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THE LAST LESSON-Question and Answer

Q1: Why Franz was afraid of going to school that day?

Ans: The teacher M. Hamel had asked students to prepare for a test on Participles and Franz even didn’t even know a single word of it so he was not feeling like to go to school that day. Also Franz was afraid of M Hamel’s cruel iron rule, which he usually kept under his arm and he was famous as very strict teacher. 

Q2: What unusual changes did Franz notice in school that day?

Ans:  As Franz entered in school he noticed the unusual silence as if it was a Sunday morning. No noise of lesson chanting, no noise of opening and closing of desk drawers. All students were already in class. Teacher was wearing the special fancy dress which he would usually wear only on special occasions like prize ceremonies etc.

Q3: What was the notice from Berlin and how did it affect class?

Ans:   The notice, which was served from Berlin, was that no French language would be taught in schools of Alsace and Lorraine cities only German would be taught instead. So M. Hamel, the French teacher was asked to vacate the place for a new German teacher. The notice affected everyone badly. Everybody was repenting on wasting the time and not learnt the French.

Q4: Describe the impact of notice on Franz, M. Hamel and senior villagers?

Ans:   The notice affected everybody deeply. Franz thought why he wasted his time on leisure activities instead of learning his own language. The books which would seem him as a burden now those books seemed to be old friends to him. H. Hamel was feeling guilty for sending his students for his personal tasks.  Villagers were feeling guilty that why they did not send their children to study instead of sending them on the farm for earning money.

Q5: Why did the feelings for M. Hamel were changed in Franz’s mind?

Ans:   The impact of notice and fact that the teacher would be going away forever and he will never be able to see him again in class made Franz’s feeling soften for him. Earlier Franz would feel fear from his teacher because of his cranky nature and his iron ruler but now all those feelings were totally vanished up for him.

Q6: Why older villagers were presented in the class that day?

Ans:  The older villagers were presented in class as they were feeling sorry for not sending their children to study in school instead they sent them to the farms and mills to earn extra money. One more reason for their presence was that they wanted to pay their respect to the teacher who served them for forty years.

Q7:  How did Mr. M Hamel describe the French language?

Ans:     M. Hamel described French language as world’s most beautiful, clearest and logical language. He also told that the love with one’s own language can be proven as the key to the prison for the people who live in enslaved country.

Q8: Write a brief character sketch of M. Hamel?

Ans:  M. Hamel was taken as a strict teacher.  Students were afraid of his iron ruler. He was very sincere and dedicated teacher who served for forty long years in his service as a teacher to the village in Alsace City. When he got the notice to vacant his place to make the space for new German teacher. He was totally broken. He remained sad during his final class. This changed his behavior; he behaved rather very politely and patiently.  When Franz was not able to say his lesson correctly instead of scolding him he just made him understand about the relevancy of learning the mother tongue. He preached everyone presented in the class about that important things should never been postponed. Time flies very fast.

Q.1 . The people in the story suddenly realize how precious their language is to them. What shows you this? Why does this happen?

Ans: The story was written in the days of the Franco-Prussian war in which France was defeated by Prussia. In this story the French districts of Alsace-Lorraine have passed into Prussian hands. M. Hamel is the teacher of French and a boy, Franz who never serious in the class of M. Hamel. One day he was late for school. He feared that his teacher would scold as he was not very sure about participles which the teacher, M. Hamel, is going to test that day. But finally he decided to go to school. As he entered he saw the crowd has gathered round the bulletin board. He did not stop there. On arriving at school, he noted an unusual silence. He entered into the class and was greeted with a strange sight. The last benches which were always empty were occupied by the village elders who look grim and solemn. Franz noticed M. Hamel was dressed nicely and asked Franz to sit so that he could start his lesson. The teacher made a startling announcement that this would be their last lesson in French as the new teacher would be arriving the following day. He said, “ The order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new teacher comes tomorrow. This is your last French lesson. I want you to be very attentive.” There came a sudden change in the minds of the people and they developed a new profound love French. Franz was overcome with a feeling of remorse and regretted for wasting his time in trivial pursuits. He decided to pay attention to the lesson since school had become very important for him. The people and Franz himself realized how precious their language is to them. M. Hamel had been teaching in that school for last forty years. His dedication, devotion, discipline impressed them. He realizes the real worth of his school and the teacher whom they have all taken for granted all these years. M. Hamel in his last address told about the importance of French. He called that it was the most beautiful language in the world. It is the clearest and the most logical one.  M.Hamel was overcome by strong emotions and in large letter he wrote on the board ‘Viva La France’ – long live France!

Q.2 Franz thinks:’ “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?” What could this mean?

Ans: The Alsace and Lorraine districts were under the regime of France. During the Franco-Prussian war in which France was defeated by Prussia led by Bismarck and both these districts have passed into Prussian hands. Earlier they were learning their own language, French. As per new set up, an order was passed that German was to be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine.M. Hamel who had been teaching the French for the last forty years. In his last lesson he told that from the next day in the schools of both districts would teach only German instead of French from a new teacher. They won’t be learning their own most beautiful, clearest and logical language. He told the importance of their own language, this feeling of M. Hamel aroused their patriotic feelings. There came a sudden change in Franz. He disliked learning German. He heard and saw the pigeons. He immediately remarked: “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?”  It is meant that the German can impose German language on the people of Alsace and Lorraine but they can’t impose this language on the birds etc. They can enslave the people but have no authority to compel the cooing pigeons.

Q.1.What was Franz expected to be prepared for school that day?

Ans. Franz was expected to be prepared the topic of ‘participles’ for school that day. But he did not know even the first word about them. So he was under great dread of being scolded by his teacher, M.Hamel.

Q.2.What did Franz notice that was unusual about the school that day?

Ans: Franz noticed that it was all so still, calm and quiet like Sunday morning while on other days there used to be a great hustle and bustle. The same could be heard out in the street. The opening and closing of the desks, lesson repeated in unison very loud. But on that day the school looked so strange.

Q.3. Why was there a crowd in front of the bulletin board set up at the town hall?

Ans: It was set up for all kinds of information and news for the public. For the last two years, the people received all the bad news from there like the news of the lost battles and the orders of commanding officer etc. When Franz was passing the Town Hall, he saw a large crowd in front of the bulletin board reading the news which stated that the German would be taught in the districts of Alsace and Lorraine.

Q.4.How did the teacher describe the French language?


What was the advice of M. Hamel about the importance of the French language?

Ans: M. Hamel was very dedicated teacher of French language. While teaching his last lesson, he touched upon many aspects of French. He called it the most clear and logical language in the world. He urged all to guard it and never to forget it. In case they hold fast in their language, they had the key to their prison.

Q.5. How did M. Hamel teach his last lesson in the class?

Ans: It was the last day of M. Hamel in school. He was in his fine dress. The villagers had come there to pay their last respects. M.Hamel taught his lesson on French so decently that the students realized French is an easy language. At last he became emotional. He could not speak, he dismissed the school with writing on the blackboard, “Viva La France.”

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