the last lesson by
About the author.
Alphonse daudet.(1840-1897) was a french novelist and short-story writer the last lesson in set in the days of the franco-prussia war (1870-1871)-in which france was defeated by prussia led by bismarck .prussia then consisted of what now are the nation of germany , poland and parts of austria in this story the french districts of alsace and lorraine have passed into prussia hand , read the story to find out what effect this had on life at school
characters in the story:-
- M.hamel —a teacher of french language
- french-school student
- old houser–A village
- some students:– in the class
- sister:– of m. hamel
I started for school very late that morning and was in great dread of a scolding, especially because M.hamel had said that he would question us on participles , and I did not know the first word about them , for a moment I thoughts of running away and spending the day out of doors, it was so warm ,so bright the birds were chirping at the edge of the woods, and in the open field back of the sawmill the prussian soldiers were drilling , it was all much more tempting than the rule for participles , but I had the strength to resist, and hurried off to school,
when I passed the town hall there was a crowd in front of the bulletin-board for the last two years all our bad news had come from there –the lost battles, the draft , the orders of the commanding officer–and I thought to myself, without stopping what can be the matter now?
then , as I hurried by a fast as I could go, the blacksmith ,wachter , who was there , with his apprentice, reading the bulletin , called after me, don’t go so fast , bub you II get to your school in plenty of time, I thought he was making fun of ,me , and reached m. hamel ‘s little garden al out of breath . usually, when school began ,there was a great bustle, which could be heard out in the street, the opening and closing of desks, lessons repeated in unison , very loud with our hands over our ears to understand better, and the teacher’s great ruler rapping on the table, but now it was all so still I had counted on the commotion to get to my desk without begin seen, but, of course, that day everything had to be as quiet as sunday morning through the window I saw my classmates, already in their places, and M. hamel walking up and down with his terrible iron ruler under his arm, I . had to open the door and go in before everybody . you can imagine how i blushed and how frightened I was
but nothing happened .M. hamel saw me and said very kindly, go to your place quickly , little franz ,w e were beginning without you , I jumped over the bench and sat down at ,my desk, not till then , when I had go a little over my fright, did I see that our teacher had on his beautiful green coat, his frilled shirt , and the little black silk cap ,all embroidered , that he never wore expcept on inspection and prize days, besides , the whole school seemed to strange and solemn , but the thing that surprised me most was to see, on the back benches that were always empty , the village people sitting quietly like ourselves old hauser , with his three-cornered hat, the former mayor , the former postmaster ,and several other besides, everybody looked sad, and hauser had brought an old primer , thumbed at the edges, and he held it open on his knees with his great spectacles lying across the pages,
while I was wondering about it all M. hamel mounted his chair, and in the same grave and gentle tone which he had used to me said, my children this is the last lesson I shall give you, the order has come from berlin to each only german in the schools of alsace and lorraine the new master comes tomorrow .this is your last french lesson I was you to be very attentive , oh the wretches , that was what they I hardly knew how to write I should never I learn any more’ must stop there then oh how sorry I was for not learning my lesson, for seeking birds, eggs, or going sliding on the saar’ my books that had seemed such a nuisance a while ago, so heavy to carry, my grammer , and my history of the saints were, old friends now that I could’t give up and M.hamel , too the idea that he was going away, that I should never see him again made me, forget all about his ruler and how crankly he was,
poor man . it was in honour of this last lesson that he had put on his fine sunday clothes, and now I understood why he old men of the village were sitting there in the back of the room . it was because they were sorry, too that they had not gone to school more, it was their way of thanking our master for his forty years of faithful service and of showing their respect for the country that was theirs no more, while I was thinking of all this, I heard my name called .it was my turn to recite, what would I not have given to be able to say that dreamful rule for the participle all through , very loud and clear, and without one mistake? but I got mixed up on the first words and stood there , holding on to my desk, my hearts beating, and not daring to look up,
I heard M. hamel say to me I won ‘t scold you , little franz, you must feel bad enough see how it is; every day we have said to ourselves, bah i ve plenty of time I learn it tomorrow and now you see where we, ve come out ah that’s the great trouble with alsace she puts off learning till tomorrow now those fellows out there will have the right to say to you, how is, it you pretend to be frenchmen, and yet you can neither speak nor write your own language ? but you are not the worst poor little franz we, ve all a great deal to reproach ourselves , your parents were not anxious enough to have you learn .they preferred to put you to work on a a farm or at the smills , so as to have a little more money and I ? ve been to blame also, have I not aften sent you to water my flowers instead of learning your lessons? and when I wanted to go fishing did, I not just give you a holiday?
then, from one thing to another M. hamel went on to talk of the french language saying that it was the most beautiful language in the world–the clearest the most logical that we must guard it among us and never forget , it because 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. then he opened a grammer and read us our lesson, I wsa amazed to see how well I understood it, all he said seemed to easy , so easy I think , too that I had never listened so carefully, and that he had never explained everything with so much patience, it seemed almost as if the poor man wanted to give us all he knew before going away , and to put it all into our heads at one stroke,
after the grammer , we had a lesson in writing that day M. hamel had new copies for us written in a beautiful round hand –france alsace , france ,, alsace, they looked like little flags floating everywhere in the school-room hung from the road at the top of our desks, you ought to have seen how every one set to work, and how quiet it was the only sound was the scratching of the pens over the paper, once some beetles flew in but nobody paid any attention to them not even the littles ones , who worked right on tracing their fish-hooks as if that was french, too the roof the pigeons cooed very low, and I thought to myself, will they make them sing in german even the pigeons
- blacksmith–person who make iron tools
- blushed–became pink
- enslaved—made slave
- out of breath–सांस से बाहर–
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION:-
QUES:1 what was franz, expected to be prepared with for school that day?
Ans: franz’s teacher .M. hamel about to ask questions on participles from franz that day .so he was supposed to be prepared with that part.
QUES:2 what did franz notice that unusual about the school that day?
Ans: the unusual thing franz noticed about the school that day was the changed environment he expected the school to be noisy and bustled in the morning but instead of it the school was still as sunday morning .
QUES:3 what had been put up on the bulletin board?
Ans: that day buleetin board was containing massages regarding the subjects to be tonight there was an order from belin , that from then german was to be taught instead of french in the school of Alsaca and lorraine
QUES:4 the people in the story suddently ,realise how precious their language is to them, what shows you this? why does this happen?
Ans: in the story mentioned above, there was a teacher Mr. hamel who taught french for around forty years, after then suddenly one. day orders came from berline that only german was to be taught in school, thatswhy Mr, hamel was teaching the last lesson of french and was his last day i school earlier students never took interest in learning french but on that day every. students was very attentive in the frtench. class this change was introduced in them because even they were dissapointed that now german was to be taught instead of french ,
QUES:5 franz thinks, will they make them sing german, even the pigeons? what could this mean
Ans: according to the author, two districts alsace and lorraine passed into the control of german govt. which led to a change even in education field. now schools were ordered to teach german instead of french. Mr. hamel was teaching the last french lesson franz while studing french suddenly notices pigeons on the roofts of his class, he than realises that actually germany was imposing this order forcefully on the people , but he soon realised that is impossible for german govt. to force, the pigeons to sing in german as they are independent and free to sing any way.