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Chapter 3- Deep Water Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
What is the “misadventure” that William Douglas speaks about ?


Answer 1 : The author William Douglas was sitting on the side of the pool. As there was no one else there, he was waiting for others to come so that he could start swimming. Then an eighteen-year-old well-built boy picked him up and tossed him into the deep end of the pool.

Question 2 :
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?

Answer 2 :

William Douglas was thrown into the deep waters of the pool by a big boy. He was frightened but not frightened enough to stop thinking. All the time, despite having fear of drowning, he kept himself mentally alert. He planned that when his feet hit the bottom, he would make a big jump, come to the surface, lie flat on it and paddle to the edge of the pool. His strategy helped him save his life.

Question 3 :
How did this experience affect him ?

Answer 3 :

This experience of the author about to face death, made him bold and strong. This experience wiped out fear and wiped out terror from the author’s mind. He felt that there was no more panic and it was all quiet and peaceful. He felt that there was nothing to be afraid of.

Question 4 :
Why was Douglas determined to get over the fear of water ?

Answer 4 :

Douglas felt handicapped because he was afraid of water. That is why he was determined to get over the fear of water and decided to get an instructor and learn to swim. That was the only way he could get over the fear of water.

Question 5 :
How did the instructor “build a swimmer” out of Douglas ?

Answer 5 :

First of all, the instructor put a belt around Douglas. A rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on overhead cable. The instructor held on to the end of the rope, and they went back and forth hour after hour, day after day, week after week. Then the instructor taught Douglas to put his face under water and exhale, and to raise his nose and inhale. Douglas repeated the exercise hundreds of times.

Next, the instructor held Douglas at the side of the pool and had him kick with his legs. He did just that for weeks altogether. Finally, Douglas was able to command his legs, which firstly refused to work. This is how, piece by piece, the instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas. When the instructor had perfected each piece, he put them together into an integral whole.

Question 6 :
How did. Douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror ?

Answer 6 :

To make sure that he has conquered the old terror of water, Douglas tried to swim alone when nobody was around. So, he went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire, dived off a dock at Triggs Island, and swam two miles across the lake to Stamp Act Island. He swam the crawl, breast stroke, side stroke, and back stroke. Only once the terror returned, but he overcame it successfully for ever in his life.

Question 7 :
How does Douglas make clear to the reader the sense of panic that gripped him as he almost drowned ? Describe the details that have made the description vivid.

Answer 7 :

Once William Douglas went to the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool when no one else was there. He was fearful about swimming in the pool alone. So he sat on the side of the pool to wait for others. He had not been there long when a big boy, probably eighteen-year-old, picked him up and threw him into the deep end of the pool.

He went at once to the bottom. He was frightened, but not yet frightened out of his wits. So, on the way down he planned that when his feet hit the bottom, he would make a big jump, come to the surface, lie flat on it, and paddle to the edge of the pool.

Douglas did this until he could possibly hit the bottom and try to paddle to the edge. But he went down, down, endlessly. He was gripped with a sense of panic as he tells us : “And then sheer, stark terror seized me, terror that knows no understanding, terror that knows no control, terror that no one can understand who has not experienced it.” He was shrieking under water. He was paralysed under water — stiff, rigid with fear. Even the screams in his heart were frozen. Only his heart, and the pounding in his head, said that he was still alive. This is how Douglas makes clear to the reader the sense of panic that gripped him as he almost drowned.

Question 8 :
How did Douglas overcome his fear of water ?

Answer 8 :

William Douglas for a long period remained fearful of water. This handicap deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating, and swimming. He used every way he knew to overcome his fear of water, but it overpowered him. Finally, one October, he decided to get an instructor and learn to swim.

He went to a pool and practised five days a week, an hour each day. The instructor first put a belt around Douglas. A rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. The instructor held on to the end of the rope, and they went back and forth. Then the instructor taught Douglas to put his face under water and exhale, and to raise his nose and inhale. Then he taught Douglas how to kick in water with his legs. This is how Douglas learnt swimming step by step.

However to ensure that he has conquered his fear of water, Douglas went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire and dived off a dock at Triggs Island. He swam two miles across the lake to Stamp Act Island. He swam the crawl, breast stroke, side stroke, and back stroke.

Only once the terror returned to some extent when he was in the middle of the lake. But he overcame it. Yet to clear his doubt, he went up the Tietan to Canrad Meadows, and camped in the high meadov by the side of Warm Lake. The next morning he dived into the lake and swam across to the other shore and back. He shouted with joy as he had conquered his fear of water.

Question 9 :
Why does Douglas as an adult recount a childhood experience of terror and his conquering of it ? What larger meaning does he draw from this experience?

Answer 9 :

As ah adult, Douglas recalls a childhood experience of water terror. He wants to analyse the root cause of this fear, which started when he was three or four years old. Then his father took him to the beach in California. His father and Douglas stood together amidst the waves between the rocks and the shore.

He hung on to his father, yet the waves knocked him down and pushed him suddenly. He was buried in water. His breath was gone. He was frightened. Though his father laughed, but there was strong fear in his heart at the overpowering force of the waves. Thus, from the beginning, however, Douglas had an aversion to the water when he was in it.

The significance of Douglas’s recount of this childhood experience is that it was the basis on which he made his firm mind to overcome this fear. He draws a larger meaning from this experience that there is terror only in the fear of death. All one has to fear is fear itself. William Douglas had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that fear of it can produce. He was feeling the will to live somehow grew in intensity.

Question 10 :
“All we have to fear is fear itself.” Have you ever had a fear that you have now overcome ? Share your experience with your partner.

Answer 10 :

It is a fact that all we need to fear is fear itself. The only way to conquer fear is to constantly do the things of which we are afraid. We should not stop doing such things until we completely overcome the fear of those things. I too had cricket phobia till last year. It all started when I was in fourth standard. I was playing cricket with my friends in the ground of our colony one Sunday afternoon.

I was batting when the cricket ball hit me on my head. I fell unconscious on the ground. It was only after a fortnight that I recovered completely. I stopped playing cricket afterwards. On the insistence and encouragement of my friends I started playing cricket again last year. I batted while wearing a helmet. I was afraid while trying to catch the ball also while fielding. But during my spare time, I played cricket only. In this way, gradually, I was able to overcome my fear of playing cricket.


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