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Important Question Answer

Alphonse Daudet
1. The affect of war on civilians.
2. The speaker’s love for mature.
3. The Conventional method of teaching.
4. Importance of Education.
5. Patriotism
6. The importance of one’s own language.
7. The dominance of one country by another.
8. Brutility of war.


Q.1. What do you think is the theme of the story ‘The Last Lesson’? What is the reason behind its universal appeal?

Ans. The theme of the story is the linguistic chauvinism of the proud conquers and the pain that is inflicted on the people of a territory by taking away the right to study or speak their own language and thus make them aliens in their own land of birth. The story has a subtheme also highlighting the attitude of the students and the teachers towards leaning and teaching. Though the story is located in a particular village of Alsace, district of France which has been passed into Prussian hands, it has an universal appeal. It highlights the efforts of the victors to crush their victims – the defeated people in all possible manner – materially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Taking away the mother tongue from the people is the harshest punishment.

The proper equation between student and teacher is his focused attention where as helpful and encouraging attitude and kind treatment can encourage students to learn better. Language loyalty and Language imposition have been used by the author that lends Poignance to the story.

Q.2. What impression do you from of M. Hamel on the basis of your study of the story?

Ans. M. Hamel is the pivotal character of the story. M. Hamel is an experienced teacher who has been teaching in that village school for forty years. He imparts primary education in all subjects. Student like Franz are in great fear of being scolded by him. Though he appears cranky and strict in the beginning later he seems quite changed. The latest order of the Prussian conquers upset him for he have to leave that place forever. 

Although sad, he exercises great self control and has the courage to take the lesson to the last. He conducts himself very well during the last lesson and is even kind to a late comer like Franz. He uses a solemn and a general tone while addressing the students. He has a logical mind, can analyse problems and deduce reasons for them. The problem for Alsace people is that they put off learning French “till tomorrow”.

He knows the emotional hold of the language over it users. He is a good communicator and explains everything patiently. While parting for the last time he fails to say good bye as his throat is choked. On the whole he is a patriotic gentleman and an expanse of an ideal mentor.

Q.3. What order had been received from Berlin that day? What effect did it have on the life at school?

Ans. An order had been received from Berlin that day that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. M. Hamel who had been teaching French at a village school for last forty - years would deliver his last lesson that day. It was In honor of the last lesson that M. Hamel, the teacher had put on his fine Sunday clothes. The old men of the village were sitting quietly at the back benches of his classroom. They were sad and sorry as they had not gone to the school. They had come to thank the master for his forty years of faithful service and to showing respect to the country that was no-more theirs, the teacher addressed the students in a solemn and a gentle tone.

He asked them to be attentive and explained everything quite patiently. He appealed his pupils to preserve French among them for doing away with slavery. It would act as the key to the prison. He felt so overwhelmed by emotions that he could not bid farewell properly. His last lesson became memorable for Franz and others.

Q.4. Justify the title ‘The Last Lesson’?

Ans. Alphonse Daudet in the lesson ‘The Last Lesson’ has depicted a beautiful, yet a queer, relationship between a student and his mentor. Franz who is apprehensive of going to school is shocked when he is told about the order of Berlin, in the wake of which French will be replaced by German. A new grim realization dawns upon the narrator when he realizes that his teacher, M. Hamel will leave the school. In the last lesson, M. Hamel, finds himself in the grim state. The melancholic and solemn atmosphere of the classroom is visible.

The pain and anguish is obvious among the students as well as teacher. M. Hamel is quite amicable and wants to put all he knew into the students heads at one stroke. His fine Sunday clothes are in contrast with the gloomy classroom atmosphere. Franz, who is not a very good student, realizes his mistake and French language becomes dearer to one and all. He too realizes how notions and components of life are taken for granted till they are pulled out of life. The sincerity of the all students, presence of the elderly ones and absolute silence in class room were all a change to the classroom during the last lesson. M. Hamel induces the feeling of patriotism. He gives his best shot as a patient teacher and leave the school with a heavy heart. 

The Last Lesson was then fondly remembered by all the students. Therefore, the title is apt, there cannot be a title better than this.


Q.1. What was ‘much more tempting for Franz’. How did he finally react?

Ans. Franz found that it was a very warm and bright day with the birds chirping at the edge of the woods. The Prussian soldiers were practicing with their drills in the open field at the back of the mill. The boy actually wanted to spend the day out of doors but he had the strength to resist his temptation and finally he hurried off to the school.

Q.2. What three things in school surprised Franz most that day?

Ans. Firstly M. Hamel, the teacher had put on his fine Sunday clothes – his beautiful green coat, frilled shirt and a little black silk cap all embroidered. Secondly, the whole school seemed strange and solemn. Thirdly, the village people were sitting quietly like school children on the back benches that usually remained empty.

Q.3. “What a thunderclap these words were to me”. Which were the words that shocked and surprised the narrator?

Ans. M. Hamel, the teacher told the children in a solemn and gentle tone that its was their last French lesson. Henceforth, only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master would come the next day. As that was their last French lesson he wanted them to be very attentive. Franz was Surprised to see his teacher leaving on a such abrupt note. He felt gloomy. His pain and anguish is illuminated through these words.

Q.4. What did M. Hamel tell them about the French language? What did he ask them to do and why?

Ans. M. Hamel told them that French was the most beautiful language in the world which was the clearest and most logical. He asked them to guard it among them and never forget it. He told them that “when a group of people were enslaved as long as they hold fast to their language they had the key to the prison”.

Q.5. “Ah! How well / remembered it, the last lesson!” says the narrator which scene does he remember more vividly than the others?

Ans. The narrator remembers the scene of old Hauser spelling the letters from the primer with the babies. He too was crying and his voice trembled with emotion. It was so funny to hear him that all of them wanted to laugh and cry. They had mixed feelings.

Q.6. What usually used to be the environment on Iranz’s visit to school?

Ans. Usually, when Franz would reach the school, there used to be great hustle bustle, their lessons were repeated in unisons. There used to be the noise of opening and closing of desks and one could see the teacher, M. Hamel thumping his ruler on the table.

Q.7. Who were the people, M. Hamel blames for Franz having not turned out to be a good student?

Ans. M. Hamel feels the stress, on Franz not having turned out to be an academically good student. He accuses Franz’s parents for sending him to farm or mills rather than making him study. He does not even spare himself for when he had to go for fishing trips, many a times, he used to send Franz for watering his plants since he was fond of gardening.

Q.8. Franz thinks “Will they make them sing in German even the pigeons?' What could this mean?

Ans. In his sardonic tone, Franz questions if even the pigeons would be made to coo in German, which illustrates how due to war the human understanding of their own core values will get altered. The pain and the anguish of the French teacher (M. Hamel) leaving the school is shockingly apparent and highlighted in this expression.

1. Chauvinism = Biasedness
2. Cranky = Strange in thoughts
3. Solemn = Very serious and grave
4. Gloomy = Sad
5. Apprehensive = Worried
6. Melancholic = Sad
7. Amicable = Friendly
8. Sardonic = Sarcastic
9. Anguish = Pain and Worries
10. Poignance = Sadness

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