Friday 7 June 2024

Packing



Packing

                                               By Jerome K. Jerome

Analysis:


·       The story ‘Packing’ is an extract from the novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’ written by Jerome Klapka Jerome, a noted English novelist.

·        The novel ‘Three Men in a Boat’ is a beautiful narration of interesting and humorous anecdotes, adventures and experiences in the lives of the narrator and his two friends. It is written in form of a comic travelogue.

·        The chapter ‘Packing’ is a humorous account of how the narrator, Jerome and his two friends, George and Harris did the packing at the onset of their boat trip. Montemorency’s contribution to the packing is another humorous episode.

·        The story is full of humour, the description is vivid and the narration is so lively and amazing that it establishes the author as a master of pen portraits. 

   Summary  /  Synopsis

§   The narrator, Jerome, the narrator, felt pride on his packing skills. Three friends decided to go on a boat trip as they felt they are sick. He offered to do packing. George and Harris, his friends seemed to be happy with that. They relaxed by lighting a cigar and pipe respectively that the narrator would do the packing.

§  But the narrator had intended that George and Harris would run here and there following his instructions. And he would boss them. When they relaxed, he was irritated. People’s relaxed attitude even after seeing the other slaving irritates him the most. He couldn’t sit still and see others working. He would enjoy getting up and overseeing others working.

§  The narrator started packing. After much exercise and hard work he finished packing. At the end Harris told him that he had forgotten to pack the boots. He opened the bag and packed the boots but as he was going to close the bag, a thought troubled him whether he had packed his toothbrush or not. The idea of packing his toothbrush always haunts him and it doesn’t let him sleep peacefully he can't use anyone's toothbrush nor the hotel one.

§  He searched for toothbrush, turned everything out. He found brushes of George and Harris more than eighteen times but, he couldn’t find his own. Finally, he found his toothbrush inside a boot. He repacked the things once more and closed the bag.

§  Soon, George asked if he had packed soap. But the narrator said, he didn’t care if it is packed or not. However, he realised that he had packed his spectacles. So he reopened the bag, took out his spectacles and packed the bag finally.

§  Then, George and Harris undertook to do the rest of packing intending to show the narrator how packing should be done. They offered to pack the hampers. The narrator thought with the exception of George, Harris is the worst packer. They made a pile of plates, cups, kettles, bottles, pies, cakes, tomatoes, etc. They started with breaking a cup. Harris put the strawberry jam over a tomato and squashed it.

§  The narrator sat on the edge of the table and observed them making them nervous. They stepped on things out of nervousness. Then, they put the things behind and didn’t find what they wanted to pack them. They packed the pies at the bottom and squashed them after putting heavy things on them.

§  George trod on the butter and got it off from his slipper. Then, they tried to put it in the kettle. It won’t go and what was in wouldn’t come out. They at last got it and put it down on a chair. Harris sat on it. It stuck to him. Then, they went looking for it all over the room. Finally, George found it at the back of Harris and packed it in the teapot.

§  The narrator’s dog, Montmorency’s ambition in life was to get in the way and be a nuisance. He felt that his day was not wasted if he had made people mad. His aim was to get somebody stumble over him and be cursed. Montmorency sat on things when they were to be packed. He put his leg into the jam. He played with the lemons as they are rats and killed/crushed three of them.

§  Finally, they finished packing  at 12: 50 at night. Harris said that he didn’t care if anything is found broken. Then, they decided to sleep and wake up at 6:30 am.

 

The Element of Humour

The way George and Harris took narrator’s offer to pack and spread themselves in a relaxed posture is absolutely hillarous.

The narrator’s anxiety over forgetting his toothbrush for any trip is quite funny.

All the nuisance and mess created by Montmorency during the packing is amazingly humorous.

The butter episode is incredibly hilarious as no one would have ever seen ‘two men do more things with butter’ than George and Harris did with it during their packing. In the words of George it was the ‘most extraordinary thing’ we have ever heard or seen.


