The Last Lesson Class 12 Summary, question answers | Flamingo |CBSE| AHSEC

The Last lesson is a beautiful chapter of class 12 English (Flamingo). Here you will find a detailed summary of The Last lesson class 12 CBSE/AHSEC and questions and answers of The last lesson. Here you will see 1 mark for the question-answer of the last lesson which will you in preparing MCQ for the last lesson, 2 marks for the question-answer of the last lesson, and 6 marks question-answer of the last lesson.

The summary of The Last lesson has been given with appropriate headings which will help you to understand the summary in a more organized way.

summary of the last lesson


About the Author of the Last Lesson

Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist, who started writing at an early age. He was born in Nimes and hailed from an affluent family. His writing was shaped by his actual experiences in life. His later writings reveal his preoccupation with conflicts in relationships. so, let being the summary of the last lesson

Brief Summary of the Last Lesson  by Alphonse Daudet Class 12

The summary of the Last Lesson tells that ‘The Last Lesson’ is set in the days of the Franco-Prussian War, in which France was defeated by Prussia (comprising Germany, Poland and parts of Austria) led by Bismarck. In the story, the French districts of Alsace and Lorraine have passed into Prussian hands. Teaching of French language was ordered to be discontinued and the French teachers were asked to leave. The story is narrated by a young school boy, Franz and it describes the last French lesson given by M. Hamel, who had been teaching in the same place for the last forty years.

Also read : Indigo chapter summary in simple word

Paragraph wise Summary of The Last Lesson Class 12:

Late for School 

The story is written in the first person and narrated by a French boy, Franz. He is negligent in his studies and likes to play. He is sensitive as well. He hates his teacher M. Hamel. That particular day, he started out late for school. He was also afraid of being scolded by M. Hamel for not having studied participles as M.Hamel had told the students that he would test them on participles.

The day was warm and bright, with chirping birds and he was tempted to play truant and spend the day outdoors. Prussian soldiers were drilling in the open field behind the sawmill. All this seems more attractive than going to school and studying participles.

Yet, he resisted these temptations and went on his way to school. While passing the town hall, he noticed a crowd in front of the bulletin board. That was the place where all news like lost battles, the draft, and the commanding officer’s orders were posted. He wondered what the matter could be.

As he was hurrying to school, Wachter the blacksmith told him to go slowly and assured him that he had plenty of time. The author thought that the blacksmith was making fun of him and continued to speed till he reached the school.

Unusual Scene

Franz describes the usual scene at the school in the mornings – a lot of noise created by the moving of desks, children repeating their lessons, and teachers striking the tables with the rulers could be heard. Yet, on that particular morning, it was very quiet.

There was no sound coming out of school. Franz had planned to take advantage of the commotions to get to his seat without being noticed but all in vain. Through the window, he could see that his classmates had already occupied their seats and the teacher was pacing in the classroom.

Afraid, the author opened the door and entered the classroom thinking that M Hamel would scold him but on the contrary, he politely asked him to get to his seat. After sitting down, the author noticed that M Hamel was dressed in different clothes- green coat, frilled shirt, and the little black silk cap that he usually wore on inspection and prize distribution ceremony. He was also surprised to see the backbenches being occupied by the village people. All of them looked sad.

The Last Lesson

Hamel addressing the class says that orders have been issued from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. This would be their last French class. These words sounded like a thunderclap to the author. The author feels sorry that he had not paid more attention to his French lessons. His books that had seemed a nuisance before appeared like old friends now. Now he realizes why the teacher was dressed in his fine clothes and why people from the village were sitting in the classroom. It was their way of thanking the teacher for his service of forty years.


The author’s name is called for recitation. He got the first words mixed up and stood there scared, not daring to look up. M. Hamel tells him that owing to procrastination, the author can neither speak nor write French, his own language. The children’s parents are not anxious about their education. Instead, they sent the children to work on farms and in mills. The teacher says that he too is to be blamed. He sent the children to water the flowers in his garden and gave them a holiday when he wanted to go fishing.(summary of the last lesson)

Absorbed in the Lesson

Hamel then speaks of the beauty of the French language, it’s clarity and logic. They should guard the language and not forget it. An enslaved people should hold on to their language. This would be like holding a key to their prison. After saying this, he teaches them a grammar lesson.

