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Last Lesson Summary- Englishtutsforyou


In this, we will cover the Last Lesson Summary. "The Last Lesson" is Alphonse Daudet's short story, set in the days of Franco-Prussian war. Two districts of France was occupied by Germany. According to an order from Berlin, the German language was going to impose on the people of Alsace and Lorraine.

Summary of The Last Lesson

It was late in the morning when the narrator started for school. He used to fear his class-teacher M.Hamel. Today the teacher would question the students on participles. The narrator even doesn't know a single word about the participles. He had thought of spending time outdoors. It was pleasant weather. But he decided to go to school.

As the narrator was passing by the town hall he saw a huge crowd in front of the bulletin board. From the past two, years all the bad news that had come was from there. It was the only place where people got to know about lost battles and other important pieces of information.

Usually, when school starts there is a huge noise coming out of the classes. The noise was the result of opening and closing of desks, repetitions of lesson orally in unison, created a lot of disturbance. But this time it was different, everything was still.
More often, Franz was dependent on the disturbance to get to his desk without being noticed. But now he went in before everybody. He was quite frightened. But guess what nothing happened, not even a punishment. M.Hamel saw and asked him politely to sit on his desk.
Franz was perplexed as M.Hamel was in formal clothes that he wore on only prize days and inspection. It was quite strange, the whole school was silent and sad. The most surprising thing was the presence of the village elders sitting on the backbenches of the class.

M.Hamel mounted his chair and spoke in a gentle and grave tone, "My children, this is the last lesson I shall give you." He told everyone that an order has come from Berlin. German is the only language that would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine.

It was the last lesson in French and the new teacher would join them the next day. It was the last lesson in French and M.Hamel wanted everybody to be attentive.

There was guilt somewhere in the narrator for not learning his lessons in French. He never liked his books. He had no interest in studies. He didn't like his Grammar and History books. But now he was fascinated towards them. He started to like M.Hamel. The thought that he will not teach him from tomorrow made him forget about all his rulers.

He forgot how lunatic his teacher was. It was his turn to repeat the lesson. But he got confused and mixed up. This time M.Hamel did not scold him.

The people of Alsace did not generally give no importance to French, M.Hamel showed his concern. They ignored learning their own native language. It was not the case only with Franz. Many others were also guilty for not learning French. According to him, French language was the most beautiful language in the world.

It was the most logical and clearest language. They must protect it among themselves and never forget it. It seemed that M. Hamel wanted to give everything he knew, before going away.

Suddenly the church clock struck twelve. It was Prussian soldiers whose trumpets were sounded under their window. M. Hamel with a pale face stood up in his chair. He tried to speak but at that time he was not capable of doing so. He couldn't speak.

He turned to blackboard took a piece of chalk and wrote on the blackboard "Vive La France!"(Long Live France).

Then without speaking a single word, he made a gesture with his hand: "School is dismissed--- you may go."

Main Points

  1. The narrator started for school very late.
  2. He had feared M.Hamel. He did not prepare his lessons on participles.
  3. A huge crowd was gathered in front of the bulletin board near the town hall.
  4. People used to get all type of news from there.
  5. The school was very quiet when he reached school.
  6. There was no hustle and bustle in the school.
  7. He was frightened as went before everybody inside the classroom.
  8. M. Hamel kindly asked him to take his seat.
  9. Franz was surprised to see many elders from his village sitting on the backbenches.
  10. M. Hamel tells his student the sad news that had come from Berlin.
  11. From now on all the schools of Alsace and Lorraine will teach German to the students.
  12. A new teacher would come the next day to teach German.
  13. M. Hamel announced that he would leave the school the next day.
  14. It was the last lesson that is being delivered in French.
  15. Franz got confused and mixed up while reciting the lesson.
  16. M. Hamel did not use his ruler to punish Franz
  17. M. Hamel showed his concern that the people of Alsace did not give importance to French.
  18. He told his students and elders to guard French within themselves forever.
  19. He declared that French is the most beautiful language in the world.
  20. M. Hamel wanted to speak but he couldn't. Something choked him.
  21. He took a chalk and wrote on the blackboard as large as he could write " Long Live France."
  22. He made a gesture asking them to go out of the class. The school was dismissed
  23. Conclusion of the Summary of The Last Lesson
The narrator has a definite message to convey to his readers. Through M.Hamel he expressed his pride in his native language. The greatness of the French Language is highlighted. This lesson arouses a patriotic feeling. It awards the user that they must safeguard their language among themselves. They must keep them alive at all costs.

Short Answer Type Questions For Practice

  1. Describe the background in which "The Last Lesson" of Alphonse Daudet was set?
  2. Who occupied the last benches on the day of the last lesson? Why?
  3. What did Franz think 'for a moment'?
  4. Why didn't M. Hamel get angry with Franz for being late?


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