The Last Lesson NCERT Class 12th English Question Answers
The Last Lesson Main Points
1. Franz started for school very late.
2. He feared a scolding from M.Hamel, his teacher. He had not prepared his lesson on participles.
3. There was a big crowd in front of the bulletin-board near the town hall. Usually the people received news from there.
4. When he reached his school, he found it unusually quiet.
5. Generally there used to be a great hustle and bustle at school in the morning.
6. He opened the door and went inside the classroom before at school in the morning.
7. But nothing happend. M. Hamel very kindly asked him to go to his place quickly.
8. At last, M. Hamel breke a shocking news to his students.
9. An order had come from Berlin. All the schools of French districts of Alsace and Lorraine would teach German henceforth.
10. A new teacher would come to teach German. M. Hamel announced that he would leave that school for good the next day.
11. Surprisingly, many village-elders had come to school to honour M. Hamel.
12. He was delivering his last lesson in French.
13. The elders were sitting on the desks at the back of the class.
14. M. Hamel was a transformed person. He didn’t use his ruler when Franz got mixed up and confused.
15. M. Hamel regretted that the people of Alsacr were quite indifferent to the learning of their mother-tongue, French.
16. He called upon his students and the village-elders to guard French among themselves. He urged them never to forget it.
17. He declared that French was the most beautiful language in the world.
18. M. Hamel wanted to speak but couln’t/. Emotions choked him.
19. He took a piece of chalk and wrote on the blackboard as large as he could write: “Long Live France !”
20. Then he made a gesture with his hand asking them to go out. The school was “dismissed.”
1. What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day?
Ans: Franz was expected to prepare a lesson on ‘participles’. M. Hamel, his teacher, had announced that he would question 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.
2. What did Franz notice that was unusal about the school that day?
Ans: Franz noticed something unusual about the school that day. When the school began, there used to be a great bustle. It could be heard out in the street. The opening and closing of desks and the lesson repeated in unison made a lot of noise. But on that day everything was still and silent as on a Sunday morning. It was quite unusal and surprising.
3.What had been put up on the bulletin-board?
Ans: Every important news or public announcement was put up on the bulletin-board. For the last two years since German occupation, all their ‘bad news’ had come from there. They include description of lost battles and the orders of the commanding officer. A huge crowd eager to get any new information always gathered in front of the bulletinboard.
4.What change did the order from Berlin cause in school that day?
Ans: The order from Berlin caused a great dismay in the school that day. It upset all the students. Now onwards, the schools of Alsaca and Lorraine would teach only German. For the students it was their last French lesson. From the next day they would be taught German, the language of their new masters.
5. How did Franz’s feelings about M. Hamel and school change?
Ans: It was certainly the ‘last French lesson’ taught in the school. It made Franz quite sentimental. He suddenly developed a strange fascination for his language. His books that had seemed such a nuisance only a while ago, were his ‘old friends now.’ Mr. M. Hamel was going away. He would never see him again. This idea was quite painful to him. He even forgot all about all about his ruler. He also ignored how cranky Mr. Hamel was.
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
1. The people in this story suddenly realise how precious their language to them. What shows you this? Why does this happen?
Ans: Certainly, the people of Alsaca, suddenly realise how precious in their language to them. It happens after on order comes from Berlin. Alsace and Lorraine fall into the hands of Prussia. They are to teach only German in the schools there. The order arouses patriotic feelings in the peope of the occupied territories. The people of Alsace were earlier indifferent to their language, grammar and literature. They suddenly 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 clearset and the most logical language. Even the village elders seem to endorse M. Hamel’s views. They come and sit there on the back benches. In this way, they show their respect for their language that is theirs no more.
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 French.
2. Franz thinks, “Will they make them sign in German, even the pigeons?” What could this mean” (There could be more than one answer.)
Ans: “The Last Lesson” of Alphonse Daudet is set in the background of the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). France is defeated by Prussia. The French districts of Alsace and Lorraine in fall into Prussian hands. Then comes an order from Berlin. They will teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Larraine. M. Hamel announces that “this is the last lesson” in French. Everyone is shocked. They will no more be taught their own language. It is the most beautiful and logical language in the world. Patriotic feelings are aroused. Franz shows his dislike for German language. When he sees pigeons cooing on the roof, he remarks sarcastically. “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?”
Franz’s remark is quite revealing. Powerful Germans can impose German language on the French speaking people. But they can’t impose German on the pigeons who are cooing on the roof. They can enslave people of Alsace and Lorraine. They can’t have any authority over pigeons. They can’t compel them cooing in German. Hence, the order will not be able to contain their love for their beautiful language.
Talking About The Text
1. “When a people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as if they had the key to their prison.”
Can you think examples in history where a conquered people had their language taken away from them or had a language imposed on them?
Ans:Colonisation of America and Australia is such an example. Here, conquered races imposed their language on the natives or aborigines. Engish was imposed in North America and Australia. Soanish and Portuguese were imposed on the people of Latin American countries.
