Summary of the Last Lesson
The last lesson is by the author Alphonse Daudet. In the Last Lesson summary, the author narrates events about the year 1870 when France was captured by Bismarck led Prussian forces. Furthermore, the Lorraine and Alsace districts went under Prussian rule. There was the discontinuation of teaching French in these two districts. There was an order for the French teachers to leave. Consequently, M. Hamel was not able to stay in his old school. In spite of this, the last lesson from him was full of devotion and sincerity. One student of M. Hamel was afraid of him. There was an anticipation of punishment from this student when he came to school that day. However, he learnt that this will be his last lesson. Soon, he realized the importance of this subject. This story shows us how people feel when they don’t learn their language.
The Last Lesson Summary in English
The narration of this story is by a French boy, Franz. Franz is a lazy boy. However, in spite of his laziness, Franz likes to play and is of a sensitive nature. Furthermore, Franz hates his teacher M. Hamel in his school and has no interest in studying French.
An order has come from Berlin after taking over the districts of Alsace and Lorraine in France that the German language rather than the French should be taught in the schools there. Furthermore, it is the school French teacher M. Hamel’s last day. This teacher has been working there for forty years. Moreover, the teacher has feelings of patriotism. He is also full of nostalgia and grief. The village men also attend his ‘last lesson’ so as to honour and respect him. The village is regretting and is sad that they didn’t learn their mother tongue in their childhood.
Franz receives a big shock when he learns that this is his last lesson in French. He is shocked because he does not know French. Furthermore, on learning about the last lesson, a sudden interest arises in him for learning French. Moreover, he pays careful attention and learns everything taught on this last day.
Instantly, he develops liking for the teacher M. Hamel. His feelings of hatred for him suddenly came to an end. Moreover, Franz develops respect for the hard work and sincerity of his teacher. Franz is sad and ashamed for being unable to recite his lesson.
Hamel explains that they all are at fault for lacking eagerness to learn. Furthermore, he also includes himself in this fault. He blames himself for lack of sincerity in teaching them.
There is a reflection of his patriotism in his praise for the French language. He says that the French language is the most logical and beautiful language in the world. It seems that M. Hamel got emotional on this occasion. Furthermore, he asks the class to guard their language. He says that being close to one’s language is a way to escape the clutches of slavery. This language will assist them in attaining freedom from the Germans. The people realize the significance of their mother tongue. Moreover, they feel the reason for their defeat is illiteracy.
Franz feels that it is impossible to remove one’s language from a person. This is because it is something that is natural to a person. This means that no matter how hard the opposition may try, they will fail to remove one’s language.
Conclusion of the Last Lesson Summary
The Last Lesson summary reflects on the importance of one’s language for any race and why it is crucial to safeguard it.