Important Question answers

Q1. How many characters are there in the chapter. Write a small paragraph on each of them. Include Montmoreny as well.

Ans. There are three main characters in the story - the narrator, Jerome K. Jerome, and his two friends - George and Harris and his dog, Montemorency.

Jerome K. Jerome, the narrator is a proud, boastful, over confident, anxious person. He boasted about his packing skill that's why his friends left all the packing over his shoulders. However he little better and more organised than his friends in terms of planning and packing. The narrator’s anxiety over forgetting his toothbrush and getting late for the trip proves him as a nervous and over anxious person that's why his doctor friend suggested him to on a boat trip thinking that it would bring him peace.

George and Harris are lazy, vain and little bit foolish especially in terms of their packing skills. The way they took narrator’s offer to pack and spread themselves in a relaxed posture is absolutely hilarous and shows their laziness and unwillingness to work. The mess they created while packing shows their foolishness and lack of skill, smartness and common sense. On the top of it they boasted about their packing skill and gave the challenge that they would do packing in a better way. However, they failed in completing the challenge as they created a great mess and broke few things while packing.

The narrator’s dog, Montmorency is active, noisy and destructive animal. His main ambition in life is to get in everyone's way and work and be a nuisance to people around. He felt that his day was not wasted if he had made people mad. His aim was to get somebody stumble over him and be cursed. Montmorency sat on things when they were to be packed and played with things to destroy them. All the nuisance and mess created by Montmorency adds humour to the story.

Q2. How many times did the narrator have to pack and repack the bag? Describe. 

Ans. The narrator had to do packing three times. First, he finished the entire packing but he had to open it to pack boots. Before closing the bag he thought to check whether he had packed his toothbrush or not. After he found his toothbrush and packed the bag second time, he had open it again as by mistake he had packed his spectacles n the bag. He took them out and packed the bag third time. 




Friday 24 May 2024

Important Question Answers Beehive


Important Question Answers 

Class 9 Beehive


Q1. Describe the characteristics of the old School? How did it influence Margie? 

Ans. Old kind of school was a special building where all the children go and study together. The students of same age used to sit together in a room and learn same subjects or things. They were taught by a real teacher who was human who used to teach, ask questions and give them home work. 

Yes, Margie was influenced greatly with the old school. Being lonely in her school she was thinking of old school and wished to study there and have fun being together with other students of her age.

Q2. Will future schools be completely devoid of humans and human values? Give reasoned answer.

Ans. I don’t think so that future schools will be devoid of human touch and human values as technology also needs to be programmed, maintained and corrected by human and in want of human values education will lose its meaning. (Other points may be added according to personal opinions.)

Q3. What does the last two lines in the poem 'The Road not taken' convey? Does the poet regret his choice or accept it?

Ans. In the last two lines poem’s theme is conveyed that our decision can make greater impact in our life so we should take our decisions wisely. The poet tells that his choice of second road which was a different and difficult choice made his life different from the life of common and ordinary people. The poet doesn’t certainly regret his choice. He accepts his choice and is confident of his decision that it will bring a substantial difference in his life.

Q4. Who helped Evelyn Glennie to continue with music? What did he do and say?

Ans. Evelyn’s potential was noticed by the master percussionist, Ron Forbes who encouraged her to pursue music. He asked her to feel music through her body parts especially lower body instead of hearing it through her ears. He trained her by tuning two large drums to different notes. This way, Evelyn could sense various sounds and vibrations through different parts of her body.

Q5. Write a brief bio sketch of Evelyn mentioning her achievements.

Ans. Evelyn Glennie lived in Scotland. When she was eight years old, her mother noticed her deafness. She was discouraged by all but her potential was noticed by the master percussionist, Ron Forbes who encouraged Evelyn to feel music through her body parts.

