1. Why the narrator think of
skipping school?

A: Sentiments of a child is being
reflected by the narrator as he was going to get scolded by the teacher. Little
Franz knew about M.Hamel’s rude behaviour for not learning lesson on
participles and the same old boring thing compelled him not to stay inside of the
classroom but wander around the beautiful fields of Alsace.


2. What allured the narrator to
skip school?

A: As he never learned the lessons inside the
classroom, he felt bored with the daily chores of schooling. So for a child-like
little Franz, he would like to spend time more in the fields of Alsace rather
than spending time in M.Hamel’s cell. The weather is so bright, birds chirping
at the edges of the wood and watching Prussian soldiers drilling in the open
field back of the sawmill were rather amusing for little Franz.


3. Discuss the feelings and
emotions of the narrator about the B.B?

A: The bulletin board in town hall posted news of
lost battles, orders from the Prussian commanding officers and other war type
draftings. So for Alsace’s french community, it was a hive of sad news. Little
Franz for the last two years witnessed a stream of depressing news from that
board so he wandered what could be the matter then at that time.



4. How did the blacksmith react to
the narrator’s going to school in a hurry? How did the narrator react to this
strange behaviour?

A: As the narrator went pass through the bulletin
board he was stopped by blacksmith Wachter and his apprentice who were busy in
reading the news. As they saw him, a blacksmith with his sense of humour and
mockery told the narrator to slow his pace down as he was to attend the very
last day of the school.

    In this
troublesome time, childish thoughts were provoked inside the head of the
narrator. Firstly, he was startled by their behaviour as a sort of making fun
of him but he suddenly ran to M.Hamel’s little garden thinking of something
worse might have happened there.


5. How does the narrator reflect
school activities on normal days?

A: School began with the great bustling sound
heard out of the street due to the closing and opening of the desks, lessons
repeated in unisons that were very loud. Students learning their lessons by
keeping their hands over the ears to understand better in front of the teacher
whose great ruler keeps rapping on the table. Alsace’s schooling was very
normal like other schools those days.


6. How did commotion help the
narrator on other days?

A: The bustling sounds due to opening and closing
of desks, lesson as it was repeated by each student which was very loud and the
teacher whose great ruler keeps rapping on the table thus provided an environment
when the narrator was late for the class but could get to his desk unnoticed.
So, he counted on the commotion to reach his desk.


7. Why did the narrator compare the
day with Sunday? Give reasons.

A: The other days as described by the narrator were
noisy. So he counted on the commotion to reach his desk without being noticed.
But that day was as quiet and peaceful as Sunday though everyone was present
there. As it was known to everyone that today was the last day of the school
and from the next day everyone should have to learn in German so there was a
cloud of gloominess that made everyone sad and quiet.



8. How did Mr Hamel behave with
Franz? and why?

A: That day was very quiet and Franz could not
count on the commotion to reach his desk. So he was awestruck as he has to open
the door and go in before everybody including Mr Hamel. But the news of Prussian
invasion made M. Hamel sad and in grief, he remained silent and calm. So, he
wanted to forgive Franz and told him to be attentive as it was the last French


9. How did M.Hamel dress that day?
state the reasons for that?

A: The narrator described his teacher M.Hamel had
put on his beautiful green coat with a frilled shirt inside, he also had a
little black silk cap which he used to wear during inspection and prize days.
So according to the narrator, that day was very special to the teacher as it
was his last day of teaching and he has to leave that place very next day.


10. How was the classroom different
on that day in terms of people present?

A: The classroom was quiet, little Franz went to
his desk and M.Hamel started his lesson on French participle. The classroom was
quiet crowded with students and villagers. As the narrator stated, the backbenches
which were always empty were filled with village people. He remembered old
Hauser, the former mayor, the postmaster and babies chanting their ba, be, bi,
bo, bu.


11. What did M.Hamel announce at
the outset?

A: By mounting his chair M.Hamel addressed the
class in a grave polite tone. He welcomed everyone as his children and wanted
everyone to be attentive on his last French lesson as the order came from
Berlin to impose the German language in schools of Alsace and Lorraine.



