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Short and Long Answer Questions - The Last Lesson - Notes | Study English Class 12 - Class 12

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Important Short Answer Type Questions

Q1. What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day?

Ans: Franz was expected to be prepared with participles that day for school, as Mr. Hamel had said that he would question them on participles.

Q2. Why was Franz tempted to play truant from school?

Ans: The French teacher M Hamel was going to ask questions on participles that Franz had not prepared. To avoid being scolded, he was tempted to play truant from school and spend the day outdoors in a pleasurable manner.

Q3. What was unusual about the school that Franz noticed when he entered the school?

Ans: On entering the school, Franz noticed that there was unusual silence. There was no noise of opening and closing of desks. The village elders had occupied the last benches that were always empty. M Hamel was in his very fine Sunday clothes. Everybody looked sad.

Q4. What had been put up on the bulletin board?

Ans: Franz had a negative view of the bulletin board as for the last two years, only bad news had come from it. That day was no exception, as Germans had put up an order passed from Berlin on the bulletin board to teach only German in the school of Alsace and Lorraine.

Q5. What changes did the order from Berlin cause in school that day?

Ans: 

  • The order from Berlin caused many changes in the school that day. The entire school seemed strange and solemn. 
  • The old villagers were sitting on the back benches of the classroom quietly to thank M. Hamel for his forty years of faithful service and for showing their respect for the country. 
  • M Hamel also had put on his best dress on that day though it was not an inspection or prize day. 
  • The order from Berlin also brought a sense of repentance for those who despite having time, didn’t learn French properly.

Q6. How did Franz’s feelings about M Hamel and school change?

Ans: 

  • Earlier, Franz didn’t like M. Hamel much because of his ruler and cranky nature, and he would feel fear of him, but now all those feelings were entirely changed for M Hamel.
  • The message conveyed by M Hamel about the order from Berlin was a thunderclap for little Franz. 
  • He immediately felt sorry for not being sincere in school and for not learning the French language and other lessons properly. 
  • His books, which seemed a nuisance and a burden earlier were now Franz’s old friends.

Q7. What reasons did M Hamel give for their lack of interest in learning French?

Ans: The lack of interest in learning French was:

  • due to the parents who wanted their children to work in farms or mills to earn,
  • due to the students who were reluctant to learn and often put off the lesson for the next day.
  • and due to himself as he asked them to water the flower and gave them off when he had to go fishing.

Short and Long Answer Questions - The Last Lesson - Notes | Study English Class 12 - Class 12

Q8. Why doesn’t M Hamel want the people to forget French?

Ans: M Hamel wanted them not to forget French as it is the most beautiful, clear, and logical language in the world, and as long as they hold fast to their language, it would be as if they had the key to the prison.

Q9. Franz thinks, “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?” What could this mean?

Ans: The Frenchmen were highly patriotic and took pride in their language. A strong feeling of revolt was in the air against the Germans. It shows that Franz did not accept their rule and thought they couldn’t tame pigeons.

Q10. Describe how M Hamel conducted the last lesson.

Ans: 

  • In his last French class though M. Hamel was emotional he fully involved himself in the teaching-learning process. 
  • He heard every lesson to the last, sitting motionless in the chair. 
  • When the church bell struck twelve, he stood up pale and wrote ‘Vive La French,’ and with a gesture, he communicated that the school is dismissed.

Q11. What did M Hamel say about the French language?

Ans: M Hamel said that the French language was the world’s most beautiful, clearest, and logical
language, and therefore, it should be guarded and should not be forgotten by them. He also added that love with one’s language could be proven as the key to the prison for the people who are enslaved.

Q12. Why did villagers come to school that day?

Ans: The old men of the village came to the school that day to thank M Hamel for his forty years of faithful service. They also came to show their respect for the country that was theirs no more.

Q13. How did Franz find teaching and learning that day?

Ans: 

  • Franz found teaching and learning very interesting that day. He was very attentive and careful. 
  • Franz also realized that M Hamel had never explained everything with so much patience. 
  • It seemed almost as if the poor man wanted to give them all he knew before going away. 
  • M Hamel wanted to put it all into their heads at one stroke as it was their last lesson.

Important long Answer Type Questions

Q1. How did M Hamel react when Franz failed to recite the rule for the participle?

Ans. 

