The last lesson summary | questions answers Class 12 | CBSE

Here you get short or brief the last lesson summary in English, important questions, previous years' paper solutions, textual questions answers of class 12 flamingo CBSE or Ncert book and also for SEBA board. The author Alphonse Daudet. If you are from AHSEC then it is also helpful for you. 

Topic :


Introduction

Alphonse Daudet’s short story ‘The Last Lesson’ is set in the days of the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1871). Germany (Prussia) occupied two French districts of Alsace and Lorraine. By order from Berlin, the German language was imposed on the French-speaking people of Alsace and Lorraine. The story highlights the dismay and distress of M. Hamel, his students, and the villagers, caused by that order from Berlin.

The last lesson summary

Little Franz, a young schoolboy, is the narrator of the story. Franz was hurrying to school because he was late. He feared his class teacher, M. Hamel. M. Hamel had assigned homework regarding participles but Franz didn't learn them. He even had a desire to running away and spending the day outdoors. But M. Hamel was a strict teacher and Franz did not have the courage to stay away. So he hastened off to school.

On his way, Franz passed through the town square where he noticed a crowd in front of the bulletin board. Franz recalled that for the last two years all the bad news displayed there. He wondered what it could be this time.

On reaching school, Franz found the environment is quite unusual; the great bustle which was generally found was missing. The noise made by the children while opening and closing their desks was not found. No lessons were read in unison and the rapping of the teacher's ruler was not heard. Franz had planned to enter into the class taking advantage of the noise but he was surprised when he reached there. Peeping in through the window he saw his friends, already sitting in their places, and M. Hamel walking to and fro with his iron ruler under his arm. Franz opened the door. But the M. Hamel was not angry. He looked at Franz and told him to take his place. As he sat down he noticed his teacher was dressed formally that he wore only on special days. Everyone was quiet and sad. The most surprising thing was that the village elders were sitting on the backbenches.

M. Hamel sat in the chair. He announced that this was to be the last French lesson. The order had come from Berlin that in future only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Franz realized that this was the news in the town hall. The Franz was sorry at the thought of not having his French lesson anymore. He never liked his books. But now he developed a new fond of love for them. Even he started liking M. Hamel. Franz now realized that the old men of the village were sitting there because they were sorry that they had not gone to school for a longer time, and had not made the efforts to learn their language. They wanted to thank M. Hamel for his forty years of faithful service and also show respect for their language that was no longer there.

Just then M. Hamel asked Franz to recite the rules of participles. Franz could not and was very nervous. He excepted M. Hamel scold him. But M. Hamel didn't. M. Hamel said that it was not only Franz to blame. His parents had never been eager to send him to school. They expected him to earn a little money. M. Hamel said the French language was the most beautiful, logical, and clearest language in the world. He told them that they must guard it among themselves and never forget it. This time when M. Hamel taught grammar, Franz was surprised to see how well he understood it. He realized that earlier neither he had listened carefully, nor had M. Hamel gave them new copies on which in beautiful handwriting were written the words 'France, Alsace'. Everyone set to writing. There was no sound except the sound of the pens writing on the paper. Franz said to himself, "will they teach the pigeons to coo in German"?

Franz then looked up to see M. Hamel sitting motionless in his chair. After forty years, it must break his heart to leave the country. But he was determined to teach till the very last moment. Suddenly the church clock struck twelve. The Prussians sounded their trumpets. Then Hamel wanted to speak to the pupil but he was struck up. Then he took a piece of chalk and wrote on the blackboard in a very large letter, "Vive La France!". Then with the gesture of this hand, he indicated that the school was over.


The last lesson Question Answers

Think as you read
Page no. 7

1. What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day? (AHSEC 2015)
Ans: Franz was expected to prepare a lesson on 'participles'. M. Hamel, his teacher, had announced that he would question them on participles on that day. Franz did not know even the first word about them. He was expecting a scolding from M. Hamel on that day. Hence, he feared to face M. Hamel and go to school.

2. What did Franz notice that was unusual about the school that day? (AHSEC 2013, 15, 17)
Ans: Franz noticed something unusual about the school on that day. When the school began previously, there used to be a great bustle. The noise could be heard out in the street. The opening and closing of desks and the lessons repeated loudly in unison made a lot of noise. But on that day everything was still and silent as on a Sunday morning. It was quite unusual and surprising.

