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CHAPTER 1-THE LAST LESSON BY ALPHONSE DAUDET
Background of the story
1.Prussian war in1870 i) Germany defeated France ii) controlled districts Alsace & Lorraine of France
2.Orders from Berlin – Capital of Germany
i. now German language would replace French language
ii French language teacher would go
iii.German language teachers would teach in 2 districts
Last Lesson means
i Teacher M.Hamel was teaching his last lesson in that school.
ii.He was giving his last lesson or message to his students and people of that village and France.
Title/ message / theme of lesson:
● About language: Learn your mother tongue. It is key to freedom and culture.
● Improve yourself: learn your lesson before someone else teaches you.
● Attitude : Don’t postpone your work, don’t think you still have a lot of time.
● Do your work so well in first chance thinking that there will be no second chance.
Main characters :
Franz : the narrator of this story and the protagonist.
- a young French boy
- a careless student , doesn’t understand lesson
- afraid of teacher and punishment
- not wise: first wasted his time in walking about uselessly,searching for eggs ,later felt
- Apologetic :
a. felt bad that teacher was going and he couldn’t learn French language
b.German order was not right. It meant that Germans would order pigeons to speak
- M. Hamel: French teacher
- lived in school with his sister.
- had been teaching there for last 40 years.
- forced to leave his job and vacate due to orders from Berlin after Germans have taken over
- a strict teacher, students were afraid
- sincere teacher: i) taught seriously, ii) on last day also took class of French language,
- patriot/loved his country: i) advised people to save their mother tongue and country, ii) at last
wrote on blackboard ‘Vive La France’ (Long live France)
- An honest person dared to tell truth :
(a) Germans would laugh at French people for not learning their mother tongue
(b) he gave his students holiday when he wanted to enjoy fishing.
(c) sometimes he sent students for gardening in study time .
- Villagers respected him: Ex mayor,ex postman and old Hauser came to school to thank Hamel for
his good service of 40 years.
- Emotional :
i) put on his special dress – green coat ,black embroidered silk cap and frilled shirt for
inspection and prize days.
ii) couldn’t say goodbye,turned his face and waved hand.
1.Franz was unwilling to go to school
i.had not learnt rules of participles ii. didn’t know rules. iii.feared teacher would scold
2.Franz in double mind to go or not to school. If he didn’t go (a) would enjoy bright sunny day , songs of
birds and German soldiers drill (b) at last started for school.
3.Franz on his way from home to school
i.) in front of Town Hall :
a. saw people reading notice and guessed about the message
- lost battle/ army joining order/ commanding officer’s orders / any other unhappy news
b . black smith told loudly to go slowly as Franz had a lot of time( black smith had read notice about last
day of school)
- ii.) Franz in street in front of School
a.thought it was Sunday & school was closed because
● no sound of : opening & closing of desks, -of students singing lesson loudly, -hitting of
teachers’ ruler( stick) on table
- 4.Franz reached class, saw strange things
a) teacher, Mr Hamel did not scold b)teacher was in his special dress
c) many villagers were sitting on last benches to show respect to country and teacher.
d).all were sad & serious.
5 M. Hamel read out orders from Berlin a)It was last lesson of French b)German teaching would start
c)He was going d )German language teacher was coming.
- 6 Franz’s reaction:
i. he was shocked as he was weak in French and had no teacher to teach
ii.he had wasted his time in: a)searching 🥚 eggs, b) walking on the banks of the river Sar
iii.he changed his ideas about teacher and books . Now he liked them
7 Teacher asked H.W.questions Franz spoke 2/3 words, stopped
- 8 Hamel’s Reaction :He was sad as
i.students did not know French ,Germans would laugh at them
ii.every one was responsible : a) He himself gave students holiday when he wanted to go fishing b)he
asked students water his plants in study time c) parents sent their children to factory or field to earn
money d)students didn’t learn their lesson, they postponed learning
- 9 Hamel’s Last class : he wanted to teach everything before going i.told about French language -a- most
beautiful & clear -b- advised all to take care of mother tongue, it’s key to freedom
ii.taught grammar History. Franz understood as teacher explained well,he paid attention
iii.hand writing practice:-a) Hamel gave practice notebooks which looked like small flags,- b) written
iv) sang ba,be,bi-,all got emotional,
- 10.Teacher at last moment: i.gazed at all things, church clock struck ii. Hamel tried to speak but couldn’t iii
wrote on blackboard
‘Viva La France– Long live France
iii.waved hand asked all to leave
- Important Questions Answers
- 1.What was Franz expected to prepare that
Ans .Questions on participles
2.Why did Franz think of running away and
spending the day out of doors?
Ans.Point 1 of short notes
3 What Things tempted Franz to keep away
Ans Short notes point 2
4.What did Franz see on his way to school?
Ans Short Note (SN) point 3 (i)
5.What usual sounds could be heard in the
street when the school began?
Ans. SN point 3(ii)
- What was unusual in class that day?
Ans. SN point4
- ● Now answer the folowing questions with the help of short notes.
- How did Franz feel when the teacher asked the question ?
- What did Mr Hamel say about French language?
- What happened when the church struck twelve?
- We all have a great deal to reproach ourselves with. Who said this and why?
- Will they make them sing in German,even the pigeons.Who said this and why?
- Long Question
Ques.1How had life changed in Alsace due to Prussian war?
Ans. France had lost the war.It was under Germany now.The orders had come from Berlin that German
language would be taught in Lorraine and Alsace.French language teacher
Mr.M Hamel was going away . Villagers came to school to thank the teacher and show love for their
country.All were sad.The teacher asked students questions on a topic of French grammar.Franz ,the
narrator of the story ,told 2or 3 words .Mr Hamel said that the students missed their studies, parents sent their
children to field or farm to earn money.The teacher himself gave them off when he went for fishing and
sometimes asked them water his plants in study time.The French did not know their mother tongue.They
should learn their mother tongue,it would help them get freedom. He said that French language is a clear and
beautiful language. Franz felt bad about the order that they could not learn their own language, it was
language chauvinism. The teacher wrote Long live France and asked all to go