he had assumed that this world was like a rat trap and all of us want to eat or get that bait by coming under some temptation and then get bound in the same vicious circle.He had also shared these thoughts with the ironmaster and made him laugh. He thus lightened the seriousness of the theme of the story.
To whom did the peddler give credit for the success of the burglary at the crofter’s house?
Peddler thief gave credit to himself for the stolen thirty kronos at crofter’s home next day. He thinks that he is very smart and does not have any problem in dodging anyone.His experience of stealing wires for rat traps so far had only come in handy at Crofter’s house.
When and under what circumstances did he meet the Ironmaster?
Peddler met the ironmaster when he was on his way to the woods, leaving the highway after stealing money from the crofter’s house.He does this so that no one can catch him.Peddler’s condition had worsened in that labyrinthine forest. He couldn’t find a way out and felt that his end time was near and he could die at any moment.Then he heard a loud voice. When he listened carefully, he found that the sound was of a hammer stroke, which occurs during forging process in a manufacturing industry. There was a hope in his contemplation that if he followed this voice, then he could reach a place where there is a human settlement and it would save his life.This is what he does and when he reaches near that forging press machine, he meets the ironmaster.
Discuss the following in groups of four. Each group can deal with one topic. Present the views of your group to the whole class.
Talking about the text (Page No. 43)
The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so? Is the sympathy justified?
The reader sympathizes with the peddler right from the beginning. There are many reasons for this. Even if he did some minor thefts, he still used to collect scrap from various places make rattraps from them and sells them to general public. He was not a big criminal.
He had a bad time in the past after which his ideology had become such that he felt that the whole world was a rattrap and all these emotions and luxuries are bait for the trap and one must avoid them to enjoy life.
The reason for the reader’s sympathy was also that he was treated badly everywhere. Wherever he went for shelter, he was refused.Crofter was the only man who happily sheltered him in his home.He won the sympathy of the readers by returning thirty kronos and promising Edla that from now on he would start a new life and leave the path he had taken till now.If he still stole something from Edla’s house, he obviously wouldn’t have got anyone’s sympathy. But now he had become a good person altogether.
The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others.
Peddler always felt lonely. While facing the hardships of life, he used to feel that this world is a rat trap and we all are mice. He was scolded and shooed away whenever he went to someone for shelter. Crofter was also living a life of loneliness. There was no one in his house. The condition of his loneliness was that when peddler found him, he gave him a place in the house without asking for his identity. shared food and drink with him & also his secrets. He wanted someone to spend time with him and he could talk openly. His loneliness was like a life imprisonment. The condition of the ironmaster and his daughter was also somewhat like crofter. The ironmaster did not have a wife and sonswere settled abroad. He lived alone with his daughter. Most of his time was spent in the forge and when he went home he felt very lonely. This was the reason why he and his daughter appealed peddler to come to their house and celebrate Christmas together. It is astonishing that despite the stranger being a thief and a vagabond, they gave him a place in the house.
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?
Yeah, I have known about a story where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a person’s view of the world. This was a story of two classmates Raj and Rahul. This was the first day when they had taken admission in Class 11th in a new school and coincidently they are allotted with sharing the same bench. They both had a great conversation on the first of class. On the second day when Raj went to the class and went to have a seat near his friend, Rahul did not allow him to sit beside him. Then Anuj went to back seat of the class, and there he got one more new friend Diya.While talking with her, Raj asked Diya, “Do you know why Rahul is not talking to me? Diya replied that she listened that someone was telling him that you are a poor guy and belong to a family which is not having good financial condition. So Rahul said that he will not talk to you as you are a poor guy. Raj was very sad that day but time healed his sorrow and he was a good friend of Diya. One day Rahul met with an accident and Raj was the one who had taken him to the hospital for a cure. After coming into his consciousness, Rahul apologized to Raj for what he did.
This is one of the stories which changed Rahul’s view of the world.Now he would never discriminate between person as being rich or poor anywhere in the world.
The story is both entertaining and philosophical.
