The Rattrap: Selma Lagerlof

The rattrap seller is a homeless fellow who stays in the crofter’s cottage for a night. The crofter entertains him as a guest and friend. But the rattrap seller returns later the next day, smashes the window pane and steals the money of the crofter.

The fortune however turns later when the iron master mistaking him to be an old comrade takes him home. There he stays for two days as his guest. Once again he is on his way to continue his usual profession of selling rattraps, thievery and begging. But he sends a letter to the iron masters daughter telling her that she was a wonderful hostess and he cannot lie to her. He also returned the money that he had stolen from the crofter and asked her to return it. He lets her know that this whole world is like a rat trap. Just like the rats are trapped by cheese and food similarly men are lured by land, food, shelter, clothing etc. these are baits. Those who touch them are trapped.


  1. you call them notes???it's of no bullshit

  2. its of nooooooooooooooo use.....

  3. shut this site and go to 1st grade u motherfucker

  4. check this

  5. The Rat Trap" written by Selma Lagerlof is a short story about an old disheartened beggar and thief who is taken in and shown generosity by a young woman, her kindness changes his bitter attitude about life. The peddler is a man who has fallen upon misfortune and now resorts to selling rattraps, begging, and thievery. He is very pessimistic about the world around him and sees the world as merely a "rat trap". He believes that society tempts us with riches and fine things, and when we accept, we are caught in the trap and are left with nothing.
    The warmth of compassion extends its rays around the world, engraving mankind with its characteristic. Selma Legerlof supports the theory of compassion in her modern day short story "The Rat Trap" which depicts the powerful and positive impacts of such care. In the story, cynicism grips the protagonist rat trap peddler until the old man and the blacksmith's daughter infect the protagonist with their altruism. Thus, the peddler's inner soul experiences a rapid transformation form an ugly duckling to a dazzling swan.
    Legerlof's first scene of compassion is from the old man's hospitality. Despite the fact that he did not know the peddler, the old man still opened his arms and acted charitable by providing food and shelter. This action is not typical in the today's world; a majority of us would turn a blind eye. However, although the old man showed a sign of compassion, it was not appreciated-the protagonist stole from the old man. As the peddler ponders on the road of guilt, he soon receives a second action of care from a little girl.
    Compassion is illustrated when the blacksmith's daughter takes pity on the protagonist. Although she knew the fact that he was not Captain von Stahle, whom he claimed to be, the girl said, " I think he ought to stay with us today. I don't want him to go." The girl's compassionate words cracked the foundation of the protagonist's cynical world. Throughout the story, the protagonist only believed in the dismal side of human nature, survival of the fittest, and viewed the world as a battlefield. His whole belief system was shattered when he received the girl's pity and an opportunity to enjoy his first "true" Christmas.
    Lagerlof's "The Rat Trap" strongly validates the concept that compassion revolves around humankind. She provides evidence when the old man and the blacksmith's daughter show compassion towards the protagonist. As a result, the girl acted as the North Star, guiding the protagonist out of the trap of cynicism.
    Another lesson the mendicant learns throughout the course of the story is to be considerate of others. At the end of the novel, he makes amends with the old man by returning his money and writing Edla a thank you note. He understands what he did to the man was wrong and that was not returning the kindness and trust given to him. He apologized for lying to the girl and her father and leaves her a present, a rat trap and the stolen money(thirty croner bills) of the old man to be returned.

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