NCERT Solutions for English Class 12th Chapter 1 The Last Lesson

NCERT CBSE Class 12th The Last Lesson Chapter 1

The Last LessonNCERT Solutions CBSE 12th Class English Flamingo lesson 1 is a very important material for your test preparation. English Lesson 1 class +2 NCERT Solution covers all the important questions for the test. NCERT solution for 12th class English Flamingo is created by expert teachers to help you in your test preparation. Class 12th English Flamingo Lesson 1 The Last Lesson Question answers that will help you mark a better score in your examination.

Questions And Answers 

Q.1 Notice these expressions in the text infer their meanings from the context.

  • In great dread of- fearful in anticipation in anticipation of something.
  • Counted on- to rely or trust on something/ somebody.
  • Thumbed at the edges- soiled or worm edges caused by frequent handling.
  • In unison- something happening or being done at the same time.
  • A great bustle- an excited (often noisy) activity or a rapid, active commotion.
  • Reproach ourselves with- to express disapproval, disappointment, or criticism.

Q.2 “When people are enslaved as, long as they hold fast to their language it is they had the key to their prison.”Can you think of examples in history where a conquered people had their language taken away from them or had a language imposed on them?
Ans. Some examples of the native language taken away from its and imposition/ people of the language of the conqueror are.”

(a) Portuguese becoming the lingua franca of Angola.

(b) English imposed on the various Celtic peoples.

(c) Spanish imposed on the Basques and the Catalans.

(d) Turkish imposed on the Kurds.

Q.3 English is a language that contains words from many other languages. This inclusiveness is one of the reason it is now world language, for example:

  • Petite-French
  • Kindergarten- German
  • Capital – Latin
  • Democracy –Greek
  • Bazaar-Hindi

Find out the origin of the following words.

tulip, Tycoon, logo, bandicoot, veranda, robot, barbecue, ski, trek

  • Tulip- French
  • Tycoon-Japanese
  • Logo – Greek
  • Bandicoot- Telugu
  • Barbecue – Spanish
  • Robot – Czech
  • Ski – Norwegian
  • Trek – Dutch

Q4. What had been put up on the bulletin-board?
Ans: For the last two years all the bad news had come from the bulletin-board. An order had come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Lorraine and Alsace. The Germans had put up this notice on the bulletin board.

Q5. What was Franz expected to be prepared for a school that day?
Ans:  That day Franz was expected to be prepared with participles because M. Hamel had said that he would question them on participles. Franz did not know anything about participles.

Q6. What changes did the order from Berlin cause in school that day?
Ans: M. Hamel had put on his best dress his beautiful green coat, his frilled shirt, and the little black silk cap, all embroidered. The whole school seemed so solemn and strange. On the backbenches that were always empty, the elderly village people were sitting quietly like the kids.

Q7. What did Franz notice that was unusual about the school that day?
Ans: Usually, when school began, there was a great bustle, which could be heard out in the street. But it was all very still that day. Everything was as quiet as Sunday morning. There was no opening or closing of desks. His classmates were already in their places. The teacher’s great ruler instead of rapping on the table was under M. Hamel’s arm.

Q.8 Read this sentence.

M.Hamel had said that he would question us on participles.

In the sentence above, the verb form “had  said ” in the first part is used  to indicate an “ earlier past.”The whole story is an author in the past .M. Hamel’s “saying” happened earlier than the events in this story. This form of the verb is called the past perfect. Ans. In the one that happens earlier takes “had” + past form of the verb(V3), while the one that follows. it takes the simple past form of the verb (V2).