3. What had been put up on the bulletin-board? (AHSEC 2014)
Ans: When Franz saw a group of people outside the town hall, he realized that another bad news had strucked the place. Reaching school he felt that the news was about the arrival of a new German teacher and that French will no longer be taught in the schools had been put up on the bulletin board.

Think as you read
Page no. 8

1. What changes did the order from Berlin cause in school that day?
Ans: The order from Berlin caused great dismay in the school that day. It upset all the students. M. Hamel, the class-teacher, was greatly agitated. Now onwards, the schools of Alsace and Lorraine would teach only German. It was their last lesson in French. From the next day, they would be taught the language of their new masters.

2. How did Franz's feelings about M. Hamel and school change?
Ans: Franz's feelings about M. Hamel and school were totally changed now. The order from Berlin aroused patriotic feelings in him. He suddenly developed a strange fascination for his language and school. His books were his 'old friends now'. He suddenly grew respect for M. Hamel. He even forgot all about his ruler. He also ignored how cranky Mr. Hamel was.

Understanding the text

1.The people in this story suddenly realize how precious their language is to them. What shows you this? Why does this happen?
Ans: The order from Berlin imposes German on the French-speaking people of Alsace. It makes all the difference. The order arouses patriotic feelings among the people. Suddenly they realize how precious their language is to them. The people of Alsace were earlier indifferent to their language. But now they develop a new-found love for French. M. Hamel goes on to declare that French is "the most beautiful language in the world". It is the clearest and the most logical language. Even the village elders seem to endorse M. Hamel's views. They come and sit there on the backbenches. In this way, they show their respect for their language that is theirs no more. All of them hate the foreign language, German, being imposed on the French-speaking people. Their patriotic feelings unite them for the cause of the French.

Even Franz grows sentimental. This is his last lesson in French. He feels sorry for neglecting his lessons in French. Now he develops a craving for French and the teacher who taught it.

2. Franz thinks, "Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons. What could this mean? (AHSEC 2018)
Ans: The above extract means that the German was harsh and hostile with the citizens of this French village to the ultimate extent. They could take away the education of children in school for their political interests. The villagers had suffered a lot under the enslavement, the drafts, and the order of the commanding officer. Franz wonders whether these Germans could be heartless enough to impose these restrictions on the birds and animals of the area. This shows the extent to which the Germans could fall, in the field of humanity, for the fulfillment of their political interest.

The last lesson previous years questions AHSEC

1. "I started for school very late that morning". Who is the "I" here? (2012, 14)
Ans: Franz is the "I" here.

2. What was the order from Berlin? How did that order affect the people of Alsace, particularly M. Hamel and his students?
Ans: A shocking order had come from Berlin. The schools in the two French-speaking districts of Alsace and Lorraine were to teach only in German.

The order from Berlin hurt the pride of the people. Patriotic feelings were aroused in them. The village elders had already sat on the last benches with students. M. Hamel declared that it was his last lesson in French. He would leave the place for good. A new master would replace him to teach German. The news aroused patriotic feelings and love for French in students as well as the villagers. The village elders had come to show their respect for M. Hamel. He had served the community faithfully for forty years. M. Hamel spoke at length about the French language. He called French the most beautiful language in the world. It was also the clearest and the most logical language. He expressed his dismay that the people of Alsace were quite indifferent to the learning of French. He called upon them to guard it among themselves and never forget it. Their language was the key to their unity and liberation. Everyone listened to him with rapt attention and respect.
3. Why was the lesson called the last lesson? (2014)
Ans: The lesson called the last lesson because it was the last lesson in French. From the next day, a new teacher would come who teaches in German languages.

4. What did M. Hamel write at the end of the class? (2015)
Ans: "Vive La France" ( means long live France )

5. What did Franz think for a moment? (2015)
Ans: For a moment Franz thought of running away and spending the day out of doors.

6. Why did Franz want to spend his day out of doors? (2012, 16, 17)
Ans: Franz started for school very late that morning. M. Hamel, his teacher, had announced that he would question them on participles on that day. Franz did not know even the 'first word' about them. He was expecting a scolding from M. Hamel on that day. Hence Franz wants to spend his day out of doors.

