summary of the poem"last lesson of the afternoon"
Summary of The Last Lesson of The Afternoon
The Last Lesson of the Afternoon by David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) expresses a mood of bitter desperation and disappointment at the lack of gratitude for a teacher’s work. The poet, who also happens a teacher, compares his students to hounds because they hate chasing knowledge. The teacher tried hard to motivate the students to learn, but he could not inspire them to learn. He feels that his teaching and the learning of the students are both useless because he can no longer haul them and urge them.
The poet describes very strongly what he feels and the inner turmoil he suffers. Finally, he thinks he won’t waste his soul and strength in teaching those students who show so much indifference to the study.
The poem “Last Lesson Of Afternoon” by David Herbert Richards Lawerence reflects the viewpoint of a teacher who feels that his hard attempt at teaching a class of sixty students is an exercise in futility. The poem expresses a mood of anger and bitter desperation at the thanklessness of a teacher’s work. The teacher is tired of his students and are not interested in the quest or ‘hunt’ for knowledge and are unruly in their behaviour.
The teacher is waiting for the last bell to ring to get rid of these stubborn things. The poem teacher is a pessimist, in my opinion. Lawrence was supposed to care for him because he was a teacher at the time, but he felt that his time at school was futile. His final determination is to sit out, wait for the clock and not drain his strength but keep it alive. He stopped trying.
In making the teaching-learning process a success, a teacher should first of all create a home atmosphere in the school that is conducive to learning and not an abnormal environment. Students must be eager to attend school rather than tug the leash. If a teacher fails in his first or second attempt, he must not lose his heart but try again. After all, students are human beings with a developed brain. If you want to change them, they can be changed.
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The narration of this story is by a French boy, Franz. Franz is a lazy boy. However, in spite of his laziness, Franz likes to play and is of a sensitive nature. Furthermore, Franz hates his teacher M. Hamel in his school and has no interest in studying French.
An order has come from Berlin after taking over the districts of Alsace and Lorraine in France that the German language rather than the French should be taught in the schools there. Furthermore, it is the school French teacher M. Hamel’s last day. This teacher has been working there for forty years. Moreover, the teacher has feelings of patriotism. He is also full of nostalgia and grief. The village men also attend his ‘last lesson’ so as to honour and respect him. The village is regretting and is sad that they didn’t learn their mother tongue in their childhood.
Franz receives a big shock when he learns that this is his last lesson in French. He is shocked because he does not know French. Furthermore, on learning about the last lesson, a sudden interest arises in him for learning French. Moreover, he pays careful attention and learns everything taught on this last day.
Instantly, he develops liking for the teacher M. Hamel. His feelings of hatred for him suddenly came to an end. Moreover, Franz develops respect for the hard work and sincerity of his teacher. Franz is sad and ashamed for being unable to recite his lesson.
Hamel explains that they all are at fault for lacking eagerness to learn. Furthermore, he also includes himself in this fault. He blames himself for lack of sincerity in teaching them.
There is a reflection of his patriotism in his praise for the French language. He says that the French language is the most logical and beautiful language in the world. It seems that M. Hamel got emotional on this occasion. Furthermore, he asks the class to guard their language. He says that being close to one’s language is a way to escape the clutches of slavery. This language will assist them in attaining freedom from the Germans. The people realize the significance of their mother tongue. Moreover, they feel the reason for their defeat is illiteracy.
Franz feels that it is impossible to remove one’s language from a person. This is because it is something that is natural to a person. This means that no matter how hard the opposition may try, they will fail to remove one’s language.
Conclusion of the Last Lesson Summary
The Last Lesson summary reflects on the importance of one’s language for any race and why it is crucial to safeguard it.