Deep Water NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 3 with Answers

We have Provided the NCERT/CBSE Solutions chapter-wise for Class 12 English Chapter 3 Deep Water with Answers by expert subject teacher for latest syllabus and examination. Students also can take a free NCERT Solutions of Deep Water. Each question has right answer Solved by Expert Teacher.

NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Prose

Page No.27

Q1. What is the “misadventure ” that William Douglas speaks about?

Answers: Douglas refers to the incident at the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool where he almost drowned as a “misadventure.” The author was about ten or eleven years old at the time and had barely begun to learn swimming, primarily by aping others. As he was thrown suddenly into the water by someone and he couldn’t swim, he started drowning. The struggle to come to surface and to avoid getting drowned left him with a deep fear of water which deprived him from enjoying water-related activities for many years.

Q2. 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?

Answers: The sudden realization of being thrown into the pool did not make him lose his wits immediately. Although frightened, he thought of a trick to come up to the surface but couldn’t execute it successfully. He panicked and felt suffocated by the water. His sense-perceptions gave way, his heart pounded loudly, his limbs became paralyzed with fear, his mind became dizzy and his lungs ached as he gulped water while making desperate attempts to come out of the water. Finally, he lost all his strength and willingness to keep struggling and blacked out.

Douglas planned to allow himself to go down till his feet hit the bottom so that could make a big jump to come back to the surface like a cork. Then, he would lie flat on the surface of water and paddle to the edge of the pool.

Q3. How did this experience affect him?

Answers: This experience revived his aversion to water. He shook and cried when he lay on his bed. He couldn’t eat that night. For many days, there was a haunting fear in his heart. The slightest exertion upset him, making him wobbly in the knees and sick to his stomach. He never went back to the pool. He feared water and avoided it whenever he could.

Page No 29

Q1. Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?

Answers: Douglas was determined to get over his fear of water because he believed in what Roosevelt has said, “All we have to fear is the fear itself.” Douglas regretted being deprived of enjoying water activities like canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing, etc. The wish to enjoy them and the craving to regain his lost confidence, while being in water, made him try every possible means to get rid of his fear. He was finally able to overcome this mental handicap by getting himself a swimming instructor and further ensuring that no residual fear was left.

Q2. How did the instructor “build a swimmer” out of Douglas?

Answers: The instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas piece by piece. For three months he held him high on a rope attached to his belt. He went back and forth across the pool. Panic seized the author everytime. The instructor taught Douglas to put his face under water and exhale and to raise his nose and inhale. Then Douglas had to kick with his legs for many weeks till these relaxed. After seven months the instructor told him to swim the length of the pool.

Q3. How did Douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror?

Answers: Even after the swimming training was over, Douglas wasn’t confident about his swimming or that he had overcome the fear. He was determined to completely get rid of it forever. He swam alone in the pool. He went to Lake Wentworth to dive. There, he tried every possible stroke he had learnt. He fought back the tiny vestiges of terror that gripped him in middle of the lake. Finally, in his diving expedition in the Warm Lake, he realised that he had truly conquered his old terror.

page No. 29-30

Q1. 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.

Answers: Douglas gives a detailed account of his feelings and efforts to save himself from getting drowned. He uses literary devices to make the description graphic and vivid. For example,‘Those nine feet were more like ninety’, ‘My lungs were ready to burst.’ ‘I came up slowly, I opened my eyes and saw nothing but water….. I grew panicky1 ‘I was suffocating. I tried to yell, but no sound came out!’

Q2. How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?

Answers: Douglas was haunted by the fear of water for many years. In order to overcome his fear, he decided to hire an instructor and started practising swimming regularly. The instructor very innovatively devised a method to teach him swimming. Douglas used to wear a belt around his waist and a rope was attached to it which went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. So it pulled him out whenever he felt panicky while swimming. After three months of rigorous practice, he started to feel relaxed.

Douglas also paddled his legs in water by the side of the pool. Initially, Douglas felt paralysed and his legs didn’t move but gradually he overcame his nervousness. The instructor told him that his job was done and Douglas had become a complete swimmer. But in order to be confident Douglas swam in different lakes. Finally, when he swam in Warm Lake, he realised that he had overcome his fear of water.

Q3. 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?

Answers: The experience of terror was a handicap Douglas suffered from during his childhood. His conquering of it shows his determination, will power and development of his personality.
He drew a larger meaning from this experience. “In death there is peace.” “There is terror only in the fear of death.” He had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that fear of it can produce. So, the will to live somehow grew in intensity. He felt released- free to walk the mountain paths, climb the peaks and brush aside fear.


Q1.“All ice have to fear is fear itself” Have you ever had a fear that you have now overcome? Share your experience with your partner.

Answers: Find and narrate other stories about the conquest of fear and what people have said about courage. For example, you can recall Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom, his perseverance to achieve his mission, to liberate the oppressed, and the oppressor as depicted in his autobiography. The story “We’re Not Afraid To Die”, which you have read in Class XI, is an apt example of how courage and optimism helped a family survive under dire stress.
She could easily be called the Helen Keller of our times. The darkness that surrounds her life has not prevented Bibi Mohammadi from spreading the light of education. At twenty six, Bibi, whose lower limbs are paralysed teaches more than 300 students at her school in Nathnagar, Bhagalpur.