7. What are M. Hamel's views about the French language? (2012, 13, 16)
Ans: M. Hamel's views about the French language was very positive. He said that French is the most beautiful language in the world and it is the clearest and most logical language.

8. Draw a character sketch of M. Hamel as it is shown in "The last lesson".(2016)
Ans. In The Last Lesson, Alphonse Daudet has presented M. Hamel's character with all sympathy and respect. He is presented in the mould or a traditional schoolmaster. He always kept his 'terrible' ruler under his arm. Mr. Hamel was a hard task-master. We also see the other side of M. Hamel's character after the order from Berlin Came. He was a transformed person now. He realized that it was his last lesson in French and the next day a new teacher would replace him. He would teach them in German. Patriotic feelings were aroused in him He became extra soft and gentle towards his students. He didn't scold Franz for coming late. Nor did he use his ruler when Franz got mixed up and confused. He declared that it was his last lesson in French.

M. Hamel was highly respected both by his students and the village elders. He had served faithfully for 40 years in the same school. The village elders came to pay their respect to such a grand teacher

M. Hamel loved France and French from the core of his heart. He considered French as the most beautiful language in the world. He asked the Frenchmen to guard it among themselves and never to forget it.

9. What was written in the new copies brought by M. Hamel for the student in a beautiful round hand? (2017)
Ans: France, Alsace, France, Alsace was written in the new copies brought by M. Hamel.

10. Why did M. Hamel not blame Franz alone for his inability to learn? (2017)
Ans: Ans: M. Hamel, the school teacher, did not want to blame Franz alone for his lack of interest for not learning. Franz was not alone who put off learning till the next day. According to M. Hamel, it was the great problem of the whole of Alsace that put off learning for the next day. Even Franz's parents who wanted him to learn also often put him to work on the farm or at the mills for little profit instead of sending him to school. M. Hamel also blames himself because he too used to give his students holidays for his personal works or for some other reasons.

11. What is the name of the blacksmith in "The last lesson"? (2018)
Ans: The name of the blacksmith is Watcher.

12. What is the name of the river mentioned in ‘‘The Last Lesson”? (2019)
Ans: The river mentioned in 'The last lesson' is the Saar.

13. What words did M. Hamel write on the blackboard before dismissing the last class? What did they mean? (2019)
Ans: M. Hamel wrote "Vive La France"  on the blackboard before dismissing the last class. This means long live France.

14. What would Franz love to do on that sunny morning instead of going to school? (2019)
Ans: Franz had a desire of running away and spending the day out of doors on that sunny morning instead of going to school.

15. What according to M. Hamel, is the great trouble with Alsace? (2020)
Ans: According to M. Hamel, the great trouble with Alsace was that the whole Alsace put off learning for the next day. 

16. Why did Watcher, the blacksmith, tell Franz that he would reach school in "Plenty of time"? (2020)
Ans: Watcher, the blacksmith, told Franz not to hurry for because he had read the news on the bulletin board and knew that Franz would get his school in plenty of time that morning.

17. How does M. Hamel make the people realize how they, the student and he have been responsible for not learning their language well? (2020)
Ans: M. Hamel, the school teacher, did not want to blame Franz alone for his lack of interest for not learning. Franz was not alone who put off learning till the next day. According to M. Hamel, it was the great problem of the whole of Alsace that put off learning for the next day. Even Franz's parents who wanted him to learn also often put him to work on the farm or at the mills for little profit instead of sending him to school. M. Hamel also blames himself because he too used to give his students holidays for his personal works or for some other reasons.

The last lesson important questions


1. Why didn't M. Hamel get angry with Franz for being late?
Ans: M. Hamel was much disturbed by the news that came from Berlin. He was delivering his 'last lesson' in French. So he didn't get angry with Franz for being late.

2. Why had M. Hamel put on his finest clothes? Why were the old men of the village sitting there in the back of the classroom?
Ans: M. Hamel had put on his finest clothes to highlight the special occasion. It was his last lesson in French. The old men of the village had also come there to show their sympathy and respect to French and for M. Hamel. It was their way to thank M. Hamel. Patriotic feelings had overpowered them.
 

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