The Last Lesson Summary

Author of The Last Lesson

Alphonse Daudet

Theme of The Last Lesson

  1. Linguistic chauvinism: thinking that one’s language is superior to that of others. Imposition of one’s language on others.

  2. Importance of regional language for people of that region.

  3. Value of a thing: This chapter talks about unique nature of human beings, we value things more when we lose it.

Characters of The Last Lesson

  1. M.Hamel: School master, he taught French for 40 years in school of a small village school in Alsace and Lorraine of France. He was strict, intimidating. In his class he carries a ruler, he uses to wear his special outfit only on special occasions. He had frightening behaviour; he also had a gentler side. On the last day M. Hamel revels his empgathy and kindness, but also his dignity and patriotism.

  2. Franz (narrator): he is a young school boy in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Franz is a dawdler when it comes to school work, preferring to spend time in the woods by local river over going to French grammar class.

Chapter Explanation:

  1. Franz was getting late for school.

  2. Franz was afraid because he was late for school. M. Hamel said that he will question on participles and he did not know about them.

  3. Warm and bright morning, the birds chirping at the edge of the woods, in the open field back of the sawmill. All these things were tempting him.

  4. Somehow he stopped himself from getting distracted and went for school. When he was on his way to school, he saw a crowd surrounding to townhall.

  5. There was a notice board in front of townhall, always there use to be some bad news related to the war on that board. Due to crowd he was unable to see the news. But, a Blacksmith said to fanz, "You do not need to hurry there is plenty of time, you will be on time"

  6. Franz thought that Blacksmith was taunting(ताने मारना) him.

  7. That day every thing was quite as Sunday morning. Usually there was a great bustle the sounds were audible out in the streets, the opening and closing of desks, lesson repeated in unison and M. Hamel’s great ruler rapping on the table.

  8. That day M. Hamel wore a green coat, frilled shirt, and the little black silk cap all embroidered, that he never wore except on inspection and price distribution days.

  9. The most surprising thing was, in the back benches that were always empty, the village people were sitting quietly. It was their way to give respect of Mr. Hamel.

  10. As Franz came to know about last lesson, he forgot about M. Hamel’s ruler and how cranky he was. He realised his mistakes, and all his books that was a nuisance to him earlier now, they feel his old friend.

  11. All the students were concentrating, that only sound was the scratching of the pens over the paper. Even when some beetles flew in, not even the little once were looking at the beetle.

  12. How did M. Hamel blame for the negligence of learning?
    M. Hamel said that they all have something to regret:
    Franz did not study thinking he had time, M. Hamel regretted having sent him to water his flowers or giving students a holiday when he wanted to go fishing. Franz parents made him work at the farm.

  13. M. Hamel’s sister packed his stuff in the room on the 1st floor.

  14. Before the dismissal, M. Hamel wrote ‘Vive la France’(it means long live France)