The Last Lesson
The story revolves around the time when Prussian forces won control over France in 1870. The French districts of Alsace and Lorraine were ruled by Prussia. The Prussians banned the teaching of French in schools of these two districts and the French teachers were forced to leave. The story narrates one such situation wherein the French teacher, Mr. M. Hamel, is asked under orders from Berlin to discontinue teaching of French language. It depicts the last day of M. Hamel at school on which he delivers the last French lesson to his students with utmost sincerity and dedication.
The experience of a boy named Franz who was the student of Mr. M. Hamel is also narrated in the story. Franz was terrified with the French class. At first he was scared to come to school as he had not learnt his lesson. But when he came to know that it was his last lesson in French, he realised the importance of French language. The story captures the emotions of people on losing one of the most significant parts of their culture, which is language.