Summary of Deep Water
This chapter is an apt elaboration of narrator’s overcoming his hydrophobia which he had got from a misadventure that took place at YMCA pool when he was a young boy.
At the beginning of this chapter we find narrator recounting a misadventure that took place at California beach when he was 3-4 year old where he was knocked down by a strong wave. Once again, he decides to learn swimming at Yakima, which is forbidden by his mother calling the river dangerous and treacherous. She advises him to go to YMCA pool which is much safer than Yakima River.
Narrator starts learning there but he is ridiculed by others for his thin legs. His life takes a twist when he is thrown into the deep end of the pool by a big bully. He tries thrice to come to the surface of the water but fails all the time. He closes his eyes and feels himself on the verge of the death but saved by an instructor in the end.
This misadventure makes him hydrophobic and ruins his life completely. Whenever he puts his feet into water, his old sensation returns. He feels as if he were going to die.
Having been tired of his handicap, he hires a personal instructor and decides to learn swimming again. The trainer puts a belt around his waist and lets him swim back and forth. Within six months, Douglas learns all he could and starts swimming on his own.
He even goes to Lake Wentworth alone where he swims for few miles without being supported by anyone. He overcomes his fear of water with his determination and never-giving up spirit.
This chapter teaches us that we should brush aside all the fear we have and do what we feel like to do.
CHAPTER 3 – DEEP WATER (Short Answer Type Questions)
Q1. Explain the first misadventure happened at California beach?
Douglas had gone to California beach with his father. A strong wave came and knocked him down into water. He got buried in water completely. That experience created hydrophobia in the mind of Douglas.
Q2. Why did the narrator’s mother forbid him to go to Yakima River?
The narrator’s mother forbade him to go to Yakima River because it was a treacherous river which had taken lives of so many innocent people. Many people had drowned into it.
Q3. How was Y.M.C.A pool safer than Yakima River?
Y.M.C.A was safer than Yakima River because it had trainers and lifeguards who could train and save the people from drowning. Moreover, it was 2 to 3 feet deep from the shallow end and 9 feet deep from the deep end. So, there was a little chance of one’s drowning in that pool.
Q4. How did hydrophobia hit the narrator completely?
The second misadventure took place when the narrator was sitting beside the pool. A big, hale & hearty boy came, picked him up & tossed him into the deep end of the pool. Since he was a non- swimmer, he could not come out the water & got gripped in the arms of hydrophobia.
Q5. What was the excuse given by the boy for throwing the boy into the pool?
The boy who had thrown the narrator into the deep end, he thought that narrator was able to swim. According to him, he had not tossed him into the deep end deliberately.
Q6. How did hydrophobia spoil narrator’s fishing trips?
Hydrophobia had gripped Douglas completely. He never put his feet into water due to its fear. He could not accompany his friends for rafting, boating, fishing, canoeing and other water activities which made him bored and homesick.
Q7. Why did Douglas hire a personal instructor?
Douglas hired a personal instructor in order to overcome his fear of water. He knew that fear could change his life from heaven to hell. In order to get rid of his fear of water, he decided to hire a personal instructor.
Q8. What techniques were taught by the instructor?
The instructor taught him inhaling & exhaling, paddling, side-stroke, breast-stroke & many more exercise which could help him at the time of drowning. After a bone-break training of six months, Douglas was turned into a perfect swimmer.
Q9. “I crossed the oblivion.” Why did Douglas utter these words?
Douglas uttered these words after his third attempt of survival. He tried three times to come to the surface of the water but failed all the time. In the end, he lost all his power of thinking and crossed the last stage. Then, he uttered these words.
Q10. What doubt did Douglas have about his swimming skills?
When Douglas learned swimming comfortably, he was not sure whether he could swim alone in the pool or not. Just to test his skills, he tried to swim alone & succeeded in his mission.
Q11. “Well Mr. Terror, don’t try to scare me.” Why did Douglas utter these words?
When Douglas was alone in pool, his old fear came back & tried to scare him. But he had made his mind that he would not give up until he succeeded. So he was not afraid of any fear that confronted him on the way.
Q12. How did Douglas make sure that he could swim anywhere?
Having cleared his training, Douglas was doubtful about his swimming in the lakes & rivers. Since he had got his confidence back, he dived into a lake and swam two miles across. In this way, he made sure that he could swim anywhere.
Q13. “All we fear is fear itself.” What does this statement signify?
This statement signifies that every human is afraid of the word fear. According to the narrator, the word ‘fear’ does not exist anywhere in this world except human’s heart. So we should throw it out of our life.
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