The author listened to the lessons with full attention and easily understood what was taught. M. Hamel also explained in great detail with a lot of patience as though at one stroke, he wanted to put all his knowledge into their heads, before he left. After teaching grammar, the teacher taught them writing. He had bought new copies for the class. Everyone set to work quietly and the only audible sound was the scratching of pen on paper. Nobody is distracted by anything like some beetles flying in or pigeons cooing.(summary of the last lesson)

School is Dismissed

When the writing activity was in progress, M. Hamel looked at the room as though trying to frame it in his mind. He had taught there for forty years, with his garden outside the window and his class in front of him. The walnut trees in the garden were taller and the hop vine twined about the windows to the roof. His sister was moving about in the room above, packing their bags since they had to leave the country the next day.

It must have been heart-breaking for him to leave all of it behind. After the writing lesson was over, he taught them history. After which the new learners started chanting the letters. Hauser, one of the villagers, also spelled his letters in a voice, trembling with emotion. When the clock struck twelve, M. Hamel stood up and started speaking, but he was choked with emotion and could not go on.

Taking a piece of chalk, he wrote “Vive La France “ on the blackboard. After this, he gestured with his hands that school was dismissed and they could leave.(summary of the last lesson)

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Class 12 English Chapter-1: The Last Lesson Question- Answers


Very short answer type questions: (1 Marks)

 (a) What did M. Hamel say that he would ask his students that morning?
Ans. M. Hamel said that that morning, he would question his students on the rules of participles.
(b) What did Franz think ‘for a moment’? 2016
Ans. For a moment Franz thought of running away and spending the glorious day outdoors in a more pleasurable manner.
(c) What is the name of the blacksmith in “The Last Lesson”?  2018
Ans. The blacksmith in ‘The Last Lesson’ was Wachter.
(d) What did Franz find so unusual at school that morning?
Ans. On reaching school, that morning, Franz found that the usual commotion was missing. Instead, he noticed an uneasy sense of calmness.
(e) What is the river mentioned in “The Last Lesson”? 2019
Ans. The river mentioned in “The Last Lesson” is Saar.
(f) How long did M. Hamel teach in his school?
Ans. Hamel taught for forty years in his school.
(g) What did M. Hamel tell the students, mounting his chair?
Ans. M. Hamel, mounting his chair, told his students that there was an order from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine Hence, that was their last French lesson.
(h) What is the ‘great trouble with Alsace’? (2018)
Ans. According to M. Hamel, procrastination (postponing something, टालमटोल) among the people, who always put off (टालना )their learning till tomorrow is the great trouble with Alsace.
(i) What did M. Hamel do when he wanted to go fishing? (2013)
Ans. Whenever M. Hamel wanted to go on a holiday or for fishing, he just gave his students also a holiday.
(j) What did M. Hamel want to give his students before going away?
Ans. M. Hamel wanted to share all his knowledge and give his students all that he knew before going away.
(k) Why was the lesson called the ‘last lesson’?
Ans. An order from Berlin came that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine from the very next day. Hence, that lesson being the last class in French was referred to as the ‘last lesson’.
(L) “I started for school very late that morning”. Who is the ‘I’ here?  2012, 2014
Ans: I refer to Franz.
(M) What did M. Hamel write at the end of the class? What did they mean? 2015  2019
Ans: M. Hamel Wrote ’’Vive -La-France’’ at the end of the class which means ‘’long live France’’
(N) What was written in the new copies brought by M. Hamel for the students in a beautiful round hand? 2017
Ans: ‘France, Alsace, France, Alsace’ was written in the new copies brought by M. Hamel for the students in a beautiful round hand.