Born in a poor family of weavers, Bibi cleared her intermediate examination—an achievement, considering that her six siblings failed. But, her achievement has not come easy. At school, she was the laughing stock and when other children jumped and ran about, she could only watch. In 1983, while she was still studying, she decided to start a school of her own with around 50 students. Now she teaches over 300 children in three shifts.

Q2. Find and narrate other stories about conquest of fear and what people have said about courage. For example, you can recall Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom, his perseverance to achieve his mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor as depicted in his autobiography. The story ‘We’re Not Afraid To Die,’ which you have read in Class XI, is an apt example of how courage and optimism helped a family survive under the direst stress.

Answers: In his autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Nelson Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the African National Congress and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Mandela also struggled against the exploitation of labour and on the segregation of the universities. He persevered to achieve his mission and to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor. In 1990, he was freed from prison. The apartheid laws were relaxed. Mandela became the champion for human rights and racial equality. He also became the first non-white president of the Republic of South Africa.


If someone else had narrated Douglas’s experience, how would it have differed from this account? Write out a sample paragraph or paragraphs from this text from the point of view of a third person or observer, to find out which style of narration would you consider to be more effective? Why?

Answers: If a third person had narrated Douglas’ experience, the impact of the story would have lost the reader’s deep connection with the main protagonist and his fear of water. The narrator then would be passively telling the story from the perspective of an observer. The incident of drowning in water could never have successfully communicated the feeling of the “stark terror” that Douglas underwent.

In third person narrative, the 8th and 9th paragraph of the story would be as follows:

“He flailed at the surface of the water, swallowed and choked. He tried to bring his legs up but they hung as dead weights, paralyzed and rigid. A great force was pulling him under. He screamed, but only the water heard him. He had started on the long journey back to the bottom of the pool.”

“He struck at the water as he went down; expending his strength as one in a nightmare, fights an irresistible force. He had lost all his breath. His lungs ached. His head throbbed. He was getting dizzy. But he remembered the strategy – he would spring from the bottom of the pool and come like a cork to the surface. He would lie flat on the water, strike out with his arms, and thrash with his legs. Then he would get to the edge of the pool and be safe.”

So, it is only the first person narrative that keeps the reader gripped to the story. It makes the experience more relevant and tangible for the reader. It engages him by making him go through the experience along with the protagonist. The desperation and helplessness of being in water, which has almost become fatal, the mental and physical agony of trying to survive the crisis, the long struggle of overcoming the fear bit-by-bit and the jubilation of conquering it at the end; all make the reader feel part of the experience. The first person narrative makes the story a fast-paced and urgent reading for the readers. All this would have been lost had it been a third person narrative or from the point of view of an observer.

Q1. Doing well in any activity, for example a sport, music, dance or painting, riding a motorcycle or a car, involves a great deal of struggle. Most of us are very nervous to begin with until gradually we overcome our fears and perform well.
Write an essay of about five paragraphs recounting such an experience. Try to recollect minute details of what caused the fear, your feelings, the encouragement you got from others or the criticism.
You could begin with the last sentence of the essay you have just read: “At last I felt released—free to walk the trails and climb the peaks and to brush aside fear.”

Answers: Directions: You may follow the given steps for the essay:
(a) Begin with “At last I felt released – free to walk the trails and climb the peaks and to brush aside fear. Fear, when conquered, becomes victory. And a victory, emerging from the bitterness of failures and hardships of enduring them for a long period of time, has its own meaning and charm. When I look back, it appears to be a long and arduous journey that has now successfully culminated in its destination.”

(b) Talk about the beginning of the incident that was the root cause for your fear. Try to pen down what you saw, what you felt and what you thought. Recollect and write the details of the surrounding environment, people and things.

(c) Here, you can continue talking about how the incident progressed in terms of the subsequent events or happenings. Detail the exact proceedings in the logical order of their happening. You may talk about what you think went wrong and how the incident could have ended differently.

(d) In this paragraph, you may write how the fear proved a handicap or how it affected other activities of your life. And then write about when you decided that you will get rid of it. Talk about your plans, strategies and things that you may have considered to ensure that you succeed in your attempt.

(e) In the last paragraph, you can detail all your efforts (and that of others) and end with an analysis of why you won over your fear

Q2. Write a short letter to someone you know about your having learnt to do something new.


Examination Hall
New Delhi

Jan 1, 20xx

Dear Hematul,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. I’ve something interesting to share this time. I have learnt skating, this summer. Being able to skate is a wonderful feeling and it fills me with loads of confidence. There is an odd sense of power in knowing that every technique and skill required to master has been learnt. With a little more practice, I would feel my spirits flying high.

Initially, I was very scared of even wearing my skates. But all the bruises, injuries, frustrations and pessimistic ideas that gripped me during some of the initial training sessions now seem nothing in front of what I feel. It gives me immense satisfaction to see myself almost flying in the air. Skating also helps me stay fit. Even my parents are happy to see me investing my time constructively.

Do let me know about your hobby classes. Convey my kind regards to uncle and aunt.

Yours affectionately,
Your Name

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