Deep Water Questions and Answers for CBSE Class 12 Board Exams
Short Answer Type Questions : 3 Marks (30-40 Words)
Question 1 : Why did Douglas fail to come to the surface of the pool as he hope to?
Answer : When Douglas was drowning in the swimming pool, he tried to come to the surface of the pool but failed because he was overcome with fear and could not move his limbs. He felt that he would die.
Question 2 : How did Douglas’ introduction to the YMCA pool revive his childhood fear of water?
Answer : Douglas’ introduction to YMCA pool revived his childhood fear of water as , when he had not yet learnt swimming, he was thrown into the pool’s deep end by a bully and sank to the bottom despite his best efforts.
Question 3 : What shocking experience did Douglas have at YMCA pool?
Answer : One day when Douglas started going to the YMCA pool for learning swimming, a big bully threw Douglas into the deep-end of the pool when no one was around. Douglas had a shocking experience as he almost drowned that day.
Question 4 : What deep meaning did his experience at the YMCA swimming pool have for Douglas?
Answer : The experience at the YMCA pool had a deep meaning for Douglas. As he had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that the fear of it can produce, he learnt the will to live in great intensity.
Question 5 : How did his experience at the YMCA swimming pool affect Douglas?
Answer : Douglas’ experience at the YMCA pool left a haunting fear of water in his heart. He started avoiding going near water for many years. It prevented him from fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming, besides ruining his social life.
Question 6 : ‘All we have to fear is fear itself.’ When did Douglas learn this lesson?
Answer : Douglas learnt this lesson after he had conquered his fear of water completely. He went to Lake Wentworth, dived into the warm lake, and swam across the other shore and back. He shouted with joy at finally having conquered his fear.
Question 7 : Why did Douglas’ mother recommend that he should learn swimming at the YMCA pool?
Answer : According to Douglas, the Yakima river was quite deep and there were several cases of drowning reported there. His mother told him that the YMCA pool was only two or three feet deep at the shallow end. Though its depth was about nine feet the deeper end, yet the drop was gradual.
Question 8 : What lesson did Douglas learn when he got rid of his fear of water?
Answer : After getting rid of his fear of water, Douglas realised that what one has to fear is fear itself and if he is able to overcome fear, he can achieve anything he wants.
Question 9 : How did Douglas remove his residual doubts about his fear of water?
Answer : After the instructor had trained Douglas in the art of swimming, Douglas felt parts of the fear now and then. So, he went to Lake Wentworth and swam across to the other shore and back. This way he conquered his fear.
Question 10 : Which two incidents in Douglas’ early life made him scared of water?
Answer : Once Doouglas’ father took him to a beach in California where he was knocked down by strong waves and got breathless. Secondly, a boy tossed Douglas into the deep end of the YMCA pool. He tried hard to come out of it but fell unconscious after some time.
Question 11 : What did Douglas feel and do when he was pushed into the swimming pool?
Answer : When Douglas was thrown into the pool, he was frightened did not lose heart and planned to push himself up with all his force. He thought that once he came to the surface, he would paddle to the edge of the pool. Thrice, he tried to come to the surface, but unfortunately his strategy did not work.
Question 12 : How did his swimming instructor ‘build a swimmer’ out of Douglas?
Answer : The instructor adopted a systematic method to turn Douglas into a swimmer. He first made Douglas shed his initial fear of water by making him cross a pool suspended by a rope attached to a pulley. Then he taught him to breathe while swimming, and finally he taught him the leg movements and other strokes.
Question 13 : What happened when a ‘big bruiser of a boy’ tossed Douglas into the YMCA pool? How did Douglas plan to come out?
Answer : Douglas landed inside the pool in a sitting position, swallowed water and went at once to the bottom of the YMCA pool. On the way down he planned that once his feet would hit the bottom he would make a big jump to come out.
Question 14 : What efforts did Douglas make to get over his fear of water?
Answer : Douglas engaged an instructor to get over his fear of water. The instructor built a swimmer out of him. But to confirm that the terror would not strike him when he was swimming alone, Douglas decided to go to Lake Wentworth and swam across to the other shore and back.
Question 15 : Why did Douglas go to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire? How did he make his terror flee?
Answer : Douglas was not satisfied with his practice so he decided to go to Lake Wentworth. There he was swimming in the middle of the lake, only once did the terror return, but he finally overcame it, and it did not return again.