Short Answer type questions of the last lesson (2 Marks)

1. What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day? And why was he afraid?                 2015
Ans. Franz was expected to be prepared with his lesson regarding the rules of participles. His French teacher, M Hamel, had announced that he would question the class on participles. Franz did not know even a single word about them so he was afraid of a scolding from his teacher. In addition to that, he was already late for school.
2. What was more tempting to Franz rather than going to school?
Ans.  Franz was tempted to run away and spend the day out of doors because the weather was pleasant, warm, and bright, birds were chirruping and soldiers were drilling outside. All these things attracted him. In addition to that, he was also not prepared with his lesson on the rules of participles.
3. Why did Franz think of running away and spending the day out of doors? (2012, 2016, 2017)
What would Franz love to do on that sunny morning instead of going to school?  2019
Ans. Franz feared a scolding at school as he had not prepared his lesson on participles, on which his French teacher M Hamel was to question the class that day. Besides, the warm and bright weather, the chirping of birds, and the sight of the marching of Prussian soldiers also tempted Franz to stay away from school and spend the day outside.
4. Why was there a crow in front of the bulletin board at the town hall?
Ans. On his way to school, Franz passed the town hall and noticed a crowd in front of the bulletin board. For the past two years, all the bad news had come from it. That day on order that had come from Berlin had been put up on the bulletin board. The order was that from the next day only German would be taught in the school of Alsace and Lorraine. This made the crowd gather to read the news.
5. What had been put up on the bulletin Board? (2014)
Ans.  For the last two years all bad news had come from the bulletin board. An order that had come from Berlin had been put up on the bulletin board. The order was that from the next day only German would be taught in the school of Alsace and Lorraine. The new teacher would join the school from the following day(summary of the last lesson).
6. What was so unusual about the school on that day?
How was scene in the school in the morning of the last lesson different from on other days?
Ans. Usually there would be a great bustle of opening and closing of the desk, lesson repeated loudly and the teacher’s ruler rapping on the table but that day was very calm and quiet like Sunday morning. The back benches which were usually empty were occupied by the village people and M. Hamel wore his special dress and was pacing up and down with a ruler under his arm.
7. Why were the villagers seated on the back benches?
Ans. The old men of the village were sitting on the back benches during M Hamel’s last lesson because they were sorry that they had not attended school more often. They also wanted to thank their teacher for his forty years of faithful service and to show their respect for the country that was theirs no longer.
8. Why did not M Hamel get angry with Franz for being late? 2017
Ans. . M. Hamel did not get angry with Franz because he was much disturbed by the news that came from Berlin. He was delivering the last lesson in French. Bigger issue had gripped his mind.
9. What announcement did M Hamel make and what was its impact?
Ans. M. Hamel announced that from the next day only German would be taught in the school of Alsace and Lorraine. The new teacher would join the school from the following day. He made it clear that it was their last lesson in French
10. How was M Hamel dressed up on that day and why?
Ans. M Hamel’s dress on his last day in the school consisted of his beautiful green coat, frilled shirt, and a little black silk cap, all embroidered, that he never wore except on inspection and prize days. He had put on his finest clothes to highlight the special occasion. It was his last lesson in French language.
11. What did M Hamel tell them about the French language? What did he ask them to do and why?                 
 What was M.Hamel’s view about French language?   2012, 2013,2016
Ans. M. Hamel loved his native language very much. He understood the beauty and importance of his language. M Hamel praised the French language, calling it the most beautiful, the clearest, and the most logical language in the world. He asked them to guard or preserve their language among themselves and never forget or lose it.(summary of the last lesson)
12. What did Franz notice that was unusual about the school that day?
Ans. Franz noticed many unusual things about school that day. Usually, when the school began, there was a much commotion, which was missing that day. His teacher, M Hamel had put on his ceremonial clothes. But the most unusual thing was that the village people were sitting quietly on the back benches, which were usually empty.(summary of the last lesson)
13. why did M. Hamel not blame franz alone for his inability to learn? 2017?
Franz did not learn French whom did M Hamel blame?
Ans. Ans. M. Hamel didn’t blame Franz for not learning but his parents who were not anxious to have him learn. Instead they wanted him to work on a farm or at the mill to earn money. M. Hamel was also to be blamed for sending him to water the flowers instead of learning and whenever he wanted to go fishing he declared holiday.(summary of the last lesson)
14. What changes came over little Franz after he heard M Hamel’s announcement?