Sentences in past perfect form Reason Explanation
I had counted on the commotion to get to my desk without being seen, but of course, that day everything had to be as quiet as Sunday morning. The protagonist depends on the commotion to sneak into the classroom before he encountered it.
Not till when I had got a little over my fright did I see that our teacher had on his beautiful green coat…..prize days. Getting over the fright happened before he noticed his teacher’s green coat.
Hauser had brought an old primer, thumbed at the edge, and it open on his knees with his great spectacles lying across pages. Or the two actions, Hauser’s bringing of the old primer happened before he held it open on his kness.
It was because they were sorry, too that they had gone to school more. The feelings of regret come after they realize they did not go to school more than what they did.
My book that had seemed such a nuisance ….were old friends now that I couldn’t give up. The books were a nusance earlier. It is only later that the protagonist talked about them in a different light.

Q.9 Notice the underlined words in these sentences and tick the option that best explains their meanings.

(a) “What a —————————————- thunderclap these words were to me !”.

The words were________________________

(1) Loud and clear.

(2) unexpected and Starting.

(3) welcome and Pleasant.

(b) “Where people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as they had the key to their prison.”

 It is as if they have the key to the prison as long as they.

(1) Do not lose their language.

(2) Are attached to their language.

(3) Quickly learn the conqueror’s language.

(c) Don’t go so fast, you will get to your school in plenty of time.

You will get to your school

(1) Very late.

(2) too late.

(3) Early enough.

(4) I never saw him look so tall,

(1) had grown physically taller.

(2) Seemed very confident.

(3)Stood on the chair.


(1) Startling and unexpected.

 (2)are attached to their language.

(3)early enough.

(b) seemed very confident.

Q10. The people in this story suddenly realize how precious their language is to them. What shows you this? Why does this happen?
Ans: M. Hamel told the villagers and candidates that henceforth only German would be taught in the schools of Lorraine and Alsace. Those who known as themselves Frenchmen would neither be able to speak nor write it. He praised French as the most beautiful, the clearest and most logical language in the world. He said that for the enslaved people, their language was the key to their prison. Then the people realized how precious their language was to them. This shows people’s love for their own culture, country, and traditions. Pride in one’s language reflects pride in the motherland.

Q11. How did Franz’s feelings about M. Hamel and school change?
Ans: Franz came to know that it was the last lesson in French that M. Hamel would give them. From the next day, they will be taught only German. Then he felt sorry for not learning his chapter properly. His books, which seemed a nuisance and a burden earlier were now old friends. His feelings about M. Hamel also changed. He forgot all about his ruler and how cranky he was.

Q12. Franz thinks, “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons T’ What could this mean? (There could be more than one answer.)
Ans: This comment of Franz shows a Frenchman’s typical reaction to the imposition of learning German, the language of the conquerors. Being deprived of the learning of the mother tongue would mean cutting off all bonds with the motherland. Teaching the pigeons to sing in German indicates how far the Germans would go in their attempts of linguistic chauvinism.

Q13. What happens to a linguistic minority in a state? How do you think they can keep their language alive? For example:

  1. Punjabis in   Bangalore
  2. Tamilians in  Mumbai
  3. Kannadigas in  Delhi
  4. Gujaratis in   Kolkata

Ans. The linguistic minority in any state is easily marked and faces the same discrimination as the religious, ethnic minorities, or social. There is, however, a pronounced various in the treatment meted out and the level of acceptance displayed by the majority community in that city/ region. Some cities like Mumbai, Delhi are cosmopolitan in outlook.

The linguistic minority tries to preserve its identity through intimate contact, preservation, and interaction of their language in social get-togethers, family functions, and festivals of their region. Adherence to social customs and traditions in family gatherings/group meetings of women also promotes unity between members of the linguistic minority. In short, they create a mini-Chennai in Mumbai,  mini-Punjab in Bangalore, mini-Surat in Kolkata, and mini-Bangalore in Delhi.

Q14. “When people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as if they had the key to their prison.” Can you think of examples in history where a conquered people had their language taken away from them or had a language imposed on them?
 Ans: Mother’s tongue helps a person to express his feelings and thoughts most intimately and lucidly. Conquerors try to subdue and control the people of the enslaved territory by enforcing many measures such as the use of force to crush dissent and imposing their language on them.

