NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 3 Deep Water Flamingo with extra questions, revision exercises and MCQ updated for Session 2024-25. Class 12 English Solutions are useful for those who are using the latest NCERT textbooks as a course book.

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Class 12 English Chapter 3 Question Answers

Think as you read (Page No. 27)

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

William is narrating an incident when he was 10 or 11 years old. He went to the swimming pool to learn and it was only a few days that a bullish boy pushed him into the nine feet deep end of pool. He had a near death experience because he didn’t know how to swim. Moreover, he had water phobia as well. Somehow his life was saved that day.

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?

William Douglas who was just 10 or 11 years old got scared badly when started drowning. He thought of some idea to come over the water but nothing worked. He screeches like crazy but there was no one to hear him except water. He feels as if his body was paralyzed.
He pushes the bottom of the pool with his feet to come on top of the water but it didn’t help. He looks for the rope to come over the water but did not succeed. He moves his arms and legs a lot but did not know how to succeed.

How did this experience affect him?

This experience stuns the author for a long time.His phobia towards water increases to such an extent that he was afraid of even very little water.He cried a lot after this incident which he told us in this story whose excerpts are taken from “Of Men and Mountains”. Fear takes over the mind of the author so much that he gives up fishing, canoeing, boating, and swimming for a long time.

What was the first misadventure in California?
William Douglas was enjoying a water sports with his father when he was three or four years old. Although he was clinging to his father in the sea, but when a strong wave came, it separated the two. After separating from his father, he drowned in the water for some time, which created fear in his mind.This momentary misadventure had troubled William for a decent period of time.

How old was Douglas when he decided to learn swimming?Why did he choose only YMCA Pool?
He was ten or eleven years old when he decided to learn swimming. He loved swimming but after the California incident, there was fear in contemplation.He chose this pool because it was less deep and was built in a decadent manner. He knew that the water where he was learning to swim was less deep and he had little chance of an accident.

Think as you read (Page No. 29)

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

William Douglas was disappointed not been able to do aquatic activities post that misadventure. But he was a brave man without giving up. He made his weakness as his weapon and despite having water phobia; he hired an instructor to learn swimming and also succeeded in it. And after learning swimming he was able to fulfill his interests like boating and canoeing.

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

Douglas’s instructor had all the qualities one should have to teach swimming. He taught only one hour daily without putting excess pressure. He started learning initially with the help of rope and pulley and it helped. After that he taught exhale and inhale activities under water and above water. Slowly but steadily he taught all swimming strokes when he saw William making decent improvement in learning. Instructor helped that child, who was so afraid of water in his mind and made him a great swimmer.

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

Douglas knew that before he could learn to swim, it was important to conquer his mental infirmity. If he wanted, he would never go into the water again, but he hired an instructor to conquer all his weaknesses. William followed what he said and after six months, he was ready to swim. But there was a fear in corner of his heart to swim alone. So, he went to Lake Went worth in New Hampshire, dived off a dock at Triggs Island and swam two miles across the lake. He wasn’t still sure so he went to Meade Glacier, dived into Warm Lake and swam across to the other shore and back. And when he did it, he was 100% sure that he had conquered the old terror.

The author has done hate and aversion word before going to the swimming pool, still he goes. Why?
William used the word aversion for water because of the misadventure of drowning in California at a young age since then he was afraid of water. Yet there were two reasons for his inclination towards the pool. First, it was his great hobby and Second, He didn’t want to let this kind of awe dominate the mind in his coming future. Hate word he has used to refer to his thinness. He felt extremely bad and ashamed when he took off his clothes before swimming.

What does Douglas do to help himself swim in the pool, which he also succeeds in?
He keeps on seeing the rest of the swimmers every day when he visits YMCA. He closely watches and remembers their steps and when it’s his turn, he tries to imitate their steps. He also procures water wings and practices through them and he gets benefitted from all these things.

Understanding the text (Page No. 29)

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.

Douglas has told this story in such a serious way that the reader feels if he or she is sailing in the same boat. That in itself is commendable. He tells in which position he fell. He moved his arms and legs, he yell for his mother, tries to jump but could not succeed. Words like “My lungs were ready to burst.”, “I was suffocating”,” stark terror seized me”,”“I was paralyzed under water” and “and the curtain of life fell” bring life to the story. All these things presented in detail touch the depths of the heart.

How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?

Douglas knew that before he could learn to swim, it was important to conquer his mental infirmity. If he wanted, he would never go into the water again, but he hired an instructor to conquer all his weaknesses. William followed what he said and after six months, he was ready to swim. But there was a fear in corner of his heart to swim alone. So, he went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire, dived off a dock at Triggs Island and swam two miles across the lake. He wasn’t still sure so he went to Meade Glacier, dived into Warm Lake and swam across to the other shore and back. And when he did it, he was 100% sure that he had conquered the old terror.

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?

The experience of being saved by drowning twice in water shook William even after being an adult.The first experience was not as frightening as the second.But the way he conquered this fear shows his will power, determination and mental strength. He faced near death experience twice and both times it was due to lack of swimming. His main aim is not to tell his autobiography but to tell his determination with which he conquered his fear. He wants to motivate the readers to achieve any goal. He wants to tell that if one is determined in the mind, then nothing is difficult.

Tell us about the boy who was responsible for William’s misadventure.
The boy who pushed William into the pool was a tall and muscular man with lot of hair on his chest. He was perhaps eighteen years boy with strong muscles in arms and legs. It seems that he was a mischievous boy who liked to mess around just for fun and that was the reason when William was rescued from pool he said he was making fool.