This story written by Selma is very entertaining. From the very beginning it attracts the attention of all the readers. How he makes rat traps, how he sells and how he makes a living, they seem to be tied in a thread. Going to the crofter’s house and sharing his secrets and the peddler stealing his house sparks interest. The attention of the readers also goes to the side that telling him everything can also be a trick, but it does not happen. Crofter was a simple and wise man who shelters peddler to overcome his loneliness and then shares everything with him. The ironmaster mistakes in recognizing the peddler and then releases his fault next morning. The metaphor of the world being a rattrap saves the situation for the tramp, but the ironmaster wanted to turn him out. His daughter’s comments are quite entertaining and philosophical. She turned the events totally after convincing her father not to let the peddler go on Christmas and gives him a chance and that’s what makes the biggest difference in a thief and deceiver peddler.
Did the ironmaster know the peddler correctly when invited to visit the house?
The ironmaster gave shelter to peddler thinking he is his old regimental comrade Captain von Stahle who had resigned from his services many years back. It was night time and it was dark near the furnace due to which the Ironmaster could not recognize him properly. This was the reason he invited him to go home along with him considering him as old friend and comrade.
Why did the blacksmith fail to notice the entry of the peddler in the forge?
Forging press makes a lot of noise when it is in operational mode. Its sound goes up to a few miles. This is the reason that even near the state of unconsciousness in the forest, he heard this voice and followed it and reached the mill. Due to this loud voice, the peddler entered directly inside the gate shell and the blacksmith did not even know.When he came very close to him, he saw a stranger standing beside him with traps.
Working with words (Page No. 43)
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 the beginning of this story, the person who makes rattraps and sells them on the streets is called a “peddler”. He is also called “vagabond” by the author because he roams here and there like a vagabond. When he meets crofter, both of them were strangers to each other, hence he is also referred to as“stranger”. In the story he is called as “rattrap peddler” and “tramp” also because he used to walk like wanderer all day long and sell rat traps.For the blacksmiths at the forge he is an “intruder”. When he reaches at ironmaster’s home for stay and Christmas celebration he is referred to as “guest”. He was also called “captain” because the ironmaster had mistaken him for the Captain von Stahle. He has also been given the name of “hungry wretch” because his body and behavior was something like this. Hunger and help were clearly visible in his eyes.
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.
Five other words with a similar meaning are: traipse, lurch, stumble, slog and stamp.
What was the role of Edla in sheltering the peddler?
Edla played an important role in giving shelter to peddler. She persuaded him to go home by saying that both of them live alone at home and want to celebrate Christmas together. She said that he will always have the freedom to leave the house. If Edla had not instigated so well, the peddler would never have been ready to come home. Hence, Edla played a prominent role in sheltering of rat trap seller.
Thinking about language (Page No. 44)
- Notice the words in bold in the following sentence.
“The fire boy shoveled charcoal into the maw of the furnace with a great deal of clatter”. This is a phrase that is used in the specific context of an iron plant.
Pick out other such phrases and words from the story that are peculiar to the terminology of iron works.
There are many words used by author with context to an iron plant. Pig iron, hammer strokes, sooty panes, forge, rolling mill are such examples.
- Mjo ̈lis is a card game of Sweden.
Name a few indoor games played in your region. “Chopar” could be an example.
There are various indoor games played in rural and urban areas adjoining our region.
Lattoo, Kancha, Nondi/Hopscotch are mainly played in rural areas whereas ludo, chess and carrom are played in urban areas.
- A “Crofter” is a person who rents or owns a small farm especially in Scotland. Think of other uncommon terms for “a small farmer” including those in your language.
In our language a person who rents or owns a small farm is called “Kisaan or Zamindar”.
Class 12 English Chapter 4 Very Short Answer Type Questions
- What was going on in the mind of the peddler on his way to the ironmaster’s house?
Peddler felt that he had been badly trapped.He felt as if he was going to the lion’s cage and not the ironmaster’s house.He had full hope that he would go and his truth would come out and everyone would come to know that he is not a captain but a vagabond thief.He was cursing himself for that theft, due to which he got stuck in the forest today by not choosing the path of the highway.
- What explanation did Peddler give when the truth came out?
