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The Last Lesson: BSEM Class 10 English Literature Reader 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 Literature Reader syllabus for students studying under Manipur Board (BSEM).

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A. From your reading of the text write the correct answer from those given: 

I. There was a crowd in front of the bulletin board because it had the notice that 

a. M. Hamel had been transferred. b. The French lost a battle c. French was no longer to be taught. d. Everyone from the village was to attend school.

Answer: c. French was no longer to be taught.

II. When the writer entered his class 

a. M. Hamel rebuked him for coming late. b. M. Hamel asked him to take his seat. c. the people made fun of him. d. the village elders told him to sit down at his place.

Answer: b. M. Hamel asked him to take his seat.

III. M. Hamel had put on his formal Sunday clothes because 

a. he wanted to honour his last French lesson. b. it was a special Sunday class. c. he would not be coming anymore. d. the Germans had asked him to do so.

Answer: a. he wanted to honour his last French lesson.

B. Based on your reading of the text complete the following statements: 

I. The writer was reluctant to attend class because M. Hamel had said he would question on participles and ______________________________________. 

Answer: the writer did not know the first word about them.

II. In the last two years all the bad news had come ______________________ 

Answer: from the bulletin board at the town hall.

III. Watcher, the blacksmith asked the writer not to go fast because _________ 

Answer: he would get to school in plenty of time.

IV. In the class-room what surprised the writer most was to see ____________

Answer: the village people sitting quietly on the back benches that were always empty.

V. When the writer tried to recite the rules of participle he _______________

Answer: got mixed up on the first words and stood there holding on to his desk, not daring to look up.

C. Answer the following questions in a sentence each: 

I. Where had the crowd gathered? 

Answer: The crowd had gathered in front of the bulletin board at the town hall.

II. How did the writer feel when he entered the class? 

Answer: The writer felt frightened and blushed when he entered the class.

III. How did the writer feel when he sat down at his seat? 

Answer: After sitting at his seat, the writer felt a bit over his fright.

IV. How did the writer feel about his books when he realized that it was to be the last lesson? 

Answer: The writer felt sorry for not learning his lessons and viewed his books with affection, as old friends that he couldn’t give up.

V. According to M. Hamel, which was the most beautiful language? 

Answer: According to M. Hamel, French was the most beautiful language.

VI. What did M. Hamel write on the board? 

Answer: M. Hamel wrote “VIVE LA FRANCE!” on the board.

D. Answer the following questions briefly: 

I. Why did little Franz think of running away from school and spending the day out of doors? 

Answer: Little Franz thought of running away from school and spending the day out of doors because the weather was warm and enticing, with chirping birds and the sight of Prussian soldiers drilling, which seemed more appealing than learning about participles at school.

II. Why had a crowd gathered near the town hall? 

Answer: A crowd had gathered near the town hall because it was the place where all the bad news, such as lost battles, drafts, and commands from the officers, was posted. Franz wondered if there was new bad news as he passed by.

III. ‘You will get to school in plenty of time!’ What did the blacksmith mean by it? 

Answer: The blacksmith, Wachter, meant that Franz had enough time to get to school and did not need to rush, perhaps indicating that something significant had happened that would affect the school day.

IV. How did Franz hope to escape the teacher’s notice as he went in late? 

Answer: Franz hoped to escape the teacher’s notice as he went in late by counting on the usual commotion of the school starting, which would allow him to slip to his desk unnoticed. However, that day the school was unexpectedly quiet.

V. What unusual things did Franz see in the classroom? 

Answer: In the classroom, Franz saw unusual things like M. Hamel wearing his formal clothes that he only wore on special days, and the presence of village elders sitting in the back of the classroom, which was not customary.

VI. Why were the village people sitting in the classroom? 

Answer: The village people were sitting in the classroom to show their respect and gratitude to M. Hamel for his forty years of service, and as a sign of reverence for their country, which they were about to lose under new orders to teach only German.

VII. ‘What a thunderclap these words were to me!’ What words were a thunderclap? Why? 

Answer: The words that were a thunderclap to Franz were M. Hamel’s announcement that this would be the last French lesson, as an order from Berlin mandated the teaching of only German in Alsace and Lorraine. These words signified a great loss for Franz and his community.

VIII. Why did M. Hamel not scold Franz for his inability to recite correctly the rules for his participles? 

Answer: M. Hamel did not scold Franz because he recognized the overall regret and sorrow that would be felt by Franz and the others about their lost opportunity to learn their language, understanding that the blame was collective and not just on the boy.

IX. ‘… it is as if they had the key to their prison.’ What is the prison referred to here?

Answer: The prison referred to here is the metaphorical loss of freedom and identity that comes from losing one’s language. M. Hamel suggests that maintaining the French language is like holding the key to escape that prison.

X. Why did the pupils want to laugh and cry at the same time? 

Answer: The pupils wanted to laugh and cry at the same time because of the mixed emotions they felt during the last lesson. They were moved by the participation of the old men in the class and the overall solemnity of the situation, which was both moving and absurd.

E. Answer the following questions in about 80 words each: 

I. In what ways was the day of the last lesson different from other days? Write it. 

Answer: On the day of the last lesson, a deep solemnity replaced the usual school-day chaos. M. Hamel donned his formal attire, and villagers attended class, paying tribute to their language and M. Hamel’s dedication. The usual lively sounds of learning were absent, replaced by a poignant stillness; the reality of losing their language rights loomed over the students, marking the day with a grave difference from all others.