2. What happens to a linguistic minority in a state? How do you think they can keep their language alive? For example:
Panjabis in Bangalore
Tamilians in Mumbai
Kannadingas in Delhi
Gujaratis in Kolkata
Ans: A linguitic minority faces a lot of hardships in a state. They have to learn a language which is quite foreign to them. Even in schools and colleges the medium of instruction is generally the language of the majority.
3. Is it possible to carry pride in one’s language too far? Do you know what linguistic chavvinism means?
Ans: It is not good to carry pride in one’s language too far. It is good if we feel proud of our own language, culture and traditions. But we must also respect other linguistic minorities. We should give due recognition and respect to the language and culture of minority groups and communities.
‘Linguistic Chauvinism’ is having an absurdly extravagant pride in one’s language. German of Bismarck reflected that pride. German captured the two French districts of Alsace and Lorraine. German ‘Languistic Chauvinism’ was reflected when it imposed German on the French population of Alsace.
Short Answer Type Questions
01. Describe the backgroud in which “The Last Lesson” of Alphonse Daudet has been set.
Ans: “The Last Lesson” is set in the days of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). France was defeated by Prussia (German). By an order from Berlin, German language was imposed on the French districts of Alsace and Lorraine. The lesson describes how a teacher in Alsace, M. Hamel, react to this shocking news. His students and even the villagers share his views.
02. What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day? Why was he in great dread of scolding?
Ans: Franz had not prepared his lesson. His teacher, M. Hamel, had said that he would question the students on participles. But Franz did’t know even the first word about them. He feared a scolding from M. Hamel. Moreover, he started for school very late. For a moment, he thought of running away and spending the day out of doors.
03. Why did Franz think of running away and spending the day out of doors?
Ans: Franz started for school very late. His teacher, M. Hamel had said that he would question them on ‘participles’. Franz knew nothing about them. He feared a scolding from M. Hamel. He thought of running away from the school and spending the day out of doors. But he resisted the temptation and hurried off to school.
04. What was the temptation and how did Franz resit it?
Ans: M. Hamel was to question the students on participles. Franz knew nothing about them and feared a scolding. For a moment he was tempted to run away and spend the day out of doors. The weather was warm. The day was bright. Woods, open fields and chirping of birds tempted him. But he overcame his temptation and hurried off to school.
05. What did Franz see when he passed in front of the town hall on the way to school?
Ans: Franz passed the town hall on his way to school. There was a great crowd in front of the bulletin-board. For the past two years all their bad news had come from there. The people thronged there to hear the news of last battles or the orders of the commanding officer. They verfied everything from there.
06. Why was there a crowd in front of the bulletin-board at the town hall?
Ans: Usually there used to be a crowd in front of the bulletin-board at the town hall. All the bad news had come from there for the last two years. But today another bad news shocked the residents of the town. An order has come from Berlin German language was to be imposed on the people of Alsace and Lorraine. Now only the German teachers will teach German to the French speaking population.
07. Describe at least two changes that could be seen in M. Hamel after he came to know of that order from Berlin.
Ans: M. Hamel was a hard task-master. But the order from Berlin completely changed him. He did’t rebuke Franz when he entered the classroom quite late. Nor did he scold him when he got mixed up and confused when it was his trun to recite. His last act of writing “Vive La France !” on the blackboard revealed his love for Franz and French.
08. How was the scene in the school in the morning of the last lesson different from that on order days?
Ans: The scene in the school is different from that on other days. It was the last lesson in Fench. German was going to be imposed on them from that next day. Hence, all students and even the village elders had gathered there. The love for their native language French dominated all other things.
09. ‘I had counted on the commotion to get to my desk without being seen ; …’ said Franz. How did he enter and what was the reaction of the teacher?
Ans: Franz was late for school. Usually there was always a great hustle and bustle in the morning. He had hoped to take advantage of that noise and commotion. He wanted to get to his desk without being noticed. But that day he had to go in before everybody. But nothing happened. M. Hamel only asked him very politely to take up his seat.
10. What did Franz see through the window when he reached his school?
Ans: Through the window Franz saw his classmates. They were already in their places. M. Hamel was tense walking up and down. He had that “terrible” ruler under his arm. It was all very quiet- as quiet as Sunday morning. The usual commotion and activities were absent.
11. What was the things that surpised the narrator most? Why was everybody sad?
Ans: The whole school seemed to strange and silent. But the thing that surpised Franz most was to see the village people on the back benches. Generally they were always empty. Everybody sat quietly and looked sad. Everybody was sad to know that German would be taught in all schools of Alsace.
12. Why did’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 did’t get angry with Franz for being late. Rather he said very kindly. “Go to your place, lattle Franz”. He ignored Franz’s being late and went on with his lesson.