12. How was the emotion of the
people that day?

A: That day was the very last day for people of
Alsace to learn their mother language. Prussian invasion and foreign language
being imposed on their land made them feel depressed and they felt sorry for
not being attentive to their own most beautiful language. From the next day,
they had to live life under a foreign reign which was almost hard to swallow.


13. How was the reaction of Franz
primarily and ultimately after the announcement of the last lesson?

A: As a child, Franz would love to visit the
beautiful landscape of Alsace for seeking a bird’s egg, going on sliding the
Saar and watching the Prussian army drill. But he was never interested in
learning the lessons as school was boring to him and M.Hamel’s rude behaviour
made him sick. On that day things went very opposite as it was the last day of
learning French and he was never attentive to the class. So he was taken away
by surprise and he wanted to learn the lessons by heart. A certain kind of
patriotic feeling is being portraited in his character ultimately.


14. How did Franz reflect on his
not learning in the classes?

A: The classes went usual and Franz was wandering
in the landscape of Alsace. Things changed and that day was marked as the last
French day. So under suppressed emotion, he remembered his book on grammar,
history of the saints as they were his old friends now and his zeal for French
became so strong that he couldn’t give up.


15. What thought of M.Hamel did
Franz have after the announcement of the last class?

A: He remembered M.Hamel had put on his fine Sunday
clothes and the class was crowded with old villagers as it was the last French
lesson. The villagers felt sorry for not attending the school and forwarded their
way of thanking M.Hamel for his forty years of faithful service by gathering
under one umbrella.  All stood together
to show their respect for the country that was theirs no more. He felt sorry
for himself and sympathy had grown in him for M.Hamel.


16. Why according to Franz old men
had attended the class that day?

A: The villagers were very busy in the fields
rather than giving time in learning the French language and suddenly the
Prussian invasion snapped their dreams of learning French. So Franz described
that day even villagers were present inside the class as a way of thanking
M.Hamel and showing respect for the country. They were in grief as they never
learned anything of their mother language.



17. How did M.Hamel reflect the human
habit of learning and especially people of Alsace?

A: M.Hamel in utter grief described people of
Alsace to be in great trouble as they put off learning till tomorrow, for
earning a little more money parents send their children to the behaviour of the
invaders over Alsace’s people for not able to describe their own language. So a
sense of patriotism developed in him at this time of crisis.


18. How did M.Hamel blame parents
and himself for not learning French properly?

A: The countryside villagers of Alsace were poor
and to support the livelihood they had to send their children to work in the
fields for earning some more money. As a result, parents sent their children to
work in the fields and not to the school. Even the teachers including H.Mamel
were very careless towards the students as a result of this, teachers involved
their students in garden work rather than helping them to put their minds on a book.


19. How did M.Hamel glorify the French

A: The news of German imposition over French in
Alsace had risen a sense of patriotism in every French people of Alsace.
M.Hamel felt sorry for deeds in the past and admired the french language to be
the most logical and clearest in the world. He aroused a sense of guarding this
language and to never give up among the villagers. According to him even if
they were enslaved it would be the keys to their prison.


20. How was the last french lesson
important by M.Hamel?

A: Alsace was under the imposition of German and
it was the very last of the French students to learn their mother tounges. In
the last French class, Franz was very attentive as he was never before. In the
grief of the last day it seemed that Mr M.Hamel had put all his patience in
teaching, he tried to provide all his knowledge in the head of his students in
one stroke before leaving the school.


21. How was the feeling and emotion
in the writing class?

A: The student of Alsace showed full
determination and dedication towards their lessons on the last day. In the writing
class, it was very surprising how the students maintained pin-drop silence that
only the sound of scratching of the pen against the paper was audible. The
national flag of France on the desk of the students raised the feeling of
patriotism in them which may or may not be there the next day.



22: What refection did the author
make about the beetles and pigeons?

A: The foreign invasion had a deep impact on
everyone including the author. The attentive students were busy writing their
lesson that they didn’t pay a bit of attention to the flying battle. The
student of Alsace was forced to learn german and this created a form of
depression and little Franz’s innocent mind thought that the German people
would even make the pigeons cooed in their language. The fear of losing the
freedom to learn their mother tongue is reflected by the author.


23: How did the author reflect on
M.Hamel’s long journey as a teacher in the school?