From time immemorial the victorious nations have imposed their language on the conquered people and taken away their language from them. The Romans conquered many parts of Europe and replaced the local languages by their language— Latin. Later on Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian developed from Latin. The Muslim invaders imposed Persian and Arabic in the countries of Asia overpowered by them. In many Arab countries, the local religion and language have disappeared. In India, a new language Urdu developed from the mixture of Hindi and Persian.

Q15. Is it possible to carry pride in one’s language too far? Do you know what “lin¬guistic chauvinism” means?
Ans. ‘Linguistic chauvinism’ means an unreasonable and aggressive belief that your language is better than all others. This shows excessive or prejudiced support for one’s language. Sometimes pride in one’s language goes too for and the linguistic enthusiasts can be easily identified by their extreme zeal for the preservation and spread of their language. In their enthusiasm, support, and love for their language, they tend to forget that other languages too have their own merits, long history of art, literature, and culture behind them. Instead of bringing winning and unity over others as friends, having excessive pride in one’s language creates ill-will and disintegration. The stiff-resistance to the acceptance of Hindi as a national language by the southern states of India is a direct outcome of the fear of being dominated by Hindi enthusiasts. The result is that ‘One India’ remains only a slogan.

Q16. “It was all much more tempting than the rule for participles.” What did Franz find ‘much more tempting’? How did he finally react?
Ans: Franz found that it was a very bright and warm day. The birds were chirping at the edge of the woods. The Prussian soldiers were drilling in the open field at the back of the sawmill. He could gladly spend life out of doors. However, he had the strength to resist the temptation. Finally, he hurried off to school.

Q17. “What can be the matter now?” says Franz. Why, do you think, did he make this comment?
Ans: There was a bulletin board near the town-hall. When Franz passed by it, he noticed a crowd there. He did not stop to look at it. He wondered what could be the matter then. For the last two years, they had received all the bad news from the bulletin-board the lost battle, conscription, and the orders of the commanding officer.

Q18. Why do you think was little Franz afraid of being scolded?
Ans: Franz was afraid of being scolded that day especially because M. Hamel, the teacher, had said that he would question them on participles. Franz frankly admits that he was ignorant about the topic. His exact words are: “I did not know the first word about them.” Secondly, he had started school very late that morning.

Q19. Who was Wachter? What did he ask Franz and why? How did Franz react?
Ans: Wachter was a blacksmith. He was reading the latest bulletin. He asked Franz not to go so fast to his school. He added that the little boy would get to his school in plenty of time. Wachter had read the latest bulletin about the teaching of German. Franz thought that the blacksmith was making fun of him. So, he ran to the school and reached there breathless.

Q20. What was the usual scene when Franz’s school began in the morning?
Ans: Usually, when the school began, there was a great bustle. The noise could be heard out in the school. Candidates closed and opened their desks. They repeated the chapter together very loudly. They kept their hands over their ears to understand better. The teacher would go on rapping the table with his great iron ruler.

Q21. What three things in school surprised Franz most that day?
Ans: First, M. Hamel, the teacher had put on his fine Sunday clothes his beautiful green coat, frilled shirt, and the little black silk cap, all embroidered. Second, the whole school seemed quite solemn and strange. Thirdly, the village people were sitting quietly like school children on the backbenches that usually remained empty.

Q22. Why had the villagers come to school that day? How did they look?
Ans: The villagers had come there to thank M. Hamel for his forty years of faithful service. They also wanted to show their respect to the country that was theirs no more. They were sorry that they had not gone to school more. They were sitting looked and quietly sad.

Q23. “What a thunderclap these words were to me!” Which were the words that surprised and shocked the author?
Ans: M. Hamel, the teacher, told the children in a gentle and solemn tone that it was their last French chapter. Henceforth, only German would be taught in the schools of Lorraine and Alsace. The new master would come the next day. As that was their last French chapter, he wanted them to be very attentive. The teacher’s kind use and gesture of soft words shocked and surprised the author.

