Last Lesson of the Afternoon Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Last Lesson of the Afternoon Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by D.H. Lawrence. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Children Understand Him, Dreaming of the Dawn Wall and The Silver Lining so, you can check these posts as well.

Last Lesson of the Afternoon Questions & Answers

Question 1: Which idea does the poem begin and end with?

Answer: When will the bell ring (and signal the end of this tedious lesson).

Question 2: What metaphor does the poet use in the first stanza of the poem? With which word is this metaphor sustained?

Answer: The poet uses the metaphor of a pack of hounds (his pupils) tugging at their leashes, and straining. He continues this metaphor by using words such as ‘quarry’ (prey), ‘hunt’. Later, he brings up the subject of dogs again.

Question 3: Why does the poet think of his pupils as a pack of unruly hounds?

Answer: They are not interested in the quest or ‘hunt’ for knowledge and are unruly in their behaviour.

Question 4: What is the ‘insult’ that the poet refers to in stanza 3?

Answer: The insults are referred to even prior to this, in stanza 2. They are the books scattered across the desks, waiting for correction, and specifically the pages in these books containing ‘blotted pages and scrawl of slovenly work’.

Question 5: In stanza 3, the poet seems angry. Why?

Answer: The poet does not want to waste the last dear fuel of life (his energy and what is left to him of his life) and take their insults (their slovenly work) as punishment. He decides here that he will not take this any longer.

Question 6: In stanza 4, the poet (remember he is a teacher) uses the word ‘abyss’. What does he want to show about his own situation by the use of this word?

Answer: This means that he has sunk to the very lowest point of his life, and cannot sink any further (or take this kind of life any more).

Question 7: In stanza 5, Lawrence says: ‘And yet I’m supposed to car, with all my might.’ With reference to the notes for the poem, what does this mean?

Answer: Lawrence was supposed to care because at the time he was a teacher; but he felt his time at school was futile.

Question 8: What is the poet’s final decision or resolve?

Answer: The poet’s final resolve is to sit it out, wait for the bell, and not drain his strength but keep it to live his own life. He has given up trying.

Question 9: The poet shows his feelings in the poem. Which of the following words best describe them? (More than one of the above may be correct! Give evidence for your choice. Can you think of other emotions the poet may have been experiencing?

i. sadness
ii. joy
iii. despair
iv. anger
v. frustration


More than one emotion is presented:

iii. despair: ‘I can haul them and urge them no more.’ ‘No longer can I endure the brunt…’ ‘I am sick, and what on earth is the good of it?’

iv. anger: ‘I will not!’ ‘I will not waste my soul…’ ‘I do not and will not…’

v. frustration: Many instances where he asks a question and then answers it. The fact that he asks such questions indicates he is frustrated. ‘What is the point?’

Question 10: Give two examples of the use of metaphors in the poem.


i. The metaphor of a pack of unruly hounds straining at the leash and not prepared to join the hunt.
ii. Fuel of life…to kindle my will to a flame that shall consume…

Question 11: Read and answer the questions:

a. …; and take the toll Of their insults in punishment?

i. What does the word ‘toll’ imply?

Answer: Toll means a tax and it also applies to the sound of a bell being sounded.

ii. In what senses is it applicable to the speaker’s situation?

Answer: The tax would refer to the way in which he has to pay for or suffer the indifference of his pupils, and also perhaps to when a church bell tolls at the time of a funeral… in this case his own.

iii. What does the speaker decide to do?

Answer: He decides to not waste his time or energy any more.

b. What is the point? To us both, it is all my aunt!

i. What is the point that the speaker is referring to?

Answer: The ‘point’ is whether they can write a description of a dog, or if they can’t.

ii. What does the expression ‘it’s all my aunt’ mean?

Answer: It’s all the same to me; I am indifferent to it.

iii. What does this show about the speaker’s feelings about his procession?

Answer: He has come to the end of his tether and feels that there is little hope left for his pupils. He decides to give up teaching because he is bitter.

So, these were Last Lesson of the Afternoon Questions & Answers.

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