Deep Water Summary Class 12 English | English Flamingo





A real-life personal account of experiencing fear and the steps taken to overcome it.


Psychological analysis of fear.


  • William O. Douglas had a desire to learn swimming since childhood. At the age of three or four, he was knocked down and buried by a wave at a beach in California.
  • He developed a great aversion to water.
  • At the age of ten of eleven he decided to learn to swim with water wings at the Y.M.C.A pool since it was safe at the shallow end.
  • A misadventure- while sitting alone and waiting for others to come at the YMCA pool, a big boy came and threw Douglas into deep end of the pool.
  • Douglas swallowed water and went straight down to the bottom of the pool.
  • While going down he planned to make a big jump upwards but came up slowly.
  • Stark terror seized him. 
  • Tried to shout but could not……
  • As he went down the pool second time, he tried to jump upwards but it was a waste of energy.
  • Terror held him deeper and deeper. During the third trial he sucked water instead of air.
  • Light was going out and there was no more panic.
  • So he ceased all efforts and he became unconscious.
  • When revived he found himself vomiting beside the pool.
  • He was in grip of fear of water and it deprived him of the joys of canoeing, boating swimming and fishing.
  • Hired an instructor to leam swimming.
  • The instructor taught him swimming piece by piece.
  • He went to different water bodies to swim and found tiny vestiges of fear still gripped him. 
  • He challenged the fear and swam.
  • Swimming up and down the Warm Lake he finally overcame his fear of water.
  • He realized that in death there is peace and there is terror only in fear of death.
  • Then his will to live was stronger than fear of death.
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