Q24. How had Franz hoped to get to his desk? What had he to do and why?
Ans: Franz had hoped to get to his desk unseen during the commotion. But that day it was very quiet. So, Franz had to open the door and go in before everybody. He blushed as he was late. He was frightened that the teacher might rebuke him, but M. Hamel spoke kindly to him that day.

Q25. How did Franz react to the declaration: ‘This is your last French lesson’?
Ans: The words appeared startling and unexpected like a thunderclap. He now understood why there was a crowd at the bulletin board, why the village people had come to school, why the teacher was dressed in his Sunday best and why there were sadness and silence in the school.

Q26. What tempted Franz to stay away from school?
Ans: Franz was not prepared Tor the exam on participles. The Prussian soldiers were drilling in the open field at the back of the sawmill. The birds were chirping at the edge of the woods. These things tempted him. So he hurried off to school.

Q27. What did M. Hamel tell them about the French language? What did he ask them to do and why?
Ans: M. Hamel told them that French was the most beautiful language in the world. It was the clearest and the most logical language. He asked them to guard it among them and never forget it. He gave a reason also. When people were enslaved, as long as they held fast to their language, they had the key to their prison.

Q28. Why were the elders of the village sitting in the classroom?
Ans: M. Hamel was taking the class of the last French chapter. That is why elders of the village were sitting in the classroom to attend it. It was done not only to pay respect to M.Hamel but to pay respect to his language.

Q29. Who did M. Hamel blame for the neglect of learning on the part of boys like Franz?
Ans: He thought it typical with the people of Alsace. They would put off learning by tomorrow. Parents are not quite anxious to have their children learn. They put them to work on a farm or at the mills to have a little more money. The teacher got his flowers watered or gave them a holiday. He too neglected their chapter.

Q30. How did Franz and other hoys enjoy their chapter in writing?
Ans: That day M. Hamel had new copies for them. The words “France, Alsace, France, Alsace” were written on them in a pretty round hand. The boys set to work quietly. The only sound was the scratching of the pens over the paper. Nobody paid any attention to the beetles who flew in.

Q31. “He dared to hear every chapter to the very last.” What led Franz to make this remark?
Ans: Franz noticed that M. Hamel was feeling sad about having to leave the place sifter 40 years and not being allowed to teach French any longer. Yet, he kept control of his emotions. He performed his duties faithfully. He heard every lesson to the last. The school was dismissed only at mid-day prayer time.

Q32. How did M. Hamel feel and behave during the last chapter?
Ans: M. Hamel was gentle and solemn. He sat motionless in his chair during the writing chapter. He gazed at one thing or the other. Perhaps he wanted to fix in his mind how everything looked in that little schoolroom. Surely, it must have broken his heart to leave it all after 40 years.

Q33. What happened when the chapter in history was over?
Ans: After the chapter in history was over, the babies chanted their ba, be, bi, bo, bu. Old Hauser, who was sitting at the back of the room, had put on his spectacles. He was holding his primer in both hands. He was spelling the letters with the babies.

Q34. How did M. Hamel behave as the last lesson came to an end?
Ans: M. Hamel stood up in his chair. He looked very pale and tall. He wanted to say some parting words, but something choked him. Then he wrote “Vive La France!” on the blackboard with a piece of chalk. Then he stopped. He leaned his head against the wall. Without a word, he made a gesture to the candidates with his hand to permit them to go as the school was over.

Q35. “Ah, how well I remember it, that last lesson!” says the narrator. Which scene does he remember more vividly than the others?
Ans: The author remembers the scene of old Hauser spelling the letters from the primer with the babies. He too was crying. His voice trembled with emotion. It was so funny to hear him that all of them wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

Q36. Why was Franz scared that day one What did he see on his way to school and how did he get to his desk?
Ans: Franz was not good at learning. He would rather take the day off and waste time searching birds’ eggs or going sliding on the Saar. Franz was scared that day because M. Hamel had said that he would question them on participles. Franz did not know anything about participles. He found that the day was warm and bright. The birds were chirping at the edge of the woods. The Prussian soldiers were drilling in the open fields. There was a crowd in front of the bulletin board near the town-hall.