II. How did Franz find the last lesson on Grammar? Why did he find everything the teacher said so easy? 

Answer: Franz found the last lesson on Grammar surprisingly clear. His usual apprehension was replaced by attentiveness, perhaps due to the realization of losing his language and the opportunity to learn. M. Hamel’s patient and passionate teaching made everything seem easy; the lesson was imparted with a sense of urgency and a desire to pass on as much knowledge as possible in the limited time left.

III. What are the feelings Franz had on learning that M. Hamel will be giving his last lesson? 

Answer: Franz was struck with a mixture of emotions upon learning it was M. Hamel’s last lesson. There was regret for not having taken his studies seriously, sadness for the impending loss of his teacher and the French language in school, and a sudden affection for his books and M. Hamel, whom he realized he would miss dearly.

IV. ‘What would I not have given to be able to say that dreadful rule for the participle all through, very loud and clear, and without one mistake?’ Why did Franz feel so? 

Answer: Franz wished to recite the rule for the participle flawlessly as a form of redemption for his past indifference towards his lessons. Faced with the finality of his French education, he wanted to demonstrate his capability and respect for his teacher and his heritage language, which he had taken for granted until that moment.

V. In what sense was the last lesson the first lesson on French language for Franz? 

Answer: The last lesson was Franz’s first true lesson on the French language in the sense that it was the first time he truly grasped the value and beauty of his language. It took the imminent threat of losing his linguistic heritage to fully engage and appreciate the lessons, making this last session a poignant awakening to the significance of his mother tongue.

VI. Why did M. Hamel write ‘Vive La France!’ before dismissing his class?

Answer: M. Hamel wrote ‘Vive La France!’ before dismissing his class as an act of patriotism, a final defiant assertion of cultural identity in the face of the school’s forced Germanization. It was a powerful statement of hope and resistance, urging his students to remember their roots and the importance of their language as a symbol of freedom and unity.

Think and Write

A. “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?” Franz thought. Explain what could this mean? 

Answer: The line “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?” reflects Franz’s realization of the deep impact of the occupation on everyday life. It symbolizes the loss of cultural identity and the imposition of a foreign culture upon his own. The pigeons, which are a natural and unchanged part of his environment, represent the innocence and continuity of local life. Franz wonders if the pervasive reach of the new regime will extend even to the natural world, which to him seems absurd, highlighting the extent of the control that is being exerted over the local population.

B. Imagine that after the last lesson was over Franz and a few of his classmates continue a dialogue on the developments. 


Write the dialogue

Franz:- It is the saddest day of my life! 

1st student:- ___________________________________________ 

Answer: I feel a heavy heart as well. To think we took our lessons for granted, and now we might lose our language entirely.

2nd student:- ___________________________________________ 

Answer: Yes, it’s as if we’re losing a part of ourselves, isn’t it? Our French language is like a link to our past, and now I fear for our future.

3rd student:- ___________________________________________

Answer: I can’t believe this is happening. M. Hamel looked so sad. It’s not just about the language, it’s our home changing forever.


Answer: I regret not paying attention all those times. We never thought this day would come. What will happen to us now?

1st student:- ___________________________________________

Answer: We must not let this defeat us. Perhaps we can find a way to keep our language alive, even if it is not in school.


I. In the present world a young person must learn English, and if possible some other languages too to go ahead in life. Discuss the importance of mother tongue in such a social scenario. You can use the following points in your discussion: 

* Mother tongue is your identity. 

* It is the source of one’s culture

Answer: In the context of the modern world where English and additional languages are essential for advancement, the mother tongue remains vital for one’s identity and cultural heritage. It forms the core of who we are, allowing us to express our most authentic selves and connecting us intimately to our traditions and history. While learning global languages opens up opportunities, embracing our mother tongue preserves our unique cultural identity. It’s about balancing the global with the local to enrich both personal and societal realms.


A. Cows moo. Crows crow. Find out what the following do: 

Owls hoot.

Sparrows chirp.

Geese honk.

Pigeons coo.

Asses bray.

Monkeys chatter.

Bulls bellow.

Elephants trumpet.

B. Add one of the following suffixes to these words and make them nouns:
age, ance, ship, ion, ness 

Act – action

Observe – observation

Pilgrim – pilgrimage

Bold – boldness

Friend – friendship

Innocent – innocence

Tense – tension

Bag – baggage

Dark – darkness

Hard – hardness

Writing Practice

A few months after, say about two months, Franz writes a letter to M. Hamel describing how sad he is in missing his French class. Write the letter.

Answer: Dear M. Hamel,

I hope this letter finds you well. It’s been two months since the last French lesson, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss our classes. The schoolroom seems so empty without your presence and the sound of French being spoken. I find myself longing for the days when I could sit in your class, learning about our beautiful language and culture.

I remember how we took our lessons for granted, and now, in their absence, I realize what a gift they were. The school feels hollow now, and the silence that has replaced the vibrant chatter of French lessons is a constant reminder of what we’ve lost.

The village isn’t the same either. Without the ability to learn and speak in French, it feels as though a part of our identity is slipping away. I never understood how much the language meant to me until now — it’s as if a part of my very soul has been quieted.

I am trying to remember and practice everything you taught us, to keep the language alive in my heart and in my home. I hope you are finding new ways to continue your passion for teaching, and I want you to know that your lessons continue to inspire me every day.


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