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The Last Lesson: NBSE Class 12 Alternative English 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 12 Alternative English syllabus for students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE).

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Answer the following questions briefly.

1. Why was Franz surprised on reaching the Classroom?

Answer: When Franz entered the classroom, he was surprised to see that the backbenches, which were usually unoccupied, were occupied by village people dressed as students. Among those present were Old Hauser, the former major, the former postmaster, and several more. It was also unusually silent that morning.

2. Why had the elders attended the class that day?

Answer: The elders attended the class that day since it was the last day before the order from Berlin that all schools in Alsace and Lorraine should begin teaching in German would be implemented. They came to pay their respects to M. Hamel, who had been teaching them for over forty years.

3. Why was M Hamel leaving?

Answer: M. Hamel was leaving because Berlin had given them the order to only teach German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Because new teachers would be arriving the following day, there would be no need for French teachers.

4. What did M Hamel say to Franz instead of scolding him when he forgot the participles?

Answer: Instead of scolding Franz for forgetting the participles, M. Hamel advised him to feel sorry for himself. He emphasised their delay in studying, stating that they had always assumed there was plenty of time and would study the next day. With sadness, he stated that their time had come to an end. He also voiced sadness that they could not be called or claim to be Frenchmen because they did not know how to talk or write in their native language. However, he tells Franz that he is not the only one who should be ashamed of himself, but that everyone should be ashamed of themselves.

Explain the following lines with reference to the context.

1. Ah, how well I remember it, that Last Lesson!

Answer: The given sentence is taken from the story “The Last Lesson” by Alphonse Daudet. The writer here is talking about Franz’s feelings that he would remember that last day when he apologised for not being interested in studying the lessons and always procrastinating about getting serious about his lessons. He was surprised to find that it was his final French session, and he was disappointed. He immediately expressed his gratitude to M. Hamel for his sincerity and 40 years of hard work. When it was his turn, he was embarrassed because he couldn’t even recite the lesson on participles. In the last class, they grasped the necessity of learning their mother tongue and embraced the French language, believing that only language is the path to escaping the prison of slavery.

2. When people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language, it is as if they had the key to their prison.

Answer: When people are enslaved, as long as they protect their language, it would be as if they had the key to their jail. The foundation of one’s identity and self-esteem is love and allegiance to one’s motherland and mother tongue. Anyone who cannot love his or her country and language cannot love anything or anyone in this world. Our country and language provide us with the most in our lives; if we can’t love them, we are really ungrateful beings.

Many countries around the world secured independence from imperialistic countries by sticking to their mother tongue. Our country, India, was similarly subjected to the imposition of foreign languages by oppressors, but our freedom fighters clung to their languages.

Both the German and the French exhibit language chauvinism in Alphonso Daudet’s chapter Last Lesson. The Germans imposed their language on the French, while the French were concerned and saddened by the loss of their mother tongue. They devised elaborate strategies to safeguard their native tongue.

Answer the following questions in detail.

1. Why did the lesson appear easy to Franz on the last day?

Answer: Franz found M. Hamel’s French class so effortless on that day because he had previously neglected French, but because he knew it was his last French class, he was paying attention and discovered that French wasn’t a difficult subject. Also, it appeared as if M. Hamel intended to offer it to the students and elders before leaving. tried to cram everything into their heads all at once. As a result, on the final day of class, the lesson was easily understood.

2. Provide a character sketch of M Hamel on the basis of the reading of your story.

Answer: M. Hamel was a real Frenchman. After forty years of teaching in Alsace, he had become a part of its people. He was a trustworthy educator. He did not blame poor learning on his students alone. He also held himself accountable for the same. He was quite patriotic in his call to his countrymen to stick to their mother tongue in order to be free of the Prussians. According to him, the French language was the most beautiful, clear, and rational language in the world. He asked his countrymen to protect it and never forget it. He was tremendously committed to the school and all of his kids. He was, nonetheless, a courageous and strong man. He felt deeply sorry for not making earnest efforts to teach his people French. In the end, he grew so emotional that he couldn’t talk.

3. Describe how M. Hamel conducted the last lesson.

Answer: M. Hamel was particularly calm that morning, and the entire class was abnormally quiet compared to other regular days. He was not furious with Franz when he arrived late for class and simply told him to sit down. He began his French language lesson by instructing Franz to repeat the participles, which he failed. He was not disappointed in Franz or any of his students, but rather in the fact that they had not properly learned the French language. He reminded them that language was the only way out of the prison of slavery, and he pushed them to protect their mother tongue. He went on to speak on the French language, claiming that it was the most beautiful language in the world, as well as the clearest and most logical. Everyone sat patiently and carefully listened to every word M. Hamel said, filled with grief and shame that they had always put off learning their language properly, but that it was the last lesson. The entire surroundings were imbued with a melancholy aura, and the class ended as the clock struck twelve. M. Hamel stood up, pale, and attempted to say something, but something choked him and he couldn’t continue. Turning to the blackboard, he took a piece of chalk and scribbled “Vive la France,” which translates as “Long Live France.” He came to a halt, leaned against the wall, and motioned with his hand that class was finished.

4. What does M Hamel say to his class about the importance of the French language?

Answer: During the last class, M. Hamel proclaims “French” to be the most beautiful language in the world. He continues by claiming that it is the best-constructed language, with the most rational and unambiguous phrases. He asks everyone to protect the language because one can never be enslaved as long as one has his/her language. He also believes that everyone should love and respect their mother tongue in order to preserve their heritage and the spirit of their true selves. This demonstrates people’s attachment to their own culture, customs, and country. Pride in one’s mother tongue expresses pride in one’s motherland.

Think and discuss.

1. Explain the concept of linguistic chauvinism on the basis of your reading of the story ‘The Last Lesson.’

Answer: Linguistic Chauvinism refers to the irrational belief that your own country and language are the finest and most significant. The story ‘The Last Lesson’ is about language chauvinism and how man finds himself in its confines. But Hamel’s and the village elders’ love of French does not equate to this. They are, rather, victims of it. Alsace’s French-speaking population is being forced to learn German. The Alsatians’ acquisition of power made the Prussians so powerful that they imposed even their language on the others. They desired to have control over their subjects’ brains and hearts, and they wanted them to think in their language, forcing them to lose their own identity. Thus, the story emphasises linguistic chauvinism, which is becoming a major cause of war and political upheaval around the world.

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