Franz found the schoolroom unusually quiet. So, he had no option but to open the door and go in before everybody. He blushed and was frightened of the teacher. M. Hamel spoke very kindly to him and asked him to go to his place quickly. Franz jumped over the bench and sat down at his desk.

Q37. What do you think is the theme of the story ‘The Last Lesson’? What is the reason behind its universal appeal?
Ans: The theme of the story ‘The Last Lesson’ is the linguistic chauvinism of the proud conquerors and the pain that is inflicted on the people of territory by them by taking away the right to study or speak their language and thus make them aliens in their land of birth. The story has a sub-theme also. It highlights the attitudes of the teachers and candidates to teaching and learning.

Though the story is located in a particular village of Alsace district of France which had passed into Prussian hands, it has a universal appeal. It highlights the efforts of the victors to crush their victims the vanquished people in all possible manner—spiritually, materially, emotionally, and mentally. Taking away mother tongue from the people is the harshest punishment. The proper equation between candidates and teachers, his focused attention, encouraging and helpful attitude, and kind treatment can encourage candidates to learn better.

Q38. What order had been received from Berlin that day? What effect did it have on life at school?
Ans: An order had been received from Berlin that only German would be taught in the schools of Lorraine and Alsace. This order had far-reaching effects on life at school. M. Hamel, who had been teaching French at the village school for the last forty years would deliver his last chapter that day.

It was in honor of the last lesson that M. Hamel, the teacher had put on his best clothes. Old men of the village were sitting quietly at the back of the classroom. They were sad as well as sorry for they had not gone to school more. They had come to thank the master for his 40 years of faithful service and to show respect for the country that was theirs no more.

The teacher addressed the candidates in a solemn and gentle tone. He asked them to be attentive and explained everything quite patiently. He appealed to them to preserve French among them. During slavery, it would act as a key to the prison. He felt so overwhelmed by emotion that he could not bid farewell properly.

Q39. What impression do you form of M. Hamel based on your study of the story ‘The Last Lesson’?
Ans: M. Hamel is an experienced teacher who has been teaching in that village school for 40 years. He imparts primary education in all subjects. He is a hard task candidate and master like Franz, who are not good learners, are in great dread of being scolded by him. The latest order of the Prussian conquerors upsets him. He has to leave the place forever and feels heartbroken. He feels sad but exercises self-control. He dares to hear every chapter to the last. His performance during the last chapter is exemplary. He is kind even to a latecomer like Franz. 

He uses a solemn and gentle tone while addressing the candidates. He has a logical mind and can analyze problems and deduce the reasons responsible for it. The problem for Alsace is that he (the district) puts off learning till tomorrow.

He knows the emotional hold of a language over its users. He is a good communicator and explains everything patiently. Partings are painful and being human, M. Hamel too is no exception. He fails to say goodbye as his throat is choked. On the whole, he is a patriotic gentleman.

Q40. Comment on the appropriateness of the title ‘The Last Lesson’.
Ans: The story has a suggestive and appropriate title. It is the center of attention throughout and the whole story revolves around it. The beginning of the story serves as preparation for it. The unusual quietness at school, presence of village elders, and the teacher in his Sunday best dress all point out to the unusual and unique occasion the last lesson in French in a French village school in a district conquered by the Prussians. While delivering the last lesson, the teacher wants to transmit all his knowledge in one go. He explains everything with patience and the candidates, as well as old villagers, listen attentively. For the author, it is an unforgettable experience. “Ah, how well I remember it, that last lesson,” says he. Old Hauser is crying and his voice trembled with emotion. As the teacher is unable to express His emotions because of the choked throat, he ends the lesson by writing Wive La France’ on the blackboard. He makes a gesture with his hand to indicate that the school is candidates and dismissed can go home.

Kunji Team

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