Evelyn pursued her passion to become a big musician. She got admission in the Royal Academy of Music, London and scored the highest marks in the history of the academy. Evelyn evolved into a multi – percussionist and attained mastery over almost a thousand musical instruments. In 1991, she won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious ‘Soloist of the Year’ Award.

Evelyn gives free concerts for hospitals, prisons and schools. Her story is an inspiration for the differently abled and the young learners.

Q6. Write a brief bio sketch of Bismillah Khan in around 120 words.

Ans. Born in a well known family of great shehnai players, Bismillah took to music early in life. Bismillah started practising shehnai at the banks of river Ganga. He got his big musical break to play shehnai on the opening of All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938. He was the first Indian to play Raag Kaafi from Red Fort in Delhi on 15 August, 1947. He also performed at the Lincoln Hall, USA. He also perfomed in Montreal, Cannes Art Festival and Osaka Trade Fair. An auditorium inTehran was named after him. He composed music for two films, Gunj Uthi Shehnai being one of them. Padma shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna was conferred on him.

Q7. How is shehnai different from a Pungi?

Ans. Shehnai was improvisation on Pungi by a barber in the royal court of king Aurangzeb. The stem of Shehnai was longer and broader than Pungi with seven holes on it. Sound of Pungi was shrill and harsh while that of shehnai was soft and melodious.

Q8. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in USA?

Ans. Once, a student of Bismillah Khan offered him to start and head a shehnai school in USA. He declined it saying that he can’t leave Benaras. When the student said that he would recreate Benaras in USA, Bismillah wanted to know how he would transport river Ganga, there implying that it was impossible for him to leave Banaras as the river Ganga has always been a great source of inspiration behind his music.   

Q9. What should we do to make friends with the wind?

Ans. We need to make ourselves stronger if we wish to be friend of wind. We must build strong homes with firm doors and windows. We should also practise to make our bodies and hearts stronger and not complain about harsh winds of difficulties in life so that our strong will power and determination would never be defeated and weakened by any force.

Q10. What do the last four lines of the poem 'Wind' mean to you?

Ans. A very significant message is hidden in the last four lines that strong people are not affected by adversities but the weak are. Through these lines, the poet inspires us to be strong, firm and determined so that we may face all the hardships or obstacles in the life to come. He tells us that the wind can only extinguish the weak fires but intensifies the stronger ones. In the same way, people who do not fight against the challenges coming in their lives, they have to face the failure. On the other hand, those who stay determined and make sincere efforts to meet their goals, come out to be successful.

Q11. What does the poet like to do when it rains? Which memories does the poet recall on a rainy day?

Ans. The poet, Coates Kinney finds it a blessing to lie on his bed in his small cottage chamber keeping his head on the pillow as he enjoys the musical patter of the rain. Every rain drop falling on his roof produces a tinkling sound and brings many beautiful memories to him.

On a rainy day the poet fondly remembers his childhood and his mother who makes him and his siblings sleep. While making them sleep she looks at the poet's face lovingly. This loving gesture and action of his mother is the fondest memory from the poet's childhood.

Q12. Write a short note on relationship between Kezia and her father.

Ans. Kezia is scared and nervous in the morning to face her father. She always wants to avoid her father as she is scared of him. Whenever Kezia stammers out of nervousness, her father scolds her and asks her to speak properly but Kezia becomes even more nervous, consequently, stammers and fumbles more badly. Thinking about him was like thinking about a giant. She used to cry often and wonder why God has made fathers. But, towards the end she realised that her father gets tired due to work and that there is no one to look after him.. She was happy to acknowledge that her father had a big heart. And, she was no more scared of her father.

Q13. Why did father punish Kezia? Was it justified? What does this incident tell about Kezia’s father?

Ans. Father punished Kezia harshly as he got furious on her for tearing his important speech. No. the incident wasn’t justified. Young children must be dealt and approached gently and lovingly as love and affection cast a positive influence on young minds and their tender hearts. Their hearts can be touched in a better way and they can change for better with loving treatment and nice behaviour. Kezia’s father was too much busy with his work and too tired to pay attention to the expectations of a growing child and special needs of his sensitive child.

