Rattrap: Positive Psychology and Ms. Williamson

Topics: Positive psychology, Wealth, Selma Lagerlöf Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: January 17, 2013
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. A Change of Heart "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. His theory arises from the fact that he was caught in the rattrap, he once was wealthy in both money and loved ones, and then he was stripped of his riches and was reduced to a homeless beggar. One night, after stealing money from an old man that gave him shelter, he is taken in by a man and his daughter who mistake him for a respected captain. They treat him esteemed guest but when they discover that he has lied and is actually a thief; the young...
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