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Summary - Last lesson - Notes | Study English Class 12 - Class 12

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Introduction
Summary
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Introduction
  • ‘The last lesson ‘ written by Alphonse Daudet, narrates about the year 1870 when the Prussian forces under Bismarck attacked and captured France. 

Alphonse DaudetAlphonse Daudet

  • The French districts of Alsace and Lorraine went into Prussian hands. 
  • The new Prussian rulers discontinued the teaching of French in the schools of these two districts. 
  • The French teachers were asked to leave. 
  • Now M. Hamel could no longer stay in his old school. 
  • Still, he gave the last lesson to his students with the utmost devotion and sincerity as ever.
  • One such student of M. Hamel, Franz, who dreaded French class and M. Hamel’s iron rod, came to the school that day thinking he would be punished as he had not learned his lesson on participles. 
  • But on reaching school, he found Hamel dressed in his fine Sunday clothes and the old people of the village sitting quietly on the back benches. It was due to an order from Berlin. That was the first day when he realized for the first time how important French was to him, but it was his last lesson in French.
  • The story depicts the pathos of the whole situation about how people feel when they don’t learn their language. It tells us about the significance of one’s language in one’s life for the very existence of a race and how important it is to safeguard it.

Summary - Last lesson - Notes | Study English Class 12 - Class 12

Summary

  • Franz is afraid of going to school as he has not learned participation.
  • Wants to enjoy the beauty of nature – the bright sunshine – the birds chirruping in the woods – Prussian soldiers’ drilling but resisted.
  • On reaching school, Franz notices: unusual silence – Villagers occupying the last benches – teacher well dressed – everybody looked sad.
  • M. Hamel announces: Today is the last lesson in French.
  • Franz regrets and realizes why he had not taken his lesson seriously.
  • He Understands the reason why the teacher is well dressed and the villagers sitting at the back.
  • M. Hamel realizes that all three, he, the children, and the parents are to be blamed for losing respect and regards for the mother tongue.
  • Hamel says the French language – is the most beautiful, clear, and logical language in the world. Always keep close the mother tongue to your heart as it is a key to the prison of slavery.
  • Hamel becomes emotional and writes on the blackboard, “Vive La France."
  • Franz remembers the last lesson very well.

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