Deep Water Class 12 Summary, Important Questions & Theme

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NCERT English Flamingo Book Chapter 3 “Deep Water class 12 summary“. Here describes the Deep Water Summary, theme, Justify the title, explanation, message, word meaning, important short, long, MCQ question and answers. Mainly CBSE class 12th board exams question asked in the chapter Deep Water.

Deep Water Class 12 Summary

About Author: William Douglas

William Douglas is a prominent advocate of individual rights and justice in the USA supreme courts. He was born in October 16, 1898 in Maine Township, Minnesota, USA.

It is an autobiographical story excerpt is taken from Of Men and Mountains by William O. Douglas. In this lesson, Douglas talks about his fear of water when he drowned in a swimming pool.

Theme of Deep Water

Deep Water theme, it is an essay written by William Douglas, how he overcomes fear with courage, hard work, determination, volition and intense desire to learn swimming. The most important point of this chapter is ‘fear’ and its ‘victory’ over it

This text expresses the idea that fear is a major problem for our lives ahead of our happiness but it is an illusion that we can run away with sheer willpower. William Douglas told about his fear of water through this lessons.

Deep Water Summary

William Douglas decided to learn swimming when he was ten or eleven years old. He went to the YMCA pool to learn swimming.

There was also a river named Yakima near his house but the YMCA pool was much safer for him.

The YMCA is a very large pool consisting of two to three feet deep water on one side and nine feet deep water on the other side.

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William Douglas has been afraid of water since childhood. He went to California beach with his father when he was three or four years old.

It was difficult even for him to breathe when the strong waves of water hit him and he went under the water. Since then, he was very scared of water.

When Douglas goes to the YMCA pool his childhood fair is exposed back then he stands alone on the edge of the pool.

But after a while there comes an eighteen year old boy and he speaks to Douglas Hi Skinny! then tosses Douglas to the deepest part of the bridge.

Douglas does not understand anything suddenly happened to him. They get nervous but then decided that somehow they will get out of this trouble themselves.

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Douglas was going down slowly, he thought that when he would go to the bottom, he would come up by hitting a big jump.

When Douglas is drowning, nine feet is also considered equal to ninety feet. Now he tries to make the big leap die but is exactly the opposite of what he expected.

He was coming up slowly, there was water all around him, due to which he started having problems in breathing.

Douglas was making loud noises but due to not reaching the bridge surface.

He gets very nervous and his breath starts to bloom and his hands and feet are also heard, then slowly move back down into the water.

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William Douglas now faints and, as soon as his eyes open, lies on the opposite side of the bridge.

Then the same boy stands there who tosses him and his tells William that I was just a little joke.

The fear of water sits in the Douglas’s heart about this incident. Now he is also afraid to go around the swimming pool.

They were also afraid of going to any watery place like fishing, canoeing and boating as their memories of drowning were refreshed, which had happened to them twice.

Douglas has now decided to overcome his fears.

For this, he hired a personal instructor, who would teach him swimming daily.

Instructor tied the rope with a belt around Douglas to teach him swimming and then with the rope he slowly drops in the water.

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Douglas used to roam around the bridge with the help of rope. While doing so, it is learned to swim with the help of belt.

Now the instructor brings Douglas to the art of breathing underwater as he was unable to breathe on the 9 feet end and was afraid of water for the same reason.

After a lot of practice, there is no problem in breathing in water, after learning all the things.

The instructor teaches Douglas how to walk the legs and this too William is given a lot of practice, so now the fear of water is almost gone.  .

Douglas does not believe that he has actually learned to swim in water. There will be no problem in swimming elsewhere.

To confirm this, he went to Lake Wentworth which is in New Hampshire and jumped from the Triggs island.

After swimming two miles he reached the island and he got over the fear of water.

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William Douglas also has a deep meaning for this experience. He said that one can understand this experience only who has overcome fear.

Douglas said that there is peace in fear but one is afraid only when afraid of death. The only thing we should be afraid of is fear.

Because the minder experienced both the feeling and the terror of dying, the fear of which could increase the will power to live anyway.

