NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3 Deep Water is a detailed account of what you will learn in Deep Water Chapter 3 Class 12 English. To successfully pass CBSE Class 12 English exam and get an excellent grade on your report card at the end of it all you need a thorough understanding and comprehension of NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3 Deep Water which we have made sure covers everything important! Check out Deep Water author, William Douglas (1898 – 1980).
Deep Water NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3
Deep Water NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Deep Water Think as you read
What is the “misadventure” that William Douglas speaks about?
William Douglas had just begun to learn swimming. One day, an eighteen-year-old boy, for fun, picked him up and tossed him into the deep end of the Y.M.C.A. pool. He hit the water surface in a sitting position. He nearly died in this misadventure.
What were the series of emotions and fears that Douglas experienced when he was thrown into the pool? What plans did he make to come to the surface?
Douglas started going down gradually into the water. He was petrified, so he decided to jump as soon as his feet touched the bottom of the pool. However, as he jumped, he did not spring upwards. Rather he went down. There was water all around. Only his nose was out of water. He started his downward journey once again. An irresistible force brought him down.
He felt afraid and was paralysed with fear. Terror seized him, and he trembled with fright. He called for rescue but no one came. After that, blackness swept over him. He lost fear. There was no panic. He felt relaxed and lost consciousness.
How did this experience affect him?
The near-death experience of drowning had a very strong impact on his psychology. He was deeply perturbed and shaken by the whole experience. A haunting fear of water took control of his physical strength and emotional balance for many years. As he couldn’t bear being surrounded by water, he was deprived of enjoying any water-related activity.
Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
Douglas was determined to get over his fear of water because he believed in what Roosevelt has said, “All we have to fear is the fear itself.” Douglas regretted being deprived of enjoying water activities like canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing, etc. The wish to enjoy them and the craving to regain his lost confidence, while being in water, made him try every possible means to get rid of his fear. He was finally able to overcome this mental handicap by getting himself a swimming instructor and further ensuring that no residual fear was left.
How did the instructor “build a swimmer” out of Douglas?
The instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas piece by piece. For three months, he held him high on a rope attached to his belt. He went back and forth across the pool. Panic seized the author every time. The instructor taught Douglas to put his face underwater and exhale and to raise his nose and inhale. Then Douglas had to kick with his legs for many weeks till they relaxed. After seven months, the instructor told him to swim the length of the pool.
How did Douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror?
When Douglas was alone in the pool, the remnants of the old terror would return. He would stare at and rebuke it, then go for another length of the pool. He was not satisfied. Even after the swimming training was over, Douglas wasn’t confident about his swimming or about the fact that he had overcome the fear. He was determined to get rid of it forever. He swam alone in the pool.
There he tried every possible stroke he had learnt. He went to Lake Wentworth to dive and dived off a dock at Triggs Islands and swam two miles. He tried every possible stroke he had learnt. He fought back the tiny vestiges of terror that gripped him in middle of the lake. Finally, in his diving expedition in the warm lake, he realised that he had truly conquered his old terror. Now, he could laugh away the terror.
Deep Water Understanding the Text
How does Douglas make clear to the reader the sense of panic that gripped him as he almost drowned? Describe the details that have made the description vivid.
Douglas used to feel scared of water due to his childhood experience. But he decided to learn how to swim. He chose the Y.M.C.A. pool for this purpose as it was safe. However, unfortunately, one day, while he sat on the edge of the pool, a young man tossed him into the water, just for fun. Douglas had a horrific experience. He fell into the water in a sitting position. He was scared as he sank into the depth. Though only nine feet deep, still it appeared to be bottomless. Terrified, he decided his next move. When he touched the bottom of the pool, he jumped. However, he did not spring to the surface. He came up gradually.
His eyes and nose came out of the water. He saw nothing besides water. He wanted to catch a rope but failed. Though he kept on beating the water with his arms, nothing helped him. His legs remained stiff and hung as dead weights. Finally, he felt being sucked into the water again. His lungs were about to burst. His head pulsated, and fear seized him. Terror struck him like an electric charge. He trembled with fear. He shouted for help but no one could listen to him. He came up and gasped for breath, but he swallowed water. Gradually, his mind blacked out and he became unconscious.
How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?
The panic that Douglas had experienced in the pool, haunted him. Its remembrance made him sick. As he went boating, fishing, or bathing, fear gripped him. He was unable to enjoy canoeing, boating, fishing or swimming. Douglas thus wanted to overcome this fear. He hired an instructor to learn swimming without fear. The instructor put a belt around Douglas. The rope went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. The instructor caught the end of the rope.
