The story, “Deep Waters” is about how the writer overcame his fear of water and learned swimming. When he was three or four years old the writer had gone to the beach in California with his father. The waves the beach knocked him down and he went underwater. The experience bred a permanent fear of water in the child’s sub-conscious mind. The story tells how with determination and will power he overcame this fear.
Deep Water Class 12 CBSE Question and Answers
Deep Water Short Solved Question and Answers
- Which factors led Douglas to re-use the YMCA Pool?
Much to the relief of Douglas, Y.M.C.A. pool was safe. It was only two to three feet deep at the shallow end n it was nine feet deep at the other. Moreover, the drop was gradual. The Yakima River was treacherous and had drowned so many. So he decided in favour of YMCA pool.
- “I had an aversion to the water when I was in it,” says Douglas. When did he start having this aversion and why?
The aversion started when Douglas was three or four year old. His father took him to the beach in California. While standing together in the surf, he had held his father tightly. Suddenly waves knocked him down n swept over him. He was buried in water. His breath was gone n he was frightened to death. The rising waves sent a tremor down on his spine.
- “In the midst of the terror came a touch of reason.” How did the two farces work in opposite direction and how did Douglas face them?
While he was engulfed by fear, a sudden thought sprang up to him. He jumped when hit the bottom as he felt the tiles under him, with all his might. But the jump made no difference as a mass of yellow water held him back.
- “This handicap stayed with me as the years rolled by.” How did it affect his pursuit of swimming?
The infantile fear of water hounded Douglas everywhere. He rowed in canoes on Maine lakes for fishing. He went for bass fishing in New Hampshire, trout fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius in Oregon, fishing for salmon on the Columbia, at Bumping Lake in the Cascades. Fear ruined his fishing trips. It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating n swimming.
- What was the first experience of Douglas in the sea?
Douglas was three or four years old when his father took him to the beach in California. He held on to his father tightly but still the powerful waves knocked him down and swept over him. My felt suffocated and couldn’t breathe. He was scared to death and a terror of the overpowering force of the waves was registered in him.
- Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
Douglas felt traumatised on recalling the memories of the pool where he had the “misadventure”. The terrifying memories deprived him of the pleasure of fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming as he felt scared every time he was around water.
- How did the experience of drowning in the pool affect Douglas?
When Douglas regained consciousness, he found himself lying in his stomach beside the pool, vomiting. He felt weak and was trembling as he walked back home. He shook and cried when he lay on his bed and could not eat anything. This fear haunted him for days and the slightest exertion upset him and made him weak in the knees and sick to his stomach. This experience had such a strong impact on his that he never went back to the pool and avoided water.
- What is the biggest lesson that the writer learnt after he finally conquered his fear?
That experience had a deep meaning to the writer. He realized that there is peace and death and that the terror is only in the fear of death. He had experienced both the sensations on dying and the fear of it and it made him comprehend Roosevelt’s views that “All we have to fear is fear itself”.
- How did the instructor build him into a swimmer?
The instructor built Douglas as a swimmer bit by bit. He made Douglas practice five days a week, for an hour each day. The instructor put a belt around his waist, attached it to a rope that was strung through a pulley on an overhead cable. He held on to the end of the rope as Douglas swam. He used to relax his grip on the rope to make Douglas learn to overcome his fear. Then he taught him to put his face under water and exhale, and to raise his nose and inhale till he had learnt to put his head under water. Later, he held Douglas at the side of the pool and taught him to kick with his legs. Finally, in April he was sure that now Douglas could swim the entire length of the pool without any help.
- What was the “misadventure” that William Douglas speaks of?
As Douglas was learning to swim in the YMCA pool, he was thrown into the deep end of the pool by an older boy as a prank. He did not know how to swim and had to struggle a lot to come out of it. He had almost drowned. He lost his consciousness before he could come out of the water on his own. He had a strategy planned on how to come out of the water but that failed him and this experience haunted him for years. He was terrified of water and avoided it wherever he could.
Deep Water Long Solved Question and Answers-
Explain “All we have to fear is fear itself.” How did Douglas conquer the old terror?
When Douglas grew up, he took the help of an instructor to take a lesson of swimming. His training session went on from October to April. For three months he was taken across the pool with the help of a rope. As he went under, terror filled him and his legs were frozen. The trainer taught him to exhale under the water n inhale through raised nose. He made him kick his legs to make them relax. This is how he learnt basics of swimming. Now his newly-found confidence took him farther. He dared to venture through the vast pool of water across Lake Wentworth and the whole length to the shore and back of Warm Lake. To combat inner demons, Douglas learns to face them off instead of running away. Thus he exorcises his childhood fear and starts to lead an anxiety-free life.
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