Q14. How does Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy?

Ans. When Kezia, being alone in house, had got scared of a nightmare, her father comforted her and made her sleep lovingly on his bed. But, he slept before Kezia could and this made her think that his father is a normal human being who needs love and nobody was there to take care of him. She felt sympathetic towards her father and started understanding him.  

Q15. Why does the world remember Einstein as a ‘world citizen’?

Ans. Einstein led a life devoted to scientific developments and advancements and for this purpose he broke the boundaries of nations and cities. He left his country as it was not liberal and conducive to creative and free learning. As a scientist he worked in Switzerland and USA. After Hiroshima Nagasaki tragedy he was utterly shaken and wrote a public missive to United Nations proposing for the formation of world government. Later he became active in politics campaigning against arms build up and their use. He also campaigned for world peace and democracy. Though he was born in Germany, he never limited himself to his country. When he died, he was considered to be a visionary and world citizen.

Q16. What role did the science teacher of A P J Abdul Kalam play in his life and education?

Ans. A P J Abdul Kalam's science teacher, Subramaniam Ayer tried his best to remove racial and religious discrimination in his contemporary society. He wanted to teach that Kalam has to stay firm and determined to fight against social and religious inequality. He taught by acting himself against it and inviting him, a muslim boy to dine in his own house. He told that education is the only way to remove this social evil. That's why he suggested Kalam to go to a big city for higher studies and be at par with people from various religious backgrounds and bring religious harmony across the nation.

Q17. What does the poet mean by ‘A slumber did my spirit seal’? 

Ans. Through this opening line the poet, William Wordsworth means to say that a slumber which refers to the sudden death of Lucy came as a shock to the poet. The grief of losing his beloved made him numb and unable to feel anything. It seems to him as if a deep sleep had closed off his spirit and, shut his mind and heart and that’s why he was unable to perceive any emotion or human fears.

Q18. What does the poet want to convey through the line "No men are foreign"?

Ans. Through the line "No men are foreign" the poet urges the entire humanity to live in peace and harmony and bridge the difference based on religion, culture or nationality strengthening solidarity and fraternity across the globe. This line reflects the central idea of the poem that all are equal and same in our features, needs and works and we should live as the brothers, the children of same God. Throughout the poem the poet highlights the theme of universal brotherhood and world peace. Very beautifully he tells the mankind that we can win others with love and not by war.

Q19. What lesson do you learn from the chapter 'If I were You'? How does the character of Gerrard influence you?
Ans.  The chapter 'If I were You' brings out the message that we should keep our calm and use our presence of mind which would help us come out of the gravest problems or difficulties the way Gerrard has done. The story teaches us not to lose hope, calmness and composite nature even in adverse times. 

Gerrard is smart, clever and witty enough to influence anyone. It is the clever Gerrard who has the last laugh when he fools the Intruder into believing that he, too, is running from the police. He manages to divert his attention and lock him into his cupboard. Through the character of Gerrard the play teaches us that intelligence and presence of mind can help us come out of even the trickiest of situations. Patience, composure and positivity can help us come out of any crisis. 

Q20. Compare and contrast the atmosphere in and around the Baudhnath shrine with the Pashupatinath temple.

Ans. The atmosphere in and around the Baudhnath shrine is completely different from that of the Pashupatinath temple. There is an atmosphere of ‘febrile confusion’ in the Pashupatinath Temple. Priests, hawkers, devotees, tourists, cows, monkeys, pigeons and dogs roam through the ground in the temple. There are so many worshippers that some people trying to get the priest’s attention are elbowed aside by others pushing their way to the front. At the main gate, some saffron-clad Westerners struggle for permission to enter but the policeman didn’t allow as they are not ‘Hindus’. A fight breaks out between two monkeys. One chases the other and one jumps onto a shivalinga, then runs screaming around the temple. At the Baudhnath stupa, the Buddhist shrine of Kathmandu, there is, in contrast, a sense of stillness and quietness. Small shops stand on its outer edge of the stupa. Unlike Pasupatinath temple, there are no crowds and no hue and cry. This stupa is a haven of quietness in spite of the busy streets around, and which is a complete contrast to the atmosphere at the Pashupatinath Temple.



