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The Last Lesson: ICSE Class 10 English workbook solutions

Here, you will find a summary, textual solutions, questions, answers, notes. pdf, extras to the chapter “The Last Lesson” by Alphonse Daudet which is a part of Class 10 English (Tresure Chest) syllabus for students studying under ICSE.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

(i) The story ‘The Last Lesson’ is written by: 

A. G. B. Shaw B. Alphonse Daudet C. William Faulkner D. Ray Bradbury 

Answer: B. Alphonse Daudet 

(ii) What was Franz’s fear as he was going to school? 

A. fear of the bullies B. scolding by M. Hamel C. punishment for being late D. none of the above 

Answer: C. punishment for being late 

(iii) What seemed tempting to Franz while going to school? 

A. playing with the village boys B. swimming in the river C. enjoying open nature and chirping of birds D. going to a friend’s house 

Answer: C. enjoying open nature and chirping of birds 

(iv) The bulletin board showed 

A. cheerful B. horrible C. routine D. sad news. 

Answer: D. sad news. 

(v) Who was Wachter ? 

A. Franz’s classfellow B. Franz’s father C. a blacksmith D. school gardener 

Answer: C. a blacksmith 

(vi) What dress was M. Hamel wearing ? 

A. a formal Sunday dress B. dress worn on inspection days and prize days C. casual dress D. funny dress 

Answer: B. dress worn on inspection days and prize days 

(vii) Who among these was not there on the back benches ? 

A. former mayor B. former postman C. the headmaster D. old Hauser 

Answer: C. the headmaster 

(viii) What came as ‘a thunder clap’ to Franz ? 

A. scolding by the teacher B. Berlin order against teaching French C. Franz’s failure in the exams D. defeat of the French forces 

Answer: B. Berlin order against teaching French 

(ix) Which of these was difficult to learn for Franz ? 

A. History lesson B. German language C. Mathematical formulae D. Participles 

Answer: D. Participles 

(x) What was written in the new copies in the handwriting of M. Hamel? 

A. Country’s slogans B. France  C. Freedom D. France, Alsace, France, Alsace 

Answer: D. France, Alsace, France, Alsace 

Comprehension passage

Passage 1 

For a moment I thought of running away and spending the day out of doors. It was so warm, so bright! The birds were chirping at the edge of the woods, and in the open field, back of the saw-mill the Prussian soldiers were drilling. 

(i) Why did the narrator think of running away? 

Answer: The narrator thought of running away because he was afraid of being punished for not learning his lessons. 

(ii) What do you think about the narrator? 

Answer: The narrator seems to be a young schoolboy who is carefree and easily distracted. He does not take his studies seriously. 

(iii) What was tempting to the narrator? What did he dread? 

Answer: The warm, bright day and sounds of nature like chirping birds were tempting the narrator to run away. He dreaded being punished by his teacher for not learning his lessons. 

(iv) Why were the Prussian soldiers doing their drills? 

Answer: The Prussian soldiers were occupying Alsace after defeating France in the Franco-Prussian war. They were doing military drills as part of their occupation. 

(v) What temptations did the narrator overcome? Where was he going? 

Answer: The narrator overcame the temptations of the pleasant weather and sounds of nature. He resisted running away and instead headed to school. 

Passage 2 

Through the window I saw my classmates, already in this places, and M. Hamel walking up and down with his terrible iron ruler under his arm. I had to open the door and go in before everybody. You can imagine how I blushed and how frightened I was. 

(i) Who is the narrator? What does he teach? 

Answer: The narrator is a young schoolboy named Franz. M. Hamel is his French teacher. 

(ii) What was M. Hamel doing when Franz looked through the window? Was it a pleasant sight? 

Answer: M. Hamel was walking with an iron ruler under his arm which frightened Franz. It was not a pleasant sight. 

(iii) Why was Franz frightened? 

Answer: Franz was frightened because he was late for school and had not learned his lessons. He expected to be punished by M. Hamel. 

(iv) Did the teacher punish Franz? What happened when Franz entered the classroom? 

Answer: No, M. Hamel did not punish Franz. He kindly asked Franz to take his seat when he entered the classroom. 

(v) Which kind of dress was M. Hamel wearing? Why? 

Answer: M. Hamel was wearing his formal dress that he wore only on inspection days and prize days. This was unusual for an ordinary school day. 

Passage 3 

While I was wondering about it all, M. Hamel mounted his chair, and, in the same grave and gentle tone which he had used to me, said, “My children, this is the last lesson, I shall give you. The order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master comes tomorrow. This is your last French lesson. I want you to be very attentive…” 

(i) Who is the narrator and where is he? 

Answer: The narrator is Franz, a young schoolboy. He is in his French class in school. 

(ii) Who was M. Hamel? How would he treat his students? 

Answer: M. Hamel was Franz’s French teacher. He generally treated his students strictly but was also gentle and kind at times. 

(iii) Why was it his last lesson? 

Answer: It was M. Hamel’s last lesson because of the order from Berlin to stop teaching French in Alsace and Lorraine schools after France’s defeat. 

(iv) What did M. Hamel wish his students to do? 

Answer: M. Hamel wanted his students to be very attentive in his last French lesson. 

(v) In which mood was M. Hamel? Why? 

