The Rattrap is a short story written by Swedish author Selma Lagerlof. The protagonist of this story is a rattrap seller. He is very poor and does not earn much to lead a standard life. He is compelled to steal and beg to make his ends meet. He neither has a family nor a home. He wanders from place to place in search of shelter.
One day while thinking about the world's customs, he supposes the whole world as a big rattrap. The comforts of life are nothing but baits. We are entrapped as we are slaves of comfort, which eventually cause our miseries. We cannot escape the rattrap till the last breath of our lives. The peddler once chanced upon taking shelter in the house of a generous old crofter. However, the next morning, he stole the crofter's hard-earned money and fled into the dense forest.
He could not find a way out of the forest. At this juncture, he happens to take shelter in another house of an ironmaster, where the peddler introduces himself as an old friend of his. The peddler is treated with care and affection by the ironmaster and her daughter. Later in the story, we find out the peddler has changed his conscience. He left the stolen money along with a letter that requested the father and his daughter to return it to the crofter. The writer, through the protagonist, tries to convey the universal message that goodness in a human being can be awakened through love. They can retreat from dishonest roads if they intend to.
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