Thursday 23 May 2024

How to solve Integrated Grammar


Integrated Grammar Practice


Points to remember : 

1. Read the entire passage carefully and with complete attention.

2. Try to understand what the passage talks about (idea/theme)

3. Try to find out out which tense should be used/which time is being discussed.

4. Fill in the gaps using all the grammar correctly related to pronoun, determiners,                tenses, conjunctions, prepositions, non finite verbs, etc.

5. Take care of subject verb conjugation identifying the subject as singular or                         plural.

Gap Filling / Sentence Completion Exercises

Exercise 1

1. You ................... (receive) your results by next month. 

2. They ................ (reach) the airport in two hours.

3. Priya ................ (clean) the room by the time I reach home.

4. Last year we ........... (be) in France. 

5. Do you ............ (hail) from New Zealand?

6. I ................ (make) a cheese cake at the moment.

7. Wait a moment! let me ............ (carry) this box for you.

8. The postman ............... (deliver) the letter by Wednesday.

9. .................. they ...............(leave) when I reach there?

10. Haven't you .............. (have) a cup of tea yet?

Video on Integrated Grammar

Exercise 2

1. Buying a home is one of the .......... important financial decisions we take.

2. We enjoyed the movie, you ............ been there.

3. ............... I go out? Asked her son.

4. Remember, every day is a new chance to ......... everything right.

5. ............... of elder people's pulse rate is less than 2 beats per second.

6. One's friends ........... have a great influence on what a person does.

Exercise 3

1. .............. (Few/The few) persons can keep a secret.

2. .......... (A few/Few) words spoken in earnest will convince him.

3. ............ (The few/few) friends he has all are honest.

4. It is ............ (a/the) one-rupee note.

5. ..... (The/A) dinner we had at the Tourist Hotel was very nice.

6. I went to ...... (a/the) hospital to see my uncle.

7. Honest men speak ....... (a/the) truth.

8. Copper is............. (a/an) useful metal.

Exercise 4

1. They ......... (build) a new power station at the moment.

2. I ........... (visit) my grandfather in the nursing home every Friday.

3. My favourite country is Canada. I ......... (be) there four times.

4. The grass is wet because it ......... (rain) all day long.

5. Who ............ (invent) the washing machine?

6. Somebody ............ (steal) my sunglasses from my room last week.

7. If I had gone to University, I ....... (study) Physics.

8. After he finished his exams, he ............ (go) on a foreign tour.

Video on Integrated Grammar

Exercise 5 

Music therapy  a) ................ (use) music to b) ............... (improve) the patient's health. Doctors c) ........... (use) it with individuals of all ages. It d) ............. (help) in curing a variety of medical problems such as substance abuse and aging. It e) ............ (use) to improve learning and it also f) ............ (reduce) stress.

Exercise 6

I (a).............. (run) for a bus when I (b)............ (hit) my foot on something on the pavement and (c) ............. (fall) over. I tried to get up but could not (d)............. (move). I had a terrible pain in my left foot. I (e) ............. (sprain) my ankle very badly. I (f) ............ (limp) when some passersby (g)............. (notice) me.

Exercise 7

My brother (a) .............. (ride) motorcycles for ten years. Yesterday for the first time, he (b) ............. (meet) with an accident. Now he (c) ............. (be) in hospital. The doctor (d) ................... (say) that he (e) ............ (discharge) from the hospital tomorrow.