This way, they went back and forth across the pool. Each time the instructor loosened the rope, Douglas was afraid. Three months later, however, his terror began to leave him. So the instructor taught him to put his face under the water and then exhale. Further, he held Douglas at the side of the pool and made him kick with his legs. All of this exercise was repeated hundreds of times till it was done perfectly. Thus, piece by piece, the instructor turned Douglas into a good swimmer who could swim independently using different strokes. But Douglas still felt ‘ dissatisfied. He did not feel fearless completely.
To get confidence, he went to Lake Went worth. There he dived off a dock at Triggs Island. He swam two miles using all types of strokes. Only once, memories of old terror came back. But Douglas overcame them with a laugh. So he was able to get over his fear of water totally.
Why does Douglas as an adult recount a childhood experience of terror and his conquering of it? What larger meaning does he draw from this experience?
Douglas underwent a horrific experience in the water. His first experience came at the sea beach with his father. A powerful wave passed over him, almost drowning him. The other experience was in the Y.M.C.A. pool. A strong wave hurled him to the deepest part of the pool. Douglas did not know swimming. He was scared. He went up and down, his head ached, his lungs were about to burst, and an overwhelming terror seized him. In fact, he was nearly drowned.
This experience left a permanent impression on Douglas’mind. Experiencing something of this sort makes people feel like narrating it to others. So it was natural for Douglas to share his experience with the readers. But there are some other experiences too. It was the experience of total peace, with no fear of death. Here, Douglas finds that there is the terror of death. But death is not terrible.
Later, Douglas was able to overcome it. Getting terrible fear and having conquered it, his will to live became intense. He started enjoying every minute of living. His experience and ultimate conquest of his fear is a lesson for all the readers.
Deep Water Talking about the Text
“All we have to fear is fear itself.” Have you ever had a fear that you have now overcome? Elaborate.
Roosevelt has appropriately said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” These words have a deeper meaning for all of us. It implies that we fear, fear the most. Those who have undergone this experience of fear can only appreciate its worth. William Douglas had faced it twice in life. He had a terrible fear of water. He could not go, swimming, canoeing, boating, rafting, etc. He realised that it would ruin his life since it was following and haunting him wherever he went. Fear is our hardcore enemy.
We must get rid of it at the earliest like Douglas. I too had a terrible experience in my life. Once I went to a snake park in Kerala. Seeing all the snakes trying to crawl up the oily well wasn’t a pleasing sight and in fact, brought the terror of snakes in my life. One day, when I was walking on the road, I saw a small snake crossing the road. My friend, who knew about my fear, asked me to run away. This, however, had the opposite effect on me and made me confront it. I went near it and found that it didn’t harm me. Though even now, I get scared of seeing huge snakes and avoid watching them on TV and newspaper, my fear for snakes has reduced. All because I decided to fight my fear.
Deep Water Extra Questions and Answers
Deep Water Short Answer Questions
When Douglas realised that he was sinking, how did he plan to save himself?
Douglas did not lose hope. He planned that as soon as he would hit the bottom of the pool, he would push himself up. He sprang up as he planned and came slowly to the surface.
What sort of terror seized Douglas as he went down the water with a yellow glow? How could he feel that he was still alive?
Douglas was seized with extreme terror and panic. He tried to shriek underwater and felt absolutely paralysed with fear. He felt stiff and rigid, and the screams seemed to freeze in his throat. The beating of his heart and the pounding in his head were the only reminders that he was still alive.
Why did Douglas go to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire?
Douglas went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire to get rid of his fear of water. He took training from a coach in a swimming pool. Though his fear for water decreased, it had not completely left him. Then he went to the lake to test his fear to swim all alone. He swam two miles in the lake. Thus, he conquered his phobia of water.
Which factors led Douglas to decide in favour of the Y.M.C.A. pool?
Douglas decided in favour of Y.M.C.A. pool, as it was an ideal place to learn swimming. It was safe as it was only two-three feet deep at the shallow end. Though it was nine feet deep at the other end, the drop was gradual.
Why did Douglas go to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire? How did he make his terror flee?
Douglas was not sure whether all the terror had left even after the training from October to April and practice till July. So he went to Lake Wentworth and swam two ‘miles. Terror returned only once when he was in the middle of the lake. He had put himself under water and saw nothing but bottomless water. The old sensation returned,but only at a smaller magnitude. He laughed and rebuked terror.
What efforts did Douglas make to get over his fear of water?