  • Franz’s name was called to recite the rule for the participles. But he got mixed up on the first word. 
  • He was standing there, holding on to his desk, his heart beating and not daring to look up. But M. Hamel, instead of scolding, told Franz that he must feel bad enough. 
  • He said that every day we think that we have plenty of time and we will learn it tomorrow. 
  • And now you see where we have come out by putting off learning till tomorrow. 
  • Now those fellows out there will have the right to say to you, “How is it; you pretend to be Frenchman, and yet you can neither speak nor write your language?”
  • Then M Hamel told Franz that only he was not to be blamed. His parents were not anxious enough to have him learn. 
  • They preferred to put Franz to work on a farm or at the mills, to have a little more money. M. Hamel blamed himself for it also. 
  • He said that he often sent Franz to water his flowers instead of learning his lessons. And when he wanted to go fishing, he would just give him a holiday.

Q2. What does M Hamel tell about the significance and safeguarding of the French language? How does he conclude his last lesson?

Ans: 

  • M Hamel said that French was the most beautiful, clear, and logical language in the world. 
  • They must guard it among themselves and never forget it because when the people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language, it is as if they had the key to their prison.
  • Then M. Hamel opened a grammar and read the students their lesson. All he said seemed so easy. 
  • He had never explained everything with so much patience: After the grammar, they had a lesson in writing. M Hamel had new copies for the students, written in a beautiful round hand: France, Alsace, France, Alsace. 
  • He dared to hear every lesson to the very last. It seemed almost as if he wanted to give us all he knew before going away and putting it all into their heads in one stroke. 
  • He wanted to say something, but he could not go on. Then he turned on the blackboard, took a piece of chalk and wrote, “Vive La France!” Lastly, he said: “School is dismissed—you may go.”

Q3. What impression do you form of M Hamel based on your study of the story “The Last Lesson”?

Ans: 

  • M. Hamel is an experienced teacher who has taught in school for forty years. He imparts primary education in all subjects. He is a hard taskmaster and students like Franz, who are not good learners, are in great dread of being scolded by him.
  • The latest order of the Prussian rulers upsets him. He has to leave the place forever and feels heartbroken. He feels sad but exercises self-control. He dares to hear every lesson to the last.
  • His performance during the last lesson is exemplary. He is kind even to a latecomer like Franz. He uses a solemn and gentle tone while addressing the students. He has a logical mind and can analyze problems and deduce the reasons responsible for it. The problem for Alsace is that it puts off learning till tomorrow.
  • He knows the emotional hold of a language over its users. He is a good communicator and explains everything patiently. Partings are painful, and being human, M. Hamel too is no exception. He fails to say goodbye as his throat is choked. On the whole, he is a patriotic gentleman.

Q4. Franz’s attitude towards school and M. Hamel changes when he learns about the takeover of his village by Prussians. Do you agree? Discuss with reference to the ‘Last Lesson’.

Ans. 

  • The orders from Berlin to take over the village where Franz lives have been pasted on the school notice board. Only the German language would be taught in the school and the French teacher had to go. 
  • Franz felt sorry for not learning his lessons in French anymore. His books that had seemed such a nuisance a short while ago, which he found so heavy to carry, seemed to him, old friends. His feelings about his French teacher M Hamel Were changed. He decided to pay attention to the lesson.
  •  School became very important for him. The idea that the teacher was going away genuinely upset Franz, who became too serious about history and grammar. 
  • I fully agree with it as one has to take one’s deeds seriously when one feels losing it.

Q5. Give a brief description of M Hamel.

Ans: 

  • M Hamel was a very devoted, dedicated and strict man of discipline. Students were afraid of his cranky nature and iron ruler. He was a true patriot and a sincere teacher who dedicatedly served the school for forty long years. 
  • The heart of this true Frenchman totally broke when he received the order from Berlin to vacate his place to make space for a new German teacher. He remained upset during his last class. 
  • This changed his behavior, too and he behaved rather very politely and patiently. When Franz could not say his lesson correctly, he, instead of scolding him, just made him understand the importance and relevance of learning the mother tongue. 
  • He preached to everyone presented in the class that important things should never be postponed as time flies very fast.

Q6. What is linguistic chauvinism? Is it possible to carry pride in one’s language too far?

Ans. 

  • Linguistic chauvinism means an aggressive and unreasonable belief that your language is better than all others.

Short and Long Answer Questions - The Last Lesson - Notes | Study English Class 12 - Class 12

  • This shows excessive or prejudiced support for one’s language. Sometimes pride in one’s language goes too far and linguistic enthusiasts can be easily identified by their extreme zeal for the preservation and spread of their language. 
  • In their enthusiasm, love and support for their language, they tend to forget that other languages too, have their own merits and long history of art, culture and literature behind them. 
  • Instead of bringing unity and winning over others as friends, having excessive pride in one’s language creates ill will and disintegration. The stiff resistance to the acceptance of Hindi as the national language by the southern states of India is a direct outcome of the fear of being dominated by Hindi enthusiasts. 
  • The result is that “one India” remains only a slogan.
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