Exercise 8

1. The owner of the house is selling ............ (a few/the little) pieces of furniture.

2. Go to ............... (The/That) doctor and get the medicines.

3. My sister is ............. (an/the) architect.

4. It's ................ (a/the) public holiday today, so nothing is open.

5. This is ............ (the/a) best book of Elementary Chemistry.

6. Do you have ............. (some/any) idea what he is upto.

Video on Integrated Grammar

Exercise 9

1. The family doesn’t feel like going ______ outing this season.

2. He insisted ______ my going there.

3. Credit $ 4000 _______ my  account.

4. Reena is junior  ______ Rohan.

5. He divided the money _______ his four children.

6. He emphasises _________ the necessity of arriving early.

7. The monitor was entrusted _______an important task.

8. I agree _____ you but not _______ what you wrote in this letter.

9. My father felt irritated _________ my irresponsible behaviour.

10.  He is ______ his death bed, there is little hope of his recovery.

Exercise 10

1. One of my friends ............ gone to France. 

2. Each of the boys ............ given a present.

3. Neither of the contestants ........... able to win a decisive victory.

4. Oil and water ............ not mix.

5. He and I ............ at Oxford together. 

6. Slow and steady............ the race. 

7. Neither Rohit nor Rahul  .......... any right to the property.

8. No Prize or medal ............. given to the boy though he stood first in the                            examination.

9. Either Maya or Anisha ......... responsible for this.

10. There is general belief that the students ............ write long answers get                           more marks.

Answers:

Exercise 1

1. shall have received 

2. will be reaching

3. will have cleaned 

4. were

5. hail

6. am making

7. carry

8. will have delivered

9. will, have left

10. had

Exercise 2

1. Most

2. Should have

3. May

4. Get

5. Most

6. may

Exercise 3

1. Few

2. A few

3. The few

4. A

5. The

6. The

7. The

8. A

Exercise 4

1. are building

2. visit

3. has been raining

4. have been

5. invented

6. stole

7. would have studied 

8. would go

Exercise 5

1. Uses

2. Improve 

3. Use

4. Helps

5. Is used

6. Reduces

Exercise 6

1. Was running 

2. Hit

3. Fell

4. Move

5. Sprained

6. Was limping

7. Noticed

Exercise 7

1. Has been riding

2. Met

3. Is

4. Says

5. Will be discharged

Exercise 8

1. A few

2. The

3. An

4. A

5. The

6. Any

Exercise 9

1. on

2. on

3. To

4. To

5. among 

6. Over

7. With

8. With, to

9. At

10. on

Exercise 10

1. has

2. was

3. was

4. do

5. were

6. wins

7. has

8. was

9. is

10. who


Friday 26 April 2024

The Rattrap


                                                         The Rattrap                                                                           By Selma Lagerlof

 

Analysis :

·      The chapter ‘The Rattrap’ is written by Selma Lagerlof, a Swedish writer whose stories are based on a universal theme of essential goodness in a human being. Her stories have been translated into many languages.

·      A universal theme runs through this story that the essential goodness in a human being can be awakened through understanding and love.

·      This story is set amidst the mines of Sweden, a country rich in iron ore, which is also supported by the history and legends of the country.

·      The story is told somewhat in the manner of a fairy tale where everything is set right at the end.

·      The chapter explores the themes of of Kindness and hospitality towards the poor people and the needy to bring remarkable change and economic stability in their life. The act of Kindness and hospitality shown by the ironmaster's daughter awakens basic human goodness in the peddler.

·      The story highlights a beautiful message that this world is a big rattrap. Riches and wealth only tempt us towards them and trap us in, forever.

 Video on Last Lesson

Summary / Synopsis :

This is the story of a man who went selling small rattraps made of wires by the peddler himself. The business was not profitable so he had to depend on begging and petty thefts. He moved about in rags and hunger gleamed in his eyes. 

