CBSE Class 12 English - The Last Lesson
About the Author: Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist and short story writer.
About the story: The last lesson is set in the days of the Franco-Prussian War in which France was defeated by Prussia ledgy Bismarck. In the story, the French districts of Alsace and Lorraine have passed into Prussian hands
The theme of The Story
Alphonse Daudet talks about the importance of freedom and the preciousness of one’s own language through the story.
- Conscious of his duties
- Admirer of nature
- Sensitive and innocent
M. Hamel :
- French teacher
- Selfish at times
- Honest and Sensitive man
- Proud of being French
- Passionate about the French language
The French districts of Alsace and Lorraine have fallen into Prussian hands. The order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The French teachers were no more required now. M. Hamel the French teacher could no longer stay in the school now. Franz was the student of M.Hamel and he usually never came to school on time Franz realizes the truth that it was his last French lesson today. He immediately regrets and realizes why he had not taken his lesson seriously. M.Hamel gave his last lesson to his students with utmost devotion and sincerity as ever. M.Hamel also realizes that it was the fault of the teacher, the children, and the parents that the mother tongue lost its respect and importance. M.Hamel tells the class that French is the clearest, a beautiful and logical language in the world. He also asked the class to always keep their mother tongue close to their hearts as when people are enslaved their language is their key to prison. Franz notices the pigeons on the rooftop and then questions will they let them even sing in German meaning that does it mean that even animals or birds are enslaved. M.Hamel ends his last lesson by writing “Viva La France” meaning long live France on the blackboard.
Pigeons - During his last French class, Franz hears the pigeons cooing and wonders if the Prussians would make them sing in German too. His thought reveals the Frenchmen’s fear of complete domination by the Germans whereby they would try enslaving even their minds.