Douglas hired an instructor who taught him to face water and exhale. He taught Douglas
various techniques to handle water and learn swimming. Eventually, to ensure that his fear was completely off his mind, Douglas swam two miles across the lake went worth, and for any residual fear to be cleared, he hurried west to the Conrad Meadows and dived into the warm lake from on top of the Gilbert peak. He had finally conquered his fear of water.
How did the instructor turn Douglas into a swimmer?
Douglas wanted to overcome his fear of water. For this, he took the help of an instructor who taught him all the strokes of swimming. He taught him to practise every part of his body separately – his limbs, his hands, how to exhale and inhale when out of water and inside water. After perfecting each part, he integrated the whole and built a complete swimmer out of Douglas.
What was the author’s early childhood fear of the water? How did it affect him the rest of his life?
The author and his father once went to the beach of California when the former was three or four. While playing in the surf of the sea, the author was knocked down by the water and was buried under it. He lost his breath and a deep fear developed in his mind.
Why did Douglas’ mother recommend that he should learn swimming at the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool?
Douglas’ mother recommended that he should learn swimming at the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool because it was much safer than the river where a lot of drownings had taken place. It was only 2-3 feet deep at the shallow end and 9 feet deep at the other end.
Mention any two long term consequences of the drowning incident on Douglas.
After the drowning incident, Douglas always felt terrified near water. He was deprived of enjoying water activities like canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing, etc. Fear gripped him and all this spoiled his holidays.
What deep meaning did his experience at the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool have for Douglas?
After his near death experience at the Y.M.C.A. pool, Douglas started fearing water. He could not enjoy any water sports or go fishing. He decided to overcome his fear and learnt swimming again. He became confident and understood that ‘all that we have to fear is fear itself’.
‘All we have to fear is fear itself’. When did Douglas learn this lesson?
These words mean that we fear, fear the most. Those who have undergone this experience of fear can only appreciate its worth. Douglas faced it twice in life. He had a terrible fear of water. He could not go for swimming, canoeing, boating, rafting, etc. He realised that it would ruin his life since it was following and haunting him wherever he went. Fear is our hard core enemy.
How does Douglas develop an aversion to water at the age of three or four?
The author and his father once went to the beach of California when the former was three or four. While playing in the surf of the sea, the author was knocked down by the water and was buried under it. He lost his breath and a deep fear developed in his mind. At the Y.M.C.A. pool, a strong boy threw him in the deep end of the pool. Douglas hit the water in a sitting position and slowly went to the bottom. Although he was saved later but the terror stayed with him.
Douglas’ mother thought that Y.M.C.A. pool was safe for learning to swim. What are your views?
Although the Y.M.C.A. pool was only two or three feet deep, but it lacked safety measures for learners. The pool remained open for hours, but there was no security. There were no ropes or ladders in the pool to help if someone happens to drown.
How did Douglas hope to come out when he was thrown into Y.M.C.A pool?
Douglas planned that he would spring from the bottom of the pool and would push himself up, lie flat on the water, strike out with his arms and thrash with his legs. Then he would get to the edge of the pool and be safe.
What shocking experience did Douglas have at Y.M.C.A. pool?
When Douglas was alone one day and the place was quiet, the water looked still and he observed all this sitting on the side of the pool, waiting for others, a big bruiser of a boy probably eighteen years old. A beautiful physical specimen, according to him yelled at him, picked him up and tossed him into the nine feet deep end of the pool, making him land in a sitting position, swallowing water and going straight to the bottom. Douglas unfortunately did not know to swim. He almost died.
How did Douglas’ introduction to Y.M.C.A. pool revive his childhood fear of water?
Douglas remembered his experience on the beach of California when he was just three or four years old. He recalled how the waves overpowered him and though his father was with various instead of helping Douglas, he kept on laughing and enjoying his plight.
Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
He was determined to get rid of his fear of water because he had suffered a lot, depriving himself from various water sports like boating, fishing and canoeing, etc.
Deep Water Long Answer Questions
“…there was terror in my heart at the overpowering force of the waves.” When did Douglas start fearing water? Which experience had further strengthened its hold on his mind and personality?
Once Douglas was thrown into the swimming pool by a boy. He did not know swimming by that time. He could not come out of it by himself and was nearly drowned. Therefore, he became very much afraid of water. He dropped the idea of swimming and developed the fear of water. He made many efforts but went in vain. He could not control his feeling of terror. The writer had near death experience in the pool.
The writer made one more effort to come out but that also failed. Ife could not forget his first experience of drowning when he was swept away by a sea wave. At that time, he was with his father but he was afraid.Now, the author was so afraid of water that he could not even wade into it. He could not bathe in the river and could not enjoy any water sports.