What is the message of Chapter deep water?

The “Deep Water” story convey how the writer overcame his fear of water and learned swimming with sheer determination and willpower.

The message states that there is peace in fear but someone is scared to death. Which creates terror in our mind, if we try our best to drive away fear, then any things can be conquered.

Deep Water Class 12 NCERT Solutions

Q1. What is the ‘misadventure’ that William Douglas speaks about?

Ans. William Douglas joined YMCA to learn swimming at the age of ten-eleven. There, an eighteen-year-old boy dropped him into a pool nine feet deep. When Douglas realized he was drowning, he made several attempts to save himself, but all failed. He felt that this was his last breath and he fainted.

Q2. Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?

Ans. Douglas feared water-based activities and deprived of enjoying canoeing, boating, fishing and swimming. Douglas enjoyed the determination to overcome the confidence he had lost since childhood to enjoy such activities.

Q3. 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?


What did Douglas feel and do when he was pushed into the swimming pool?

Ans. When Douglas was thrown into the pool, he was very much scared but he did not lose his mind. He planned that he would make a big jump when his feet would touch the bottom. Thus, he would come to the surface. Unfortunately, the plan failed.  Douglas then grew panicky and started suffocating. He felt that he would die, and became unconscious.

Q4. How did douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror?


How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?

Ans. Douglas went to California Beach with his father at the age of three to four years, and when the sea waves passed over him, he had problems breathing and water around him, which made him feared of water. When Douglas was ten-eleven years old, a boy over eighteen years old was dropped into a nine miles deep swimming on the YMCA pool.

Douglas did not come out of the pool despite a lot of coercion and drowned. He was quite scared. To relieve his fears, Douglas hired an instructor, under whom he learned swimming. The instructor tied a rope with a belt to the waist to overcome Douglas’s fear. The instructor slowly leaves the rope and swims around in the pool.

After this instructor taught him to breathe in water and to walk. Thus gradually the fear of Douglas’ mind was dispelled. Thus, Douglas spent six months with the instructor, from October to April. Then he practiced on his own in various lakes, finally overcoming his fears.

Q5. 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?


What did Douglas feel and do when he was pushed into the swimming pool?

Ans. When Douglas was thrown into the pool by an eighteen-year-old boy, he was terrified but did not lose his mind. Douglas planned, when he would go down make a big jump and come to the surface. Unfortunately the exact opposite happened. He made a sound but did not come out of the bridge and suffocated. He thought, he would die but it didn’t happen.

Deep Water Extra Questions and Answers

Q1. Which two incidents in Douglas’ early life made him scared of water? 

Ans. The first incident occurred when he was three or four years old at a beach in California. A strong wave knocked Douglas down and he was buried in water. His breath was gone. He was much frightened but his father was holding him. The next incident occurred at the YMCA pool when he was ten or eleven. A big bully of a boy tossed him into the deep end of the pool. He went down to the bottom and got panicky. Thrice he struggled hard to come to the surface but he was almost drowned in the pool. This misadventure developed terror and fear of water in Douglas.

Q2. Why was the YMCA pool considered safe to learn swimming?

Ans. According to Douglas the YMCA pool was safer than the Yakima River. The Yakima River was deep and more likely to drown.  The YMCA pool was originally built for swimming and training. The pool was only two or three feet deep, unlike the river’s uncertain depths. Douglas felt much safer at the YMCA pool as there were other people to pay attention to.

Q3. How did the instructor turn Douglas into a swimmer? 


How did the instructor make Douglas a good swimmer?

Ans. The instructor adopted a systematic method to turn Douglas into a swimmer. He first made him shed off his initial fear of water by making him cross a pool suspended by a rope attached to a pulley. The instructor held the other end of the rope and relaxed and tightened it from time to time. Then he taught the narrator to breathe while swimming, and finally the leg movements and other strokes. 

These were the Deep Water Class 12 Summary and important questions that can help you in grasping the right knowledge and aggregate full marks in CBSE board exams.

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