A:  During
his last lesson, M.Hamel sat motionless in his chair and gazed at everything
inside the classroom one after another. As the author described poor M.Hamel
recalled his forty years of service in the school. He was thinking about the
garden-grown outside the window, the tall walnut trees and the hop vine that he
planted twined about the windows to the roof. It was his recollection of old
memories because from the next day his service as a teacher was going to be over.


24. Reflect the lesson on history
and children phono drill. How did M.Hamel and others react to it?

A: M.Hamel patiently heard every lesson to the
very last. Then he taught the whole class lesson in history though the babies
were chanting their phonic rhyming words. All paid attention to what they were
assigned for and at the back of the room, old houser emotionally holding his
primer spelt the letters with them. They chanted their very own ba be bi bo bu
without any remorse as the babies do. This reflected the patriotic feeling
aroused in them under one banner.


25. Comment on the ending of the

A:  The end
of the story marked the fall of France and new dawn under german reign. M.Hamel
stood firmly after finishing his last lesson and chalked out ”Vive la France”
when the clock struck twelve. The sounds of the Prussian army drill through the
window made him pale and he leaned his head against the wall and gestured the
whole class to get dismissed without any final words. So, we reached to a
conclusion that the story has an unpleasant ending with a rise of patriotic
feeling among the people of Alsace.





                             THE LAST LESSON 6 MARKS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 

1. ‘War brings only destruction’ –
discuss the statement in reference to the story.

A: War brings not only destruction but also
abolishes the culture and tradition of the land. Firstly, during a foreign
invasion, the language of the foreigners are imposed on the land and nextly a
new foreign culture is being practised all over the land. Sentiments of the
local people are suppressed and they are tortured if they don’t indulge
themselves in that foreign culture. So life becomes miserable when one nation
brings the war on another nation.

Franz throughout the story reflected his thoughts
as a child and through his vision, we get to see a growth of patriotism before
the surrender. Especially, the educator M.Hamel himself took the responsibility
at the moment of the last lesson to unite everyone under one French hood. We
noticed a sense of sorrow ness among the villagers for not utilising their
valuable time in learning their national language. The sense of terror was seen
among the villagers that Prussians might overthrow their old traditions and
belief to impose the new one. So, basically, we witnessed that an old culture
is being uprooted by the new and powerful one through annexation.


2. Evaluate Franz as a child and as
a student.

A: Franz as a child would love to spend all day
outdoor and keep wandering the landscape of Alsace. His interest included the
birds chirping at the edge of the wood and Prussian soldiers marching in the
field at the back of sawmill. His beautiful moments were the searching for the
birds’ egg and sliding on the Saar. He found watering the flowers of M.Hamel’s
garden to be attractive rather than in learning lesson.

As a student, Franz had a fear of getting scolded
by M.Hamel for not learning the lesson but he was quite curious about the news
posted in the bulletin board and always had an insight for the news. But that
day during the last lesson he cleared all his escaping thoughts from the school
and focussed on learning the lessons given by M.Hamel. At that moment, he was
caught in between the regret in not learning the lesson and the sense of
nationalism that born in him encouraged his soul to learn more and more.

He was overwhelmed by the last lesson delivered
by M.Hamel and a sense to conserve the French language was readily developed in
him throughout that last day.


3. Discuss the role and emotion of
the people of the town for the last French lesson.

A: The last day of French class was having a
total ironical situation than the other days. The classrooms were very quiet,
there were not any regular noise of the students like opening and closing of
desks, repeating lessons in unison etc. The silent atmosphere spread all over
the Alsace’s school was just like Sunday. Little Franz was surprised to see
when Mr M.Hamel did not scold Franz for coming late. The thought of losing their
culture haunted everyone which made the students to show their full dedication
in the French language for the last day. They were not even distracted by
beetles flying in their classroom, the only noise was of scratching the pen
against the paper.

Mr M.Hamel was quite emotional on that day, he
just kept on gazing at everything around him. He tried to put all his knowledge
in the head of the students at one stroke.
The villagers around Alsace joined the last french class, the grief of
not attending school made them feel sad and to encourage Mr M.Hamel all of them
sat together to attend the last French class.

It was when Mr M.Hamel heard the Prussian army drilling
he couldn’t stop himself and made the students dismiss the class thinking
everything was over as he had to leave the school just the next day.



