The rat trap man believes that he is forced to do whatever it takes to survive because the world is like the rat traps he sells; it offers bait that only results in a man being beaten down by the system. However, he experiences goodwill from several people: Although the Ironmaster soon realizes that the rat trap man is not his old friend, Edla insists on allowing him to stay.
He made them himself at odd moments, from the material he got by begging in the stores or at the big farms. But even so, the business was not especially profitable, so he had to resort to both begging and petty thievery to keep body and soul together. Even so, his clothes were in rags, his cheeks were sunken, and hunger gleamed The rattrap selma lagerlof his eyes.
No one can imagine how sad and monotonous life can appear to such a vagabond, who plods along the road, left to his own meditations. But one day this man had fallen into a line of thought, which really seemed to him entertaining.
He had naturally been thinking of his rattraps when suddenly he was struck by the idea that the whole world about him — the whole world with its lands and seas, its cities and villages — was nothing but a big rattrap.
It had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people. It offered riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing, exactly as the rattrap offered cheese and pork, and as soon as anyone let himself be tempted to touch the bait, it closed in on him, and then everything came to an end.
The world had, of course, never been very kind to him, so it gave him unwonted joy to think ill of it in this way. It became a cherished pastime of his, during many dreary ploddings, to think of people he knew who had let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare, and of others who were still circling around the bait.
One dark evening as he was trudging along the road he caught sight of a little gray cottage by the roadside, and he knocked on the door to ask shelter for the night. Nor was he refused. Instead of the sour faces which ordinarily met him, the owner, who was an old man without wife or child, was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness.
The old man was just as generous with his confidences as with his porridge and tobacco. Now that he was no longer able to do day labour, it was his cow which supported him.
Yes, that bossy was extraordinary. She could give milk for the creamery every day, and last month he had received all of thirty kronor in payment.
The stranger must have seemed incredulous, for the old man got up and went to the window, took down a leather pouch which hung on a nail in the very window frame, and picked out three wrinkled ten-kronor bills.
These he held up before the eyes of his guest, nodding knowingly, and then stuffed them back into the pouch. The next day both men got up in good season.
The crofter was in a hurry to milk his cow, and the other man probably thought he should not stay in bed when the head of the house had gotten up. They left the cottage at the same time. The crofter locked the door and put the key in his pocket.
The man with the rattraps said good bye and thank you, and thereupon each went his own way. But half an hour later the rattrap peddler stood again before the door. He did not try to get in, however. He only went up to the window, smashed a pane, stuck in his hand, and got hold of the pouch with the thirty kronor.
He took the money and thrust it into his own pocket. Then he hung the leather pouch very carefully back in its place and went away. As he walked along with the money in his pocket he felt quite pleased with his smartness.
He realised, of course, that at first he dared not continue on the public highway, but must turn off the road, into the woods. During the first hours this caused him no difficulty. Later in the day it became worse, for it was a big and confusing forest which he had gotten into.
He tried, to be sure, to walk in a definite direction, but the paths twisted back and forth so strangely! He walked and walked without coming to the end of the wood, and finally he realised that he had only been walking around in the same part of the forest.
All at once he recalled his thoughts about the world and the rattrap.Selma Lagerlof () was a Swedish writer whose stories have been translated into many languages. A universal theme runs through all 4 The Rattrap About the author. Oct 31, · Today I read the short story The Rat Trap, by Selma Lagerlöf.
The story begins by introducing a character who sells rat traps for a living, but doesn’t make much money and so thinks of the whole world as a rat trap, with money, gourmet food, large mansions, and other such items as the cheese in the trap.
What became the cherished pastime of the peddler in the story the rattrap? What was the first impression that Edla formed of the peddler? Does the rattrap theory of the world make sense to you? Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (Swedish: [ˈsɛlˈma ˈlɑːɡə(r)ˈløːv] () ; 20 November – 16 March ) was a Swedish author and teacher.
She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Selma, Alabama became the focal point for the fight for voting rights. Selma was the center of the demonstrations for blacks obtaining voting rights without any restrictions.
Movements. 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.