Ans. After hearing the announcement, Franz was very sad and he regretted not learning his lessons, and being deprived of opportunity to learn his own mother tongue. His books suddenly became his ‘old friends’ whom he could not abandon.(summary of the last lesson)
15. How did Franz perform when his turn came to recite?
Ans. When it was Franz’s turn to recite, he got mixed up on the first words and stood at his place, ashamed. He did not have the courage to look up and face his teacher.(summary of the last lesson)
16. What did M Hamel teach the class in his ‘last lesson’?
Ans. In his ‘last lesson’, M Hamel taught the class about grammar, then about writing and finally a lesson in history. More than this, he made his students realise the importance of their mother tongue, and taught them to take pride in their language.(summary of the last lesson)
17. How did Franz’s feeling about M Hamel and school change?
Ans. Franz was shocked when M Hamel told the students about the order from Berlin and that it was their last French lesson. He forgot about his teacher’s ruler and crankiness; instead, he started liking M Hamel, as he was being separated from him forever.
His feelings towards his school changed, as he did not want to give up his books and lessons, seemingly old friends.(summary of the last lesson)
18. Why was the lesson called the last lesson? 2014
Ans. The lesson was called the last lesson because  an order had come from Berlin that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine.  As the new master was supposed to come on the following day, it was the last French lesson of the old master.(summary of the last lesson)
19. What was the commotion that Franz anticipated? (2013, 2015)
Ans. Franz anticipated that a great bustle of the school would be heard from the street, the opening and closing of desks, lessons repeated in unison and teacher’s great ruler rapping on the table.(summary of the last lesson)
20. Why did M Hamel write ‘Vive La France’ on the blackboard?
Ans. M Hamel wrote the words ‘Vive La France!’ in big letters on the blackboard before dismissing the last class. These words meant, ‘Long Live France!’ This shows his patriotic nature.(summary of the last lesson)
21. What made M Hamel cry towards the end of his last lesson?
Ans. M Hamel cried towards the end of his last lesson because he loved the French language and felt pity for the villagers, as they would not be able to learn their mother tongue any longer.(summary of the last lesson)
22. How did M Hamel say farewell to his students and the people of the town?
Ans. Towards the end of his ‘Last Lesson’, M Hamel stood up to say farewell to his students and the people of the town. He then turned to the blackboard and wrote, ‘Vive La France’. Then he dismissed the class with a gesture of his hand.
23. Why did M Hamel ask his students and villagers to guard French language?
Ans. M Hamel considered the French language as the most beautiful and logical language in the world the urged them to guard their languages because he believed that whenever the people of a particular nation were enslaved, as long as they were attached to their language, it is as if they had the key to their prison.
24. Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons? What does this sentence suggest? 2018
Ans. The imposition of German over French was humiliating. They imposed every possible rule on the people of Alsace and Lorraine. It filled the people with great Patriotic feelings. The sentence suggests Franz’s anger against the forceful imposition of German on them. It also suggests that the order given by the Germans to teach German in the schools was absurd and that imposing German to the French-speaking people forcefully was unjust
Long Answer Type Questions of (6 Marks)
1. Describe the unusual things that Franz noticed on the day of the last lesson? 2017
Ans. Franz started for school very late. Franz was expected to be prepared with his lesson regarding the rules of participles. His French teacher, M Hamel, had announced that he would question the class on particles. Franz did not know even a single word about them so he was afraid of a scolding from his teacher. When he reached the school he noticed many unusual things. First, he noticed the school was as quit as on a Sunday. The sound of opening and closing of desks, lessons read in unison and the rapping of teacher’s ruler were not heard. when franz entered the classroom the teacher did not scold him although he was late. He saw that the class was maintaining complete silence. M. Hamel had come in his best bress, which he used to wear on inspections and prize day. Morever the back benches of the classroom were occupied by elderly people of the village who had come to thanks M.Hamel for his faithful service. They all looked very sad.
2. What was the order from Berlin? How did that order affect the people of Alsace, particularly M Hamel and his students? (2012, 2013)
Ans. The order from Berlin had stopped the teaching of the French language in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. This shocking development suddenly aroused a lot of zeal in the various people in the story. M Hamel, the French teacher, changed his behaviour from being a cranky and strict teacher to that of a very kind person, as it would be his last lesson, and he would be going away the next day.
He also taught with more understanding and patience. Franz was not interested in learning the language earlier, but now he suddenly realised what he had been missing and became very attentive in class. The villagers regretted that they did not utilise the opportunities given to them for learning French when it was possible; so they had turned up in full strength for the last lesson.
3. Describe M. Hamel’s last day at school.

