Summary of Deep Water Class 12 | Chapter 3 | Flamingo | Summary |

Summary of Deep Water Class 12

Deep Water by William Douglas is an apt elaboration of narrator’s overcoming his hydrophobia which he had got from 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.


  • Summary of Deep Water Class 12

Short Answer Type Questions of Deep Water

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. What is the What is the “misadventure” that William Douglas speaks about?

The misadventure, which ruined narrator’s life, took place when the narrator was sitting beside the pool. A big, hale & hearty boy came, stalked, picked & 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 water despite his tireless efforts to come to the surface of the water.

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 was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?

Douglas had been hydrophobic and feared water wherever he went. His life was completely ruined for he could not perform water-related activities due to hydrophobia. To overcome his ever-mounting fear of water, he went to the pool again & hired a personal instructor. With his perseverance, he managed to get over his fear of water.

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. “Trying to scare me, eh? Well, here’s to you! Look!” Why did Douglas utter these words?

When Douglas was alone in pool trying to regain his confidence, 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 conquered the old terror?

Having undergone his bone-breaking training, Douglas was slightly doubtful whether he could swim alone anywhere without being helped by anyone or not. To test and challenge himself, he went to a lake, dived into and swam two miles across. He managed to go across successfully trying all the strokes he had learnt. That way, he made sure that he conquered the old terror and could swim anywhere.

Q13. “All we have to 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.

Q14. 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?

William Douglas was sitting beside the pool when a big boy came, stalked and threw him into the deep end of the pool. While he was drowning, he decided not to give up and come to the surface of the water. For that he made a plan to hit the bottom hard, jump with all the might he had and come to the surface but all in vain. His jumps made no difference.

Q15. How did this experience affect him?

Having failed again and again in pursuit of coming back to the surface of water, Douglas decided to give up. He lay flat on the water and closed his eyes keeping in mind that his end was near. Luckily, he was saved by the instructor at the eleventh hour. But, that incident ruined his life altogether. He became hydrophobic and started averting water wherever he could. He got so scared that he could neither put his feet into water nor accompany his friends for rafting, boating, fishing, canoeing and other water-related activities which made him bored, scared and homesick.

Q16. How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?

Having met two misadventures and being hydrophobic, Douglas had no hope of recovering from the fear of water. Keeping all his fears aside, he decide to hire a personal instructor who taught him various strokes, instilled a will in him to live and helped him overcome his hydrophobia. Bit by bit, he became a perfect swimmer and started testing himself at odd situations.



Long Answer Type Questions of Deep Water

Q1. How did the instructor “build a swimmer” out of Douglas?

Douglas was gripped in the hands of hydrophobia completely after two misadventures had happened to him. In order to get rid of his hydrophobia, he hired a personal instructor who attached a belt to his waist which was connected to a rope that rope went through a pulley straight into the hands of the instructor. If narrator started drowning, he would pull the rope up and if he was swimming perfectly, he would loosen the rope to make him swim. Repeating, the same procedure for a long time, he made Douglas a perfect swimmer who could swim anywhere without being helped by anybody. Yet, Douglas had residual doubts about his swimming whether he could swim alone in the pool or not. Just to make sure, he dived into the pool and swam to and fro without getting any help from the instructor. In this way, he made him a perfect swimmer bit by bit.

Q2. How did Hydrophobia spoil narrator’s life completely?

Douglas had two misadventures in his life which spoiled him completely. At first, he was hit by a strong wave at California beach and secondly he was tossed into the deepest end of the pool by a hale & hearty boy. Those two incidents shook him inside out and made him lame by his attitude. He felt the everlasting attacks of hydrophobia time to time which did not let him go out of his home. He could neither enjoy water activities with his friends nor put his feet into water. As a result, he had to stay at home through out the time. He got the nervous attacks which reminded him of his both the misadventures. His friends would make fun of him & he would have to bear all the embarrassment. In this way, hydrophobia not only spoiled his life but made him homesick and dependent.


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