His life was sad and monotonous. The world had never been kind to the peddler so it gave him joy to think ill of this world. Once, the peddler was struck by an idea that the whole world was nothing but a big rattrap. Its only purpose was to set baits for people. Riches, joys, shelter, food and clothing were just nothing but tempting baits. Anyone who lets himself tempted by these baits, the trap closes on him. And then everything comes to an end. It became his cherished pastime to think of people who were caught in the dangerous snare and others who were still circling around the bait.

One day he was wandering along the road and happened to see a little gray cottage and knocked at the door. An old man greeted him. He was alone so became happy to get someone to talk to. He served him supper and offered him tobacco to smoke. The host took a pack of cards and played "mjolis" with him till they slept.

The old man told the peddler everything about his work at Ramsjo Ironworks as crofter in his young days and, his cow that helped him earn thirty kronor last month. He went to the window. He took down a leather pouch which hung on a nail in the window frame. He picked out three wrinkled ten-kronor banknotes. He held them up before his eyes and kept them back into the pouch. The next day both men left the cottage at the same time. But half an hour later, the peddler came back, smashed a pane and took the pouch. He stole the money and hung the pouch back in its place. He was quite pleased with his smartness. Considering it unsafe to walk on the public highway he moved away from the road into the forest but he lost the way. It was a big and confusing forest.

Now, the world really appeared to be a big rattrap. This time, he had let himself befooled and trapped by the bait and had been caught in a rattrap.

It was getting dark. Finally, when he saw no way out, he sank down on the ground. He was tired to death. But soon he heard the sound of hammer strokes coming from an iron mill, the Ramsjo Ironworks, a big plant. He gathered all his strength and dragged himself towards it. The master smith and his helper sat in the dark forge near the furnace waiting for the pig iron, which had been put in the fire. The fire boy shovelled charcoal into the maw of the furnace with a great deal of clatter. The blacksmiths didn't mind the peddler standing close to the furnace as it was usual for them. He asked permission to stay and the master blacksmith nodded in approval.

The ironmaster came into the forge on his nightly round of inspection. He saw the peddler in the dark and mistook him for an old acquaintance,  an old comrade of his regiment. The peddler didn't know his name nor did he ever meet the man. He lied to the ironmaster that things had gone 'down- hill'. The ironmaster told that he should not have resigned from the regiment. He invited the peddler to come home with him. The vagabond didn't want to go to the manor house as he didn't want to throw himself voluntarily into the lion's den. The ironmaster wanted him to give them company at Christmas. The peddler declined the offer.

The ironmaster's daughter, Edla Willmansson came to the forge with a valet to persuade the peddler. She thought that the man was frightened. She compassionately requested him to stay with them over Christmas Eve. He didn't resist, accepted the fur coat given by the valet and followed the lady. The next day it was Christmas Eve. The valet had bathed him, cut his hair and shaved him. The peddler stood there in a good suit that belonged to the ironmaster. Now, the peddler stood before the ironmaster in broad daylight. It was impossible to mistake him for an old acquaintance. He got angry at him. The peddler understood that he was exposed and told the ironmaster that it was not his fault. He didn't want to deceive anybody. He had never pretended to be anything than a poor peddler. He had only begged to be allowed in the forge. He was ready to put on his old rags again and go away. First, the ironmaster threatened to call the Sheriff but then asked him to go away at once.

The ironmaster's daughter being compassionate, wanted the peddler to stay with them. There was not a single place in the whole country where he was welcome. Everyone showed him the door. She wanted him to stay and enjoy a day of peace with them. She was against chasing away a man whom they had promised Christmas cheer. In the evening the Christmas tree was lighted. He enjoyed fish and porridge.