Answer: M. Hamel was in a grave and sad mood because he had to give up teaching French which he loved. 

Passage 4 

Ah, that’s the great trouble with Alsace; she puts off learning tomorrow. Now those fellows out there will have the right to say to you, ‘How is it: you pretend to be Frenchmen and yet you neither speak nor write your own language ?’ But you are not the worst, poor little Franz. We’ve all a great deal to reproach ourselves with.” 

(i) What do you learn about the speaker? 

Answer: The speaker is M. Hamel, Franz’s French teacher. He is patriotic and cares deeply about teaching the French language. 

(ii) What is the regret in his mind? 

Answer: M. Hamel regrets that the people of Alsace have neglected learning French properly and taken their language for granted. 

(iii) Who are those ‘fellows’? How would they mock at the villagers? 

Answer: ‘Those fellows’ refers to the Prussian rulers. They would mock the villagers for being French yet not speaking proper French. 

(iv) Who were to be blamed for the present situation, according to the speaker? 

Answer: According to M. Hamel, the villagers, parents, and even he himself as a teacher were to be blamed for not taking French language learning seriously enough. 

(v) Later, what does speaker say about the French language? 

Answer: Later, M. Hamel says French is the most beautiful language, logical and clear. He urges the people to preserve it as their key to freedom. 

Passage 5 

“Your parents were not anxious enough to have you learn. They preferred to put you to work on a farm or at the mills, so as to have a little more money. And I ? I’ve been to blame also. Have I not often sent you to water my flowers instead of learning your lessons ?” 

(i) Who is addressing and whom, and on what occasion? 

Answer: M. Hamel is addressing his students on the occasion of his last French lesson. 

(ii) Who were put to earn more money for the parents? What does it show about them? 

Answer: The students were put to work on farms or mills by parents to earn more money. It shows parents prioritized money over their children’s education. 

(iii) What made the speaker blame himself? 

Answer: M. Hamel blames himself for often sending students to do his personal chores instead of teaching them lessons. 

(iv) What do you think of the speaker? 

Answer: The speaker M. Hamel seems to be a dedicated teacher who cares about his students’ learning, even though he was sometimes strict. 

(v) According to the speaker, what is the importance of learning our mother tongues? 

Answer: According to M. Hamel, it is very important to learn our native languages well as they are a key part of our identity and freedom. 

Passage 6 

…. it was the most beautiful language in the world – the clearest, the most logical; that we must guard it among us and never forget it, because when a people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as if they had the key to their prison. 

(i) Which language is being referred to here? What is the occasion of this observation? 

Answer: French language is being referred to here. M. Hamel is addressing his students in his last French lesson. 

(ii) What does the speaker think of the language being referred to? 

Answer: The speaker M. Hamel thinks French is the most beautiful, clear and logical language in the world. 

(iii) What is his advice to the listeners? 

Answer: M. Hamel advises his students to preserve the French language and never forget it. 

(iv) Why should the enslaved people not forget their language? 

Answer: Enslaved people should not forget their language because it is key to preserving their identity and winning their freedom. 

(v) What had been the attitude of the people earlier about their own language, according to the speaker? 

Answer: Earlier the people of Alsace had neglected learning French properly and taken their language lightly. 

Passage 7 

Once some beetles flew in; but nobody paid any attention to them, not even the littlest ones, who worked right on tracing their fish-hooks, as if that was French, too. On the roof the pigeons cooed very low and I thought to myself, “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons ?” 

(i) Where did the beetles fly in? How did the students react? 

Answer: The beetles flew into the classroom. But the students were so focused on their work that they ignored the interruption. 

(ii) What was being done, and by whom and where? 

Answer: The students were practicing their French writing of the words France and Alsace in their classroom. 

(iii) What made even the children do their work with full concentration? 

Answer: M. Hamel’s announcement that this was their last French lesson made the students value the language and work diligently. 

(iv) Who is ‘I’ referred to here? What thought did he have? 

Answer: ‘I’ refers to the narrator Franz. He wondered if the Prussian rulers would even force the pigeons to coo in German. 

(v) What is the tone in, “Will they make them……….?” What literary device is used here? 

Answer: The tone is ironic. The literary device used is irony to highlight the extent of the Prussian rulers’ cultural domination. 

Passage 8 

“My friends,” said he, “I – I -” But something choked him. He could not go on. Then he turned to the blackboard, took a piece of chalk, and, bearing on with all his might, he wrote as large as he could “Vive La France !” 

(i) Who is ‘he’? Why was he so sentimental? 

Answer: ‘He’ refers to M. Hamel, Franz’s French teacher. He was sentimental because this was his last French lesson. 

(ii) What could he not do? Why? 

Answer: M. Hamel could not speak further as he was choked with emotion. 

(iii) What did he write on the blackboard; and why? 

Answer: He wrote “Vive la France!” (Long live France) on the blackboard to express his love for France. 

(iv) What do you think of this person? 

Answer: M. Hamel seems to be a deeply patriotic person who truly cares for the French language and culture. 

(v) ‘Vive La France’. What does it mean and symbolize? What does it show about the speaker? 

Answer: It means “Long live France” and symbolizes M. Hamel’s patriotism. His act shows he deeply loved teaching French and was sad to give up. 

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