Lesson- 1 Last Lesson
Think As You Read- I
Ans: Franz was expected to be prepared with the rules of participles for school that day.
Ans: Franz noticed unusual silence around the school that day. There was strange stillness all around as against the usual hustle-bustle that marked the beginning of school every day.
Ans: A new notice from Berlin had been put up on the school notice board. It declared that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine from next day.
Think As You Read- II
Ans: The order from Berlin caused strange changes in school that day. There was strange stillness all around as against the usual bustle that marked the beginning of school. The teacher M Hamel had put on beautiful dress which he used to wear on special occasions. Most surprisingly, the villagers were sitting at the back benches that usually remained empty. Everyone present there also looked sad.
Ans: Franz’s feelings about M. Hamel and the school changed when he came to know that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine from next day and that M Hamel’s was to take last French class on that day. He soon knew that a new German teacher was arriving the next day. He realized that he would not get an opportunity to learn French. He became sad to know that he would not be able to meet his present teacher.
Understanding the Text
Ans: The people in this story suddenly realize that their language is very precious to them when they come to know that they would not get any opportunity to learn French, their mother tongue, from the next day. A new notice from Berlin has announced about the arrival of a new teacher to teach German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine from next day. Their French teacher M Hamel also pointed out that when a people were enslaved if they hold on to their mother tongue, it is like possessing the keys to prison. Hamel further says that French is a beautiful language and every Frenchman should never forget it.
Ans: Franz’s unusual thinking can mean his sheer love for his mother tongue. He loved French greatly and wanted to learn it but a new order from Berlin made this impossible. The order said that only German would be taught in schools from the next day. This order made him angry because he thought the decision by the conquerors to be very unproductive. He believed that the Frenchmen would adhere to their mother tongue in the same manner as the pigeons would continue to sing in their own language.