13. How did M. Hamel give the shocking news to the students and the villagers and with what effect?
Ans: The villagers sat along with the students on the back desks. M. Hamel mounted on his chair. He spoke in a grave and gentle tone. He made it clear that it was his last French lesson. An order had come from Berlin. All the schools of Alsace and Lorraine would teach only German. A new teacher would replace him the next day. The news left everyone shocked and grieved.
14. Why had M. Hamel put on his fine Sunday clothes? Why were the old men of the village sitting there in the back of the classroom?
Ans: M. Hamel had put on his fine Sunday clothes to highlight the occasion. The old men of the village had come there to show their sympathy and respect to the teacher. It was their way to thank M. Hamel for his forty years of faithful service. They had also come to show their respect to France and their most beautiful language French.
15. How did Franz perform when his turn came to recite? How did M. Hamel react?
Ans: It was Franz’s turn to recite. In spite of his best effort, he got mixed up. His heart was beating and he did not dare to look up. M. Hamel assured in a polite tone that he would not scold him. He was not the only one who neglected learning French. Many other in Alsace shared his fate.
16. “We’re all a great deal to reproach ourselves with.” Why did M. Hamel blame the parents and himself too for not showing due attention and care to the learning of French?
Ans: M. Hamel didn’t scold Franz for neglecting the learning of French. Most of the people of Alsace could neither speak nor write their own language. Their parents preferred to put them to work on a farm or at the mills. Mr. Hamel didn’t even spare himself. He had often sent his students to water his flowers instead of learning their lessons.
17. What did M. Hamel tell the people in the class about French language?
How does M. Hamel pay a tribute to the French language?
Ans: M. Hamel went on to talk of French language. He told that it was the most beautiful language of the world. It was the clearest and the most logical of all language. He asked the people to guard it among themselvers and never forget it. As long as people ‘hold fast to their language’ they have the key to freedom.
18. Why did M. Hamel ask his students and the villagers to guard French among them?
Ans: M. Hamel was delivering his last in French to his students. From the next day the French districts of Alsace would teach German in all schools. M. Hamel was grieved but guite helpless. He praised French as the most beautiful and logical language in the world. He urged upon them to guard their beautiful language.
19. How did the narrator take the last lesson in grammar and with what effect?
Ans: In the end, M. Hamel opened a grammer book. He read them their last lesson. All he said ‘seemed so easy, so easy !’ Franz undrstood it so well. He had never listened to his teacher so carefully. It seemed as if M. Hamel wanted to give them all he knew before going away. He wanted to put it all into their heads at one stroke.
20. Describe M. Hamel’s service to the school in Alsace.
Ans: For forty years M. Hamel. had been serving in the same school in Alsace. He valued French language as the most beautiful language in the world. His students and even the village elders paid respect to him on the last day. He felt sorry that the people of Alsace neglected their learning.
21. What was the parting message of M. Hamel to his students and the village elders who had gathered in the classroom?
Ans: M. Hamel stood up, very pale, in his chair. He was speaking for the last time. He tried to speak but couldn’t. Something choked him. Then he turned to the blackboard and wrote as large as he could :
“Vive La France !” (“Long Live France !”). Without a word he made a gesture. All of them could go. The school was “dismissed”.
22. “The people in the story realise suddenly how precious their language is to them.” How do they realise it and who makes them realise it?
Ans: An order comes from Berlin. The people suddenly realise how precious their language is to them. German is imposed on the French districts of Alsace and Lorraine. The man who makes them aware of the greatness of their language is M. Hamel. He arouses their hidden love for their beautiful language.
23. What happend when the church-clock struck twelve?
How did M. Hamel say farewell to his students and the village elders?
Ans: The church-clcok struck twelve. It was time for the Augelus prayer. At the sane moment the trumpets of the Prussians sounded. Suddenly M. Hamel grew overemotional. Patriotic feelings overpowered him. He took a piece of chalk and wrote as large as he could: “Long Live France”.
24. What is Linguistic Chauvinism? How do you classify M. Hamel’s love and the villagers’ concern for French?
Ans: ‘Linguistic Chauvinism’ means carrying pride in one’s language too far. But the love of Hamel and the village elders for French doesn’t amount to this. Rather they are victims of it. German is being imposed on the French speaking people of Alsace. M. Hamel feels genuinely proud of French language. He urges other never to forget such a beautiful language.
25. Justify the title if “The Last Lesson.”
Ans: The title is self-revealing. It was certainly the last lesson that M. Hamel was delivering to his students. From the next day German was to be imposed on the French soeaking people of Alsace. M. Hamel was leaving the school for good with a heavy heart. Even the village elders had come to pay respect and listen to the last lesson in French.
26. What message does the writer want to convey to the readers through ‘The Last Lesson’?
Ans: Alphonse Daudet has a definite message to convey to his readers. Through M. Hamel he wants to express pride in one’s language. Greatness of French language in highlighted. The lesson arouses patriotice feelings. It makes the readers aware that they must keep their language and culture alive at all costs.