CBSE Class 12 English Chapter 1 – The Last Lesson Summary. Full Explanation In Details, With Question Answers


The Last Lesson’ is set in the days of the Franco-Prussian war in which France was defeated by Prussia led by Bismark. The French districts of Alsace and Lorraine passed into Prussian hands. The two protagonist of the story, M. Hamel and Franz, are from Alsace. M. Hamel is a French teacher and Franz is one of his students. The story revolves around how the war plays a pivotal role in their lives.

Summary of the Lesson

Franz started for school very late that morning. His French teacher , M.Hamel, had announced that he would question the class on participles. Poor Franz did not know even a single word about them and was afraid of a scolding from his teacher.

For a moment, he thought to run away and spend a warm and bright day outside. It was a pleasant day. Birds were twittering outside and soldiers were doing practise. All these things were more attractive than the rule of participles, but any-how, he forced himself to move hurriedly to school.

When he was passing the town hall, there was a crowd in front of the bulletin board. For last two years, all the bad news like the lost battles , order of commanding officers, were all coming from that notice-board. He thought without stoping “what could be the matter then ?”
The blacksmith, who had read the bulletin told Franz not to hurry. There was plenty of time. But Franz did not slow down. He thought the blacksmith was poking fun on him.

When Franz reached the school, he was very surprised to find that everything was quite. Usually, when the school began, there would be great commotion and activity. Franz had often counted on the commotion to get to his desk unnoticed. But, that day everything was as quite as it was on a Sunday morning. Franz noticed that all of his classmate were already in their seats and M. Hamel was walking up and down with his iron ruler under his arm.

He had to open the door and reach his seat in front of everybody. He was blushing and was very frightened. What surprised and confused him more was that, instead of scolding him, M. Hamel spoke very kindly to him and told him to take his seat.

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