Ans. On M. Hamel’s last day at school, all his students are present in the class and are in full attendance. The people from the village have also come to the class as a mark of respect for his last day in school. He is dressed in his best clothes, normally reserved for the occasions of inspection and prize distribution. He has wore a frilled shirt, a beautiful green coat and an embroidered black silk cap. He points out to the class that the trouble with them is they always put off learning their language to an indefinite time. Despite being Frenchmen, they can neither speak nor read their language fluently. He reminded them of the beauty, clarity and logic of the French language. He urged them to guard their knowledge of the language and hold on to it. After this he taught them grammar, writing and history. He explained very patiently and it seemed that he wanted to give them all he knew before he went away. He looked at the room trying to fix in his mind just how the room looked. When class got over, he tried to address the students but could not go on as he was choked with emotion. In large letters he wrote, “Vive La France “ on the blackboard and gestured with his hand that school was dismissed and they could leave. 
The last lesson : M Hamel’s last day at school
4.  Franz’s attitude towards school as well towards M Hamel changes when he comes to know about the takeover of his village by Prussians. Discuss with reference to the Last Lesson.
Ans. On arriving at school, Franz noted an unusual silence. His teacher M. Hamel was dressed nicely and asked Franz to sit so that he could start his lesson. The teacher made a startling announcement that this would be their last lesson in French as the new teacher would be arriving the following day. He reiterated about an order from Berlin that German was to be taught in schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Franz was overcome with a feeling of remorse and regretted wasting his time in trivial pursuits. He decided to pay attention to the lesson since school had become very important for him. He began to realize the real worth of his school as well as of the teacher whom they had all taken for granted all these years. Now M Hamel became a good teacher for him rather than a boring one. For him, the teacher seemed to be a good gentleman who has leaving the village on that day. Thus, there developed a specific liking to study history and grammar in Franz since on that day M Hamel put all his heart and soul in teaching.
5. Give a detailed account of the scene in the classroom on the last day.    2015
Ans: On the last day , classroom’s environment was completely different. M. Hamel came in his best dress –the green coat, the frilled shirt and little black silk cap. Back banches were occupied by the villagers. M. Hamel was completely calm and composed. He announced that it was going to be his last class as an orde had come from berlin that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master was supposed to come on the following day. Everyone was shocked by this order specially Franz. He felt sorry for not learning his native language.
M. Hamel  asked Franz to recite rules on participles but he stood there silent. M. Hamel did not scold him. He confessed that his parents and he (the teacher) were at fault. He praised the French language calling it one of the most beautiful languages. He taught all the subjects patiently one after the other and had the courage to listen to all the pupils till the end. But, when the church clock struck twelve, he stood up and tried to speak something but he choked. He turned to the blackboard and wrote ‘Vive La France’ and make a gesture with his hand
6. Draw a character sketch of M. Hamel as it is shown in ‘The Last Lesson.     (2016)
Ans: M. Hamel was a French teacher. He had been serving in the school of Alsace for the last forty years. He had great regard for his language. He became melancholic when the order had come from Berlin that in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine only German language will be taught because he felt that his students would be deprived of the right to learn their own mother tongue. On the last day of this school, he wore his best dress which he wore only on inspection and prize days. Though he was strict and disciplinarian, still on the day of his last class he did not scold Franz for coming late and for failing to recite the rules of participles. He did not blame him rather he blamed himself and the people of Alsace which showed his analytical outlook. M. Hamel was emotional too, his emotions were seen when he could not utter a single word as his voice choked. He just wrote on the blackboard” Vive la France” i.e. long live France and made a gesture that the school was over. M. Hamel was a person who loved his motherland and his language. As per him, French was the most logical and the most beautiful language in the world. He was a strong person. Though his heart was broken still he had the courage to hear every lesson to the very last. He was a man of discipline with love for his land and language.

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