Deep Water is well explained through Introduction, Message, Theme, Title, Characters, the sound of music Summary in English, Summary in Hindi, Deep Water lyrics, Deep Water quiz, Word meanings, Complete lesson in Hindi, Extracts , Long answers, Short answers, Very short Answers, MCQs and much more for free.
Moral/ Message of the lesson – Deep Water
The story “Deep Waters” tells us how the writer overcame his fear of water and learned swimming through sheer determination and willpower. He had developed a terror of water since childhood. William Douglas was able to overcome his fear by sheer determination. The message conveyed by this story is that it is not death but the fear of death that creates terror in our mind, so that fear needs to be shaken off. Also, any fears can be conquered if we try hard enough.
William Douglas talks about his fear of water and thereafter, how he finally overcame it. The autobiographical element in the lesson is used to support his discussion of fear.
Author’s Aversion to Water
- started when he was three or four years old.
- visited a beach in California with his father/stood with his father in the surf.
- the waves knocked him down and swept over him.
- he was buried in water/breath was gone/frightened.
- father laughed
- there was the tenor in his heart at the overpowering force of the waves.
`Misadventure’ at the YMCA
- the author was sitting on the side of the pool.
- a big bruiser of a boy tossed him the deep end of the pool.
- the author landed in a sitting position, swallowed water, and went at once to the bottom.
- the author was frightened.
- planned that he would jump and come to the surface/paddle to the edge of the pool.
(i) It’s impact:
(a) he was weak and trembling
(b) shook and cried when he lay on his bed/couldn’t eat that night.
(c) for days a haunting fear remained in his heart.
(d) the slightest exertion upset him and made him wobbly in the knees and sick in the stomach.
(e) never went back to the pool.
(a) the fear remained in a river or pool legs would become paralyzed.
(b) icy horror would grab his heart.
(c) deprived Douglas of enjoying water sport-ruined his fishing trips/deprived him of the joy.
(d) in canoes on Maine lakes fishing for landlocked salmons.
(e) bass fishing in New Hampshire, trout fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius in Oregon, fishing for salmon on the Columbia, at Bumping Lake in the Cascades-fear of water followed him.
(iii) Conquering his fear:
(a) Engaged an instructor to learn swimming.
(b) the instructor made him practice five days a week, an hour every day
(c) put a belt around him.
(d) a rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable
(e) instructor held on to the end of the rope.
(f) the author went back and forth several times each day.
(g) took three months to learn
(h) instructor taught him to put his face under water and exhale
(i) to raise his nose and inhale
(j) instructor made him kick with his legs
(k) thus piece by piece he finally learnt how to swim
- though the author had learnt to swim, he still felt that the old fear would grip him again.
- Went to lake Wentworth-swam two miles across the lake.
- swam the crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke and backstroke.
- the old sensation returned in miniature.
- then went up the Tieton to Conrad Meadows, up the Conrad Creek Trail to Meade Glacier, and camped by the Warm Lake.
- swam across to the other shore and back
- he had finally conquered his fear.
(iv) Draws a larger meaning from this experience:
(a) in death there is peace
(b) there is terror only in the fear of death/as Roosevelt said “All we have to fear is fear itself”
(c) since the narrator had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that fear of it can produce; the will to live grew in him.