How did the misadventure in Y.M.C.A. swimming pool affect Douglas? What efforts did he make to conquer his old terror?
The misadventure at the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool affected Douglas for life. He was eleven at the time. When he was a learner and sat alone on the edge of the Y.M.C.A. pool, a young man, just for fun, threw him into the deep end of the pool.
He almost drowned. This experience left a deep scar on his mind. For days, the panic and fear kept haunting him. He began to fear water. He was possessed by it completely. It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating, fishing, bathing and swimming all water sports. So he decided to conquer it.
He got the services of an instructor, who trained him. First, every part of his body and then bit by bit, he built a swimmer out of Douglas. A rope was attached to the belt around the waist of Douglas and the rope went through a pulley, the other end was held by the instructor. First, the fear came back every time the instructor let go the rope. Gradually, the fear became less. Later, the instructor was no more needed.
He tried to swim alone to test himself. So he went to Lake Went worth and dived off. He swam using all the strokes that he had learnt. The traces of fear that frightened him have brushed aside. He could now laugh it all away. The fear was gone. He could swim fearlessly.
How did the instructor make Douglas a good swimmer?
The haunting fear of the water followed Douglas in his fishing trips, swimming, boating and canoeing. He used every way he knew to get rid of this fear, but it held him firmly in its grip. So he finally engaged an instructor to learn swimming.
The instructor made him practise five days a week, an hour each day. He held one end of the rope in his hands and the other end through a pulley overhead of Douglas was tied to the belt. Thus, the instructor relaxing his hold on the rope made Douglas swim back and forth in the pool.
After three months of this much training, the instructor taught Douglas to put his face underwater and breathe out and to raise his nose and breathe in. He repeated this breathing-out and breathing-in exercise hundreds of times. Bit by bit, he got rid of part of the terror which had gripped him. Next, the instructor held Douglas at the side of the pool and made him kick the water with his legs. After weeks of practice, he could command his own legs for swimming in water. Thus, piece by piece, the instructor built a swimmer. When he had perfected each piece, he put them into an integrated whole in the seventh month of the training.
How did Douglas try to save himself from drowning in the Y.M.C.A. pool?
Douglas was tossed into the Y.M.C.A. pool by an older boy. He was frightened out of his wits, but on his way down, he planned how to rescue himself. He decided that when his
feet would hit the bottom, he would jump upwards and be able to come to the surface, ‘‘lie flat and paddle to the edge of the pool. He tried to do so several times.
However, it seemed difficult because his lungs seemed to burst, he was not able to push himself upwards with force. He tried to reach a rope which also he failed to do. He tried to call out for help, but his voice failed him. His legs failed to paddle, he was surrounded by water and he drafted into a state of unconsciousness. Though all his efforts to save himself failed, he was rescued by the folks at Y.M.C.A. But the incident aggravated his fear for water.
How did Douglas develop an aversion to water?
Douglas developed an aversion to water first as a child when he went to the beach in
California with his father. It so happened that when he was three or four years old, he went to the beach with his father. The waves knocked him down and swept over him. He was buried in the water and his breath was gone. He was frightened and there was terror in his heart at the overpowering force of the waves.
At the Y.M.C.A. pool, a strong boy threw him in the deep end of the pool. Douglas hit the water in a sitting position and slowly went to the bottom and fainted. Although he was saved later, the terror stayed with him. As a result, he could not sleep or eat for days and did not go near the water for years. He developed a strong aversion to water bodies.
‘Practice makes a man perfect
Douglas tried hard to reach to the level of perfection by perseverance. Comment.
Practice means constant use of one’s intellectual and aesthetic powers. Perfect means ‘ideal, complete and excellent’. Proper planning and practice promote perfect performance. Practice depends on training and it means repeating an activity. Constant practice also sharpens talent.
One has to follow certain qualities to be perfect. These are hard work, strong willpower, faith, tolerance, a positive approach, self-confidence and dedication. The quality that prepares one for all other qualities is practice. One should not stop practising and be satisfied until one achieves perfection.
Practice is the best way by which one can achieve perfection. Practice makes one feel and understand the same idea or thing again and again. The more one practices, the more errorless one becomes. One doesn’t repeat the errors that were done previously. Practice begins in the cradle and ends in the grave. Right from childhood, man practices various activities like talking, reading, writing, eating, cooking, etc. For learning an art or any activity, one needs constant practice.