He said that he neither tried to be a captain, nor is he a criminal. When he came to his house, he did not cause any harm to his family nor did he have such intentions.He was just asking to spend the night at forge and nothing more but he didn’t listen to the peddler and forcibly brought home. He told ironmaster the same thing he believed in, that this whole world is a rat trap and in the materialistic world anyone can fall for this greed.
- Peddler could have robbed the Ironmaster’s house if he wanted, then why didn’t he do it?
There is no doubt that the peddler could have stolen many things at ironmaster’s house as both the father and the daughter were missing from the house for few hours.But the veil over his soul had now been lifted and it was raised by Edla with love and humanity.Till today, people had always shown him sour faces and were driven away.Elda was the only girl who, even after knowing his truth, made food on Christmas and also gave gift.He did not want to repeat the work that he had done in the house of Crofter, but wanted to start a new life after that day.He wanted to forget this statement that the whole world is a rat trap, so he did not steal anything but also left a return gift.
- What Christmas gift did he leave before leaving home when the truth of peddler or vagabond came to light?
He left a rat trap as a gift because he was a trap seller and as a memory he gave it to her.Inside he keeps three notes that he stole from the crofter’s house, after which a mountain of troubles broke his head. He wanted Edlato give it to crofter as he himself didn’t want to face crofter anymore.Along with this he also leaves a letter of remorse that Edla was very nice with him.And treated him like a special captain whom he would always be grateful for. This letter was a thank you note for changing his life forever.
Class 12 English Chapter 4 Long Answer Type Questions
How was Crofter’s nature towards the world? Do you think people like him exist in this world today?
Crofter was a very kind person. Unfortunately, he was alone and there was no member in his family anymore.He was a very kind hearted person. When peddler asked for sheltering, crofter took pity on him and allowed him inside his home.Without knowing that he may be a criminal or his intentions may be wrong he believed the peddler. Not only this, he also gave him supper and porridge to eat and maintained a friendly atmosphere in the conversation.When both of them became comfortable while talking, he gave a roll of tobacco and started sharing about his past.He tells him what he used to do during his youth and now he is not able to work much due to old age.He told the guest that he has recently started milking buffalo and is earning very good since few months. And to assure this, he also shows the earnings kept in his wallet without thinking that a stranger should not be trusted so quickly.Surprisingly, he does not ask Peddler anything about his life and work.However, in today’s world such people are few because no one trusts strangers so quickly.Because this story was published in August 1887 and at that time the population was less and people used to trust each other quickly.Time has changed rapidly and in this changing world of science and technology, when crime is rampant , faith has been lost somewhere.
What was Peddler’s view of the world and why?
Peddler had not yet got success in life.He was not in profitable business even after lot of hard work. That’s why he chose the path of theft instead of choosing the straight path and did the work of making rat traps by stealing the wires, in which he got some success.Despite this, he used to depend on people to give him shelter in their house because he did not have his own roof over his head. And when he used to go to people for sheltering, people often shooed him straightaway. The behavior of such people made him bitterer. He used to think that this whole world is like my mouse trap. He thought that he is not in greed but the whole world is greedy and running after food, shelter, clothing, luxury or other materialistic things like a rat seeing bait.Whereas they can never enjoy it because when they get it, they get caught in the trap from which they can never escape out. He feels this idea strongly and often laughs at people running after these things.He had this thought because he himself was alive for bread only.
Was there some other reason for Edla’s affection and kindness towards peddler?
There was no other reason at all behind Edla’s affection and kindness towards peddler. If seen, there were some similarities between her and Crofter. Crofter believed in peddler because of the emptiness and kindness of his life, and Edla because of her kind heart.Edla gave an example of her intelligence when the ironmaster had almost driven the peddler out of the house then she gave her one last chance to save his life.Even before this, she had convinced him to come home with love and stay the night and celebrate Christmas by going to her father’s manufacturing unit.This shows that she was intelligent and had a very big heart.Even if peddler did not change and even stole from Edla’s house, she would not have changed her nature and behavior towards people.Yes, it is sure that by being deceived like this, she would have been very sad on Christmas.And her attitude towards strangers would have changed and she would look at strangers with more suspicion but her basic nature would not have changed, which was always to help people.