The Rattrap - Important Questions

1.         From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap? Why was he amused by this idea?
In what sense was the world a big rattrap according to the peddler?
Why did the peddler think that the world was a rattrap?
2.         Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
3.         Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
4.         Why did the crofter show the thirty kroner to the peddler?
5.         Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?
6.         What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?
7.         How did the peddler feel after robbing the crofter? What course did he adopt and how did he react to the new situation? What does his reaction reveal?
8.         Why did the Ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
9.         Why did the peddler decline the invitation?
10.      What made the peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation?
11.      What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?
12.      When did the Ironmaster realise his mistake?
13.      What did the peddler say in his defence when it was clear that he was not the person the Ironmaster had thought he was?
14.      Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?
Why did Edla plead with her father not to send the vagabond away?
15.      Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?
16.      What was the content of the letter written by the peddler to Edla?
17.      Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain von Stahle?
18.      How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the Ironmaster and his daughter?
19.      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?
        Compare and contrast the character of the ironmaster with that of his daughter.

20.      The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
21.      What made the peddler finally change his ways?
22.      How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
23.      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?
24.      The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so? Is the sympathy justified?
25.     What conclusion did the ironmaster reach when he heard that the crofter had been robbed by the peddler?
26.    The story, The Rattrap’ is both entertaining and philosophical. Do you agree with this statement? Why/Why not?
27.       The story focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Explain.

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