A child practices speaking first by learning the alphabet, then the words, sentences, and finally the speech. A child through repeated practice reaches perfection in speaking. One can’t ride a bicycle or a motorbike or drive a car at the very first instance. One needs to practice till one achieves perfection in the same. The same method applies to other areas too. Be it fine arts, cooking, or writing. Determined to overcome his phobia of water, Douglas got trained under an instructor. He conquered this terror with an adamant determination, patience, undeterred single-mindedness, and relentless efforts. He became fearless and courageous.
Practice enables a person to reach the heights of success in all walks of life. Practice develops outstanding qualities in one’s character. Practice not only brings perfection but also helps in building character. Thus, it is a practice that makes a man perfect and helps a human being who faces every challenge in life.
Fear is mankind’s greatest handicap. Do you agree? Give reasons in support of your views.
People often hesitate from trying something new because of fear. Fear of failure; fear of not being able to complete something; fear of poor outcome; fear of change; fear of making mistakes—this fear of taking risks in life impedes the progress of a lot of people, especially those who have tasted success in the past. Successful people like to win and achieve high standards, so they become deeply interested in only achieving continuous success.
They don’t care to put their reputation as a ‘winner’ at stake—so they stay in their comfortable cocoon, missing all kinds of opportunities for an even brighter future. Yet again, childhood fears and phobias also act as deterrents in our way of progress. Fear of darkness, may prevent a person from enjoying the beauty of the right sky. Fear of heights, the view of the world below, and fear of water will deprive one of enjoying various pleasures that are provided by water sports. Fear of failure prevents us from trying to move towards success. In short, fear of every nature is a handicap.
- Change needs resilience, and resilience is born of confidence. One’s confidence is highest when things are going well. You’ll cope with any setbacks far better when you’re doing so from a position of strength.
- If you wait until life has dealt you some bad blows, those necessary changes will need to be made under time, pressure and stress. That’s a bad time to make decisions. The more stressed and frantic you are, the more likely you are to make mistakes and the less you’ll be able to recover from them.
Corporations often make the same error. They get complacent when the product line is selling well and profits are high, only thinking about new ways to please their customers when those customers are already going elsewhere. Achievement is a powerful value for many successful people. Each fresh achievement adds to the drive to achieve in their lives. Failure becomes the supreme nightmare: a lurking horror that they must avoid at any cost. And the simplest way is never to take a risk.
It is important to understand that failure is in fact the pillar to success. Be it J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, King Bruce or William Douglas from the chapter ‘Deep Water’, all of them had failed multiple times to achieve success in life. In fact, constant failure was what pushed them towards success. A little failure is essential to preserve everyone’s perspective on reality.
Fear is the greatest destroyer of human life and happiness. If you’re successful, but constantly afraid of failing, all your success hasn’t brought you what matters the most— peace of mind in the face of life’s constant unpredictability.
A big boy pushed Douglas into the deep end of the swimming pool which could have led to his death. Concerns regarding bullying and ragging persist in many teenage groups. Quoting examples from the text, discuss the problem of bullying and its effects on the victims. Also, suggest ways to deal with this problem.
Bullying or ragging creates many physiological problems for victims. It may or may not lead to physical harm, but psychologically it harms the victim. Douglas was also a victim of a similar incident. At the Y.M.C.A. pool, a bully threw him in the deeper end of the pool. Although he was saved, the terror stayed with him. As a result, he could not sleep or eat for days and did not go near the water for years. He also started avoiding water for a long time. Simple activities like fishing and boating, which he wanted to enjoy, couldn’t be done.
To deal with this problem, especially in schools and colleges, committees for monitoring teenagers should be set up. Once the prospective bullies know that they are being watched, they would not dare to do such actions. Equally important is the support of parents and the community. Children need to be aware to understand what bullying is and report any incidents of bullying. Bullies should be severely punished and not just left with a warning. Unless some stringent measures are taken, the problem of bullying and ragging cannot be resolved.
Fear is something that we must learn to overcome if we want to succeed in life. How did Douglas get over his fear of water?
Douglas had a very bad experience with water when he was very young, and the fear of water haunted him very significantly. He felt sick whenever he remembered the incident. His fear prevented him from enjoying water sports, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. He made up his mind to overcome this fear. He hired an instructor to enable him to do so. The instructor put a belt around Douglas that was connected safely to a pulley that ran on an overhead cable.
The end of the rope was in the instructor’s hand. The training began very systematically. Three months later, his confidence began increasing. All the techniques like breathing, paddling, and different strokes were introduced and perfected gradually. Though he began swimming, he had not lost his fear totally. He, therefore, went to Lake Wentworth, dived from the dock at Triggs Island, and swam for two miles. He finally shut off his fears with a laugh. He made a definite attempt at overcoming his fears and succeeded in doing so.
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