The story ‘The Last Lesson’ highlights the human tendency that there is plenty of time to do things and hence man keeps postponing the lessons of life, oblivious to the fact that life is subject to change. The people of Alsace always thought they have plenty of time to learn the lesson and so did not give much importance to school. They preferred their children to work on the farms and mills instead of having them learn the lessons. Even Franz the narrator always looked for opportunities to skip the school to collect birds’ eggs. However the unexpected happens and the order is received from Berlin regarding the teaching of German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. It is then that they realize that what they had been evading all this while will now be deprived to them.
The last French lesson taught by M. Hamel symbolizes the loss of language and the loss of freedom of France. It becomes an emotional lesson rendered by M. Hamel to the villagers signifying the changing order of life, its sensibility, its emotions and rule. The marching of soldiers under the windows represents the dawn of Prussia in France and the defeat of the French people, its language and culture.
The story is aptly titled as it evokes a consciousness in the reader not to put off the things that he can do that day. M. Hamel’s bold ‘Long live France’ on the blackboard becomes an emotional evidence of his sadness, patriotism and finality that is reflected in his motionless posture, his fixed gaze on things in the classroom and his eventual words- ‘School is dismissed – You may go’.
life is an ongoing process and as long as man is alive he feels there is always plenty of time to do things.he keeps postponing learning the lessons of life,quite oblivious to the fact that at any point of time circumstances may change and he may never be able to learn the very lesson he had been postponing to learn .Life may cut short his learning and it may unexpectedly prove to be his last lesson.
The story"THE LAST LESSON" highlights an identical situation,The people of alsace always felt that there was plenty of time to learn their lessons and so did not give due importance to school.They preferred having their children work on farms and mills instead of having them learn their lessons .even franz,the narrator always looked for oppurtunities to escape school and was never serious about learning his lessons.Quite unexpetedly they recieve orders from berlin after defeat in the war,that french will no longer be taught in the schools of alsace and lorraine.it is then that realise that what they had been evading all this while, will now be deprived to them.they awaken to the course of safeguarding their language and reach to attend the last lessdon taught by M.Hamel, the french teacher.the story is aptly entitled as it evokes a conciusness in the reader that he must learn his lessons in time.one can never apprehend which day of life , he may be lwearning his last lesson.