The next morning the ironmaster and his daughter went early for the Christmas service. They didn't disturb him as he was asleep. The girl was dejected to hear a sensational news that one of old crofters had been robbed by a man who went around selling rattraps. When about 10 o'clock they came back, the ironmaster was informed by the valet that the peddler had gone but he had not taken anything at all with him on the contrary, he had left behind a little Package for Miss Willmansson. She opened the package and found a small rattrap and three wrinkled ten kro-nor notes in it along with a letter for Miss Willmansson. He thanked her for being so nice to him as if he were a captain. He didn't want her to be troubled by a thief at Christmas. She was requested to give back the money to the old crofter on the roadside. He had the money pouch hanging on the window frame. It served as a bait for poor wanderers. The rattrap was a Christmas present from a rat who would have been caught if they had not raised him to captain.

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Theme :

The chapter highlights the themes of Kindness and hospitality towards the poor people and the needy to bring a change in this society. The story also talks about the philosophical theme that this world of ours is a rattrap and the humans are attracted by its materialistic gains and get trapped in it.


Message :

The story conveys that an act of Kindness and sympathy is good enough to bring about a remarkable change in anyone’s life, be it a thief or any wrong doer. The act of kindness and hospitality shown by the ironmaster's daughter awakes basic human goodness in the heart of the peddler. The story also highlights a beautiful message that this world is a big rattrap. Riches and wealth only tempt and trap us in. If we can't resist our temptation, we would be trapped in it just like a rat in the rattrap.

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Important Question Answers

Q1. Explain the metaphorical significance of the rattraps in context of the story.

Ans. The story very beautifully compares this world to a rattrap. The seller of rattraps is amused to think that this world is a big rattrap. The riches and wealth, materialistic attractions and other gains such as shelter, heat, food and clothing tempt the people of this world and trap them in it in the sense that they spend their whole life to catch hold of these attractions. They aren't able to stay away from these attractions so that they may live a life of peace and satisfaction. If we can't resist our temptation, we would be trapped in it just like a rat gets caught in the rattrap due to its temptation to catch the bait.


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Q2. The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so? Is this sympathy justified?

Ans. The author, Selma Lagerlof draws the character of the peddler with all the sympathy from beginning of the story till the end. Initially, the peddler is described as sad and lonely leading a monotonous life. His unprofitable business forced him to resort to begging and petty thefts. The writer's sympathy is very well justified as the peddler is presented as a product of unfavourable circumstances which when turned in his favour due to the kindness of Edla Williamson, he changed his ways to better.
The peddler is pragmatist as he understands that the world is a big rattrap which traps us all equally and this theory of his keeps the peddler at par with all human beings who are a bundle of weaknesses.
However, the peddler is not shown in bad lights or portrayed as criminal. He is just a product of adverse circumstances. When he met right people and was treated nicely and kindly, he respects their kindness and honouring their hospitality he returns the money he has stolen from the old crofter. He is portrayed as a common man who is blessed with essential human goodness and this common man is raised to a fine gentleman who recognises the value of kindness and hospitality.

Q3. The story 'The Rattrap' discusses the issue of human loneliness and focusses the need to bond with others. Elaborate the statement with examples.

Ans. Certainly, the chapter discusses the issue of loneliness quite evidently through the characters of old crofter and the ironmaster. Even the peddler was leading a lonely and monotonous life, perhaps that's why he was amused to think of the people caught in the trap of this materialistic world. The author focusses on the need to bond with others through the transformation in the character of peddler towards the end. When the peddler received sympathy, kindness and hospitality, he felt nice and returned the stolen money and decided to raise himself to the character of a fine gentleman. 
The old crofter, without his wife and any child feels so lonely that he is happy to welcome any stranger in his home so that he could spend time and talk to someone. He became so happy in the company of the peddler that he prepared supper for him, ate, smoke and played cards with him just like a member of his family. He also told everything about his life and earning moreover, disclosed where he kept the earned money without a spec of doubt on the peddler. The ironmaster also suffers from loneliness after the death of his wife and sons being abroad. He is so delighted to have the company of an old comrade that he sent his daughter to persuade him to enjoy Christmas with him. All the characters are described to be leading a lonely and monotonous life and in need of human touch and bond of love with other human beings, which eventually can create magic and bring transformation.