CHAPTER 3 – DEEP WATER (Long Answer Type Questions) with Summary

Summary of Deep Water

(William Douglas)

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.

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DEEP WATER (Long Answer Type Questions)


Q1. How did the instructor make Douglas a perfect swimmer?

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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