4. Evaluate M.Hamel as a teacher.

A: As the teacher of Alsace, Mr M.Hamel was not
devoted to his job much. Little Franz did not get any interest in attending his
class rather he likes spending time roaming around Alsace’s landscapes. Mr
M.Hamel was quite rude towards his student as he used to carry the great iron
rapper with him and he used to scold his students for getting late. He used to
make his students do gardening in the field of the school rather than teaching

It was when the Germans attacked France and made
the French people bound before them, Mr M.Hamel realised the importance of
being a teacher. The last day of French class was remarkable for everyone
living in Alsace. Mr M.Hamel eyes were full of emotion and he recalled his past
forty years being in the school, he tried to put all his knowledge in the head
of the student at one stroke. His special attire reflected his agony, he felt
that day. Villagers in and around Alsace joined the last French class to show
their regret they had for not being able to learn their mother tongue.

At the end, when Mr M.Hamel head the marching of the
Prussian army, he understood that his career was dashed in dirt and now he
wouldn’t be able to visit the school nor his students. Lastly, he was even
unable to speak even a single word and hiding his tears he dismissed the class.


5. The story hints at the
importance of language for a country. Discuss.

A: A country’s social and cultural background
depends on the language that is spoken. Moreover, language manifests the
tradition and livelihood of a particular territory. In this story, we find
language to be the most prominent weapon for the people of Alsace during their
worse time. At the global level, a country’s main representation is its people
and the language. Thus language provides ways for people to express themselves
and exercise their freedom. People’s identity is reflected in his language.

In this story, a glimpse of language being a
barrier in war-torn areas has been portraited. Little Franz and other villagers
were too concerned to work in the fields rather educating themselves. The situation
of Alsace’s schooling wasn’t good enough as there was no disciplined educator
but we see the imposition of foreign language in Alsace terrified the whole
atmosphere. M.Hamel on his last day of school prepared his summarised last
lesson to glorify the French language in front of his people who remained
uneducated as learning was less concerned to them. At that time of crisis,
people of Alsace were unified due to their respect and love for the country and
its language.

So, language serves as a saviour for a nation at
the time of its crisis



6. How does the story reflect a crusade against the oppression of war?

A: Daudet, the French novelist in his last lesson
accounted for the events from days of the Franco-Prussian War in which France
was defeated by Prussia led by Bismark. Alsace and Lorraine were passed into
the Prussian hands. Many of the Alsace’s villagers were uneducated and
schooling was very less concerned in the countryside. The situation became
worse when Prussians abolished the use of the French language anymore. French
educator M.Hamel found this time to be the upsurge of a new reign and enactment
of a new language. So, he arranged a meeting for all people of Alsace at the
school to deliver his last lesson.

 During his
last lesson, he speeches out the appropriate grammar lessons and glorified the
language. He described French to be the clearest and logical one and even if
people were enslaved the language would help them in many ways as if it was key
to their prison. All started chanting their lessons and in unison, they wanted
to cry and laugh together. When the clock struck twelve, M.Hamel chalked out ‘ Vive la France ‘ and
dismissed the class. Thus this last lesson encouraged the villagers to remain
unified under their colourful banner.

 So, we
witnessed language to be their prominent weapon for leading the crusade against
the oppression of war.



7. How is the school atmosphere
discussed depending on varied emotions?

A: Franz due to fear of M.Hamel’s rude behaviour
relied on the commotion to reach his desk. During normal days, the school began
with the great bustling sound heard in the street. The opening and closing of the
desk, lessons repeated in unison and teacher’s great ruler rapping on the

But that day was as peaceful as a Sunday morning
because news of declining French language and imposing the new one was ordered
by the Prussian leaders. The scene surrounding the school was melancholic and
arrangement to deliver the last French lesson was prepared and the class was
being attended by the villagers.

Franz remembered his days of watering the flowers
at Mr M.Hamel’s garden. The beetles and birds were no longer the elements of
disturbance for the students. The villagers were mournful at their country’s
fate yet wanted to learn the language at great spirits. When the clock struck
twelve and the march of the Prussian army was heard through the window, M.Hamel
knew that the ultimatum has arrived. He chalked out ‘Vive la France’  and dismissed everyone without uttering a single