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The Last Lesson
By- Alphonse Daudet
Moral/ Message of the lesson – (The Last Lesson )
The story depicts the irony of the whole situation about how people feel when they don’t learn their own language.
1.Franz’s reluctance to reach school:
(i) was worried as he started late from home.
(ii) was apprehensive of facing his teacher, M. Hamel as he had not prepared his lessons on participles, which was to be questioned in class.
(iii) distracted by the chirping birds, warm and bright day and Prussian soldiers drilling.
2.Usual scene of the classroom:
(i) great commotion. (ii) opening and the closing of the desks.
(iii) lessons being repeated in unison. (iv) teacher’s ruler rapping on the table.
3.The difference on the last day of School:
(i) the quiet atmosphere as on Sunday mornings.
(ii) all classmates occupying their respective places.
(iii) M. Hamel walking to and fro with his iron ruler under his arm-was formally dressed-spoke to Franz in a gentle manner.
(iv) back benches were occupied by old Hauser, former Mayor, former postmaster and several other villagers.
4. The response to M. Hamel and the class in the last lesson:
(i) M. Hamel taught the students without losing his temper-was patient-made special notebooks putting in extra efforts-giving his best on the last day-imparted knowledge about the importance of the mother tongue in each one’s life.
(ii) children in the class were quiet and gave a patient ear to the teacher.
(iii) Old people of the village attended the class.
(iv)Franz made a special effort to understand the lesson for he found it comfortable to grasp-was guilty of not paying attention earlier.
5. Old people of the village in the class:
(i) They were sorry that they had not gone to the school for longer.
(ii) they wanted to pay respect to the language which they would not be able to learn anymore.
(iii) they wanted to thank M. Hamel for his unflinching service to the village for the past forty years.
(iv) to show respect to the country which would not be theirs now.
6. Responsible for neglecting French:
(i) Alsace as a city was responsible for procrastinating.
(ii) Franz was responsible for delaying and avoiding the learning of the language.
(iii) Parents were responsible for they were not keen for the education of their children and made them run errands.
(iv) M. Hamel blamed himself for sending Franz to water his plants or even taking an off, the day he wanted to go fishing.
7. 1W. Hamel on the French language:
(i) the most beautiful language in the world.
(ii) the clearest and most logical.
(iii) it had to be guarded.
(iv) it acts as a key to the prison if people are enslaved.
8. Franz on M. Hamel:
(i) Franz desperately wanted to give the answer on participles to reassure his teacher that all his years of teachings have not been wasted.
(ii) Franz felt that M. Hamel was giving his best on the day of the last lesson as he wanted to share all his knowledge before going away.
(iii) Franz felt that his teacher was sitting motionless and was staring at things as he wanted to fix in his mind and take each memory with him from that school room where he had taught for forty years.
(iv) Franz felt that the teacher must be heartbroken for he was to leave the country the next day.
(v) Franz could well identify with the teacher’s sorrow as to what he felt on hearing his sister move boxes to pack and leave.
9. M. Hamel as a teacher.
(i) had been teaching for forty years without wavering.
(ii) refused to give up on the last day of teaching-treated it as the most important day was in his best fineries-had prepare copies for the children in which he had written beautifully-was ready to teach all age groups without reservation-decided to be patient and impart whatever he could even if it was the last day-stood tall to bid and accept farewell.
(iii) imparted knowledge about the importance of the mother tongue.
(iv) instilled patriotism amongst his students with his wise words.