Question: How does M. Hamel prove to be an ideal teacher?
Answer: In ‘The Last Lesson, Alphonse Daudet presents M. Hamel’s character with due sympathy and respect. Initially, he is presented in the mould of a traditional schoolmaster. He used his terrible ruler under his arm. Everyone could hear the rapping of the ‘great ruler’ on the table even outside in the street. Franz reminds us ‘how cranky’ M. Hamel was. The students used to dread their schoolmaster. Franz was scared of being scolded as he had not prepared his lesson on participles. For a moment he even thought of running away from school. Mr Hamel was a hard taskmaster. He maintained discipline in the class. The other side of Mr Hamel’s character is seen after the order from Berlin came. He had been transformed now. He became soft and gentle towards his students. He didn’t scold Franz for coming late. He did not even use his ruler when little Franz got mixed up and confused when his turn to recite came. He declared that it was his last lesson in French as from the next day German would be taught in the schools of Lorraine and Alsace. He would leave the next day. A new teacher would come in his place. He wore his best dress in honour of the last lesson. M. Hamel was given respect not only by his students but even by the village elders. He was totally dedicated to the cause of teaching. He had been teaching for forty years in the same school. The village elders came to pay their respect to such a grand teacher. They sat on the backbenches to listen to his last lesson.
M. Hamel loved France and French from the depth of his heart. He regarded French as the most beautiful language in the world. He told the people to guard it among themselves and never to forget it. On hearing the sound of trumpets of the Prussian soldiers under his window, patriotic feelings overpowered him. He mounted the chair and tried to speak however something choked him. He wrote “Vive La France” with a piece of chalk on the blackboard and dismissed the class.
- What is the source of the endless fountain and what is its effect? [CBSE (F) 2010, 2011]
- “… but after the airport’s security check, standing a few yards away, I looked again at her, wan, pale as a late winter’s moon…”
- “Driving from my parent’s home to Cochin last Friday morning, I saw my mother, beside me, doze, open-mouthed, her face ashen like that of a corpse and realised with pain that she was as old as she looked but soon put that thought far away,...”
- How can suspension of activities help? [CBSE (AI) 2012]
- What were Kamala Das’ fears as a child? Why do the fears surface when she is going to the airport? [CBSE (AI) 2011]
- ‘It was a perfect place, she had always thought so.’ Which is the place described and what made it so perfect?
- What did Sophie tell Jansie about her meeting with Danny Casey?
- What was the weekly pilgrimage in the story ‘Going places’?
- Write Sophie’s description of her first meeting with Danny Casey
- What did Sophie imagine about her meeting with Danny Casey?
- Why did Sophie like Danny Casey?
- What did Sophie tell Geoff about Danny Casey?
- What were Sophie’s views about the vast world around her?
- What was the special fascination of the teenager, Sophie?
- “And she was jealous of his silence.” Why was Sophie jealous of Geoff’s silence?
- What was Geoff doing and how did he go to his work?
- Why did Sophie wish to become an actress?
- What does the reference to chappals in ‘Lost Spring’ tell us about the economic condition of the rag pickers? [CBSE (AI) 2016]
- Describe the irony in Saheb’s name. [CBSE (AI) 2015]
- How is the bangle industry of Firozabad a curse for the bangle makers?
- “It is his karam, his destiny”. What is Mukesh’s family’s attitude towards their situation? [CBSE (AI) 2015]
- What does Saheb look for in the garbage dumps? [CBSE (AI) 2015]
- What did garbage mean to the children of Seemapuri and to their parents? [CBSE (AI) 2015]
- Why don’t the younger ones of the bangle makers do anything else?
- What is the condition of the children working in the glass furnaces of Firozabad?