How did the misadventure happen with William Douglas?
It was only two to three days in the world of swimming to William and he was only taking baby steps towards becoming a perfect swimmer. He was sitting alone by the pool when a muscular tall man came near him and pushed him inside the pool.He did not know how to swim and tried many times to come up but could not succeed. This misadventure kept him away from any water activity for a long time but one day but one day he took concrete steps to get this terror out of his heart and succeeded.

Talking about text (Page No. 30)

“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.
By the time I was ten I was very introvert type. I was hesitant to talk to anyone including my cousins. I was the least talkative student in my class and school and I used to benefit from it many times. But when it came to group discussions in college and job interviews, I had to bear the brunt of it.And I started the conversation to convert the fear of my mind into victory.Whenever I used to hesitate that I should say this thing or not, I used to speak at that time. And I got a lot of benefit from it. No matter how big that baron is the only thing you require is confidence to deal to.

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 dire stress.
A famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova faced many difficulties from the beginning of her tennis career.Her father did a lot of low paying jobs and got Maria to join the tennis academy. Maria was harassed everyday in the hostel by her peers because she was a Russian and was living in United States. She ignored them and never answered back. She just focused on her game and kept on progressing.Maria had to be out of the game several times due to shoulder injuries. After a failed attempt to rehabilitate the shoulder, Sharapova had surgery to repair the tear. Maria was out of the top 5 in the rankings after three major injuries in 8 years. Despite all this, she made a strong comeback in the game and won the hearts of the people across the globe.

Thinking about language (Page No. 30)

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?
This story seems like excerpts from an autobiography of William Douglas that no one could have told better than him. As we talk about the above films based on Kapil Dev and Milkha Singh, then today’s society has liked them more. It is because both these great personalities are alive and can tell the facts of their lives.And if this biography is written or made on Swami Vivekananda, then it will be a very difficult task to breathe life into it. Not many of us know that his real name was Narendra Nath Datta. We only know from certain books that Swami Vivekananda is known for his writings and he delivered one of his greatest speeches at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893. His speech, which began with, “Sisters and brothers of America”, got him a standing ovation for two minutes at the summit.
Having said that, William has described the underwater misadventure with the gusto, artistry and expressiveness that no one else could do. What happened with him twice in the water was very scary. His shouting and making all efforts to overcome water phobia are well versed by him.

Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3 Writing (Page No. 30)

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.”

My two wheeler learning experience was very bad. I used to go every weekend to learn with my father, but I could not understand anything and mistakes were too many.
The most basic step was to release the clutch and press the accelerator was the most difficult one to understand in which I took a very long time.I felt like I would never be able to learn and I should quit now.
In fact,I learned the car very quickly and the basic functions are the same but I had too much trouble learning two wheeler. But I also did not lose courage and finally learned in 6 months.
Due to the time taken, my confidence was very low and I used to get scolded by my father who was a very angry man. But he, at the same time ,gave me lot of chances and then I ultimately succeeded.
Then and now, I am today running a two wheeler better than anyone else and my fear has gone.

Write a short letter to someone you know about your having learnt to do something new.
Examination Hall
New Delhi
18th Jan’2022
Dear Priyasha
I am fine here and hope you are fine too. This letter of mine today is for a special purpose.I want to tell you that I have taken extra time after school to learn basic German language. It has given me a truly new experience to get to know a new culture. It will open countless job opportunities for me and I want to make my future in this. It’s just the beginning and in the next stage the advanced level will be taught but I find it to be an easy and interesting language.I hope that in my next letter I will give good news with advanced level certificate.
With Love

“On the way down I planned,” remarks Douglas. What was his plan?
William really had a bad luck when he was pushed into the pool. At a time when no one’s brain works, it is commendable that William was thinking of a way to avoid drowning in the water.He planned that he would push the bottom of the pool with his feet so that he would come up hard and appeal to save himself.It took him a while to reach the bottom but he kept trying to save his life.

Why did Douglas feel 9 feet as 90 feet while falling down the pool?
As Douglas has said, his experience of deep water was a misadventure. This means he faced multiple problems while falling down in YMCA pool. He was told that the pool was only 9 feet deep but when he was going down pool’s bottom was not coming fast. His trouble was increasing every second and he wanted to push the bottom quickly but it looked like someone had lied to him, this pool is actually 90 feet deep. This happened also because in trouble the time takes too long to pass by.

12th English Chapter 3 Short Type Answer Questions
    1. What did Douglas do to save his life after the first plan failed?
      William Douglas started searching ropes, ladders and water wings after his first strategy of hitting the bottom failed. He could only see yellow dirty water around him and nothing else. Darkness fell before his eyes and his body felt paralyzed. He cried and called out to his mother but no one could hear him except water. That’s why he has used the word terror for underwater misadventure. We can sense this horrible experience when he says “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. I was shrieking under water”
    2. How Douglas showed courage and didn’t panic even though he didn’t know how to swim?
      Douglas showed courage when he started going down after being pushed for the first time.As soon as he fell, he planned that he would push the bottom with his foot and come up.Not only this, after not getting success, he searched for rope and ladder so that he could come out immediately from the water.At such a time when the mind of elders does not work due to panic and water phobia, an eleven years old child showed great courage.
    3. Why does William Douglas refer to coming up from the bottom of his pool as the Great Spring Upwards? What does he mean by that?
      Douglas tried his best three times to come over the water but did not succeed. Every moment his condition got worse. He thought his lungs would burst; he felt like his body was paralyzed after failing attempts. He tried to grab the rope or ladder when he comes up but finds nothing except yellow water everywhere. He yelled to save him from drowning but there was no one to hear him. After so many efforts he lost hope for his survival. Death looked likely to him.
    4. William said that he saw the curtain of his life falling. What does he mean by that?
      In any show, when the curtain