Question 16 : Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
Answer : The phobia of water hampered Douglas’ joys of enjoying different water sports like fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming. He did not want to live with this handicap and so was determined to overcome his fear of water.
Question 17 : What did Douglas experience when he went down to the bottom of the pool for the first time?
Answer : When Douglas was going down to the bottom of the pool for the first time, those nine feet felt almost like ninety feet to him. His lungs were ready to burst, but somehow he summoned all his strength and made desperate efforts for survival.
Question 18 : When Douglas realised that he was sinking, how did he plan to save himself?
Answer : When Douglas realised that he was sinking he did not lose his wits and thought to make a big jump when his feet touched the bottom, so that he could reach the surface and finally paddle to the edge of the pool.
Question 19 : 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?
Answer : When Douglas found himself deep down into the water with a yellow glow, stark terror gripped him and he had no control over it. He felt paralysed, stiff and rigid with fear. It was only his throbbing heart that made him realise that he was still alive.
Long Answer Type Questions : 6 Marks (120 – 150 Words)
Question 1 : “All we have to fear is fear itself”. Describe Douglas’ experiences which led to making of the statement.
Answer : Douglas has experienced both the sensation of dying and terror that the fear of death can cause. Strong will, determination, courage as well as honest labour won over all his terrors and fears. The will to live brushed aside all his fears. In reality all our fears are only psychological , and can be easily won over, if we can control our mind. This realisation makes Douglas resolve to learn swimming by engaging an instructor. This instructor, piece by piece ,built Douglas into a swimmer. However, his first step was to drive away Douglas’ fear of water, before training him in swimming techniques. When Douglas tried and swam the length of the pool up and down, small traces of his old terror of water would return. So, he went to Lake Wentworth, dived at Triggs Island and swam two miles across the lake to Stamp Act Island. Finally, he was certain that he had conquered his fear of water.
Question 2 : “I crossed to oblivion, and the curtain of life fell.” What was the incident which nearly killed Douglas and developed in him a strong aversion to water.?
Answer : The incident which nearly killed Douglas occurred when he was ten or eleven years old. He had decided to learn swimming at the YMCA pool, and thus get rid of his fear of water. One morning, when he was alone at the pool, waiting for others, a big bully of a boy tossed him into the deep end of the pool. Though he had planned a strategy to save himself as he went down, his plan did not work. Thrice he struggled hard to come to the surface, but failed each time. He was frightened and got almost drowned in the pool, lost his consciousness and felt that he would die. Though he was ultimately saved, this misadventure developed in him a strong aversion to water.
Question 3 : Desire, determination and diligence lead to success. Explain the value of these qualities in the light of Douglas’ experience in ‘Deep Water’.
Answer : The terror of water followed Douglas wherever he went. To get rid of it, he made a strong determination. He decided to overcome his fear through his will power. He engaged an instructor who would perfect him in swimming. The instructor first helped him drive away his fear, and then gave him many exercises besides teaching him how to exhale and inhale in water.
The practice went on for months together, during which his fear came back to haunt him, but his desire and firm will made him persist in his efforts. It was only through sheer determination and diligence that Douglas could not only counter his terror, but also became an expert swimmer.
He swam across and back large distances to ensure that his fear of water did not return. Hence, desire, determination and diligence succeeded in removing his fear of water.
Question 4 : What misadventure did Douglas experience at the YMCA swimming pool?
Answer : As the timid Douglas sat alone at the side of the YMCA swimming pool waiting for other people to come, a big boy, probably eighteen years old came there. He asked Douglas whether he would like to be ducked. Saying this, he picked up Douglas and tossed him into the deep end of the pool. Douglas landed inside the pool in a sitting position, swallowed water and went at once to the bottom of the pool. Though Douglas was extremely frightened he had his wits intact so on his way down he started to plan. He decided that when his feet would hit the bottom he would make a big jump, come to the surface, lie flat on it and then paddle to the edge of the pool.
Question 5 : Describe the efforts made by Douglas to save himself from drowning in the YMCA swimming pool.
Answer : When his feet hit the bottom of the pool, Douglas summoned up all his strength and made a great spring upwards thinking he would bob to the surface like a cork. But when nothing like that happened, Douglas tried to yell but no sound came out. Now a great force was pulling him under. He was paralysed under water, stiff and rigid with fear. Then in the midst of the terror came a touch of reason that he should remember to jump when he hit the bottom. As soon as he felt the tiles under him he reached out his toes towards them and jumped again with all his strength. Yet again the jump did not make any difference. The water was still around him. Stark terror took an even deeper hold on him and he shook and trembled with fright. He could not move his arms and legs. He tried to call for help but nothing happened. Finally he ceased all his efforts and decided to relax as blackness swept over his brain.
Question 6 : How did Douglas’ experience at the YMCA pool affect him and how did he overcome his fear of water?
Answer : Douglas’ experience at the YMCA pool had a far reaching effect on him. He never went back to the pool. He feared water. He tried to avoid it whenever he could. And whenever he went to a pool, the terror that seized him in the pool would come back. His legs would become paralysed. Icy horror would grab his heart. This handicap stayed with Douglas for years.
It ruined his fishing trips. He lost the joy of canoeing, boating, and swimming. William Douglas used every way to overcome his fear of water but with little success. It held him firmly in its grip. Finally, one October, he decided to employ an instructor and learn to swim. He went to a pool and practised five days a week, an hour each day. Douglas did succeed in his mission. The instructor made him an expert swimmer.
Question 7 : How did Douglas develop an aversion to water?
Answer : Douglas developed an aversion to water in his early childhood. When he was three or four years old, his father took him to a beach in California. The waves knocked him down and swept over him. He was buried in water. He was frightened and perhaps this was the moment his fear of water took root inside his mind. Further, when Douglas was ten or eleven years old, he decided to learn to swim and went to the YMCA pool. Here an incident took place that finally established his aversion to water as a big fear. One day when Douglas was alone at the pool sitting on the edge and waiting for others to come, a big boy threw him into the deep end of the pool.
What followed was a nightmarish experience for him. Douglas tried very hard and applied all his knowledge to come to the surface of the water but to no avail. Somehow he was saved. Thus after this fearful incident, his fear of water got implanted in his heart and mind permanently.
Question 8 : How did the instructor make Douglas a good swimmer?
Answer : To overcome his fear of water, Douglas finally decided to get an instructor to learn swimming. The instructor started working with him five days a week, an hour each day. The instructor put a belt around Douglas. A rope was attached to the overhead cable. The instructor held on to the end of the rope and along with Douglas went back and forth across the pool, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. On each trip across the pool a bit of panic seized Douglas. It took almost three months before the tension reduced.
Then the instructor taught him to put his face under the water and exhale and raise his nose and inhale. For weeks, his instructor made him kick with his legs. Until, he was able to command his legs at his will. In this way, piece by piece, his instructor made Douglas a swimmer. When Douglas perfected each piece, his instructor put them together into an integrated one. As a result, in nearly six months Douglas was able to swim, dive , crawl and so on.
Value Based Answer Type Questions : 6 Marks (120 – 150 Words)
Question 1 : The story ‘Deep Water’ has made you realise that with determination and perseverance one can accomplish the impossible. Write a paragraph in about 100 words on how a positive attitude and courage will aid you to achieve success in life?
Answer : Determination and perseverance is a combination of attributes and abilities that drive people to set goals for themselves and then to take the initiative to achieve these goals. Douglas was able to overcome his fear of water by the values of positive attitude and courage. Initially he was afraid of water but his grit and determination made him get an instructor to train him and overcome his fear. Determination today leads to our success tomorrow. It is that innate quality in our soul, which comes to surface when we face difficult tasks. It is a reflection of our values taught to us by society and circumstances and enables us to overcome all obstacles.
Question 2 : Roosevelt said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Do you agree? Why/why not?
Answer : The quote, “All we have to fear is fear itself”, by the American President, Franklin D Roosevelt, it is absolutely true. It is only the fear of consequences which prevents us from taking an action and hampers our progress. William Douglas’ fear of drowning makes him develop an aversion to water. Hence, he avoids going near water bodies or indulge in water sports. When he is able to overcome his fear with the help of the instructor, he succeeds. Likewise, there are numerous incidents around us that show how fear cripples the mind of an individual and society, and acts as a barrier to growth.
The other lessons in the textbook also support the view. The bangle makers of Firozabad in ‘Lost Spring’ fear that the police would put them in jail, so they accept their exploitation, and do not organise themselves into co-operatives. It is only when we are able to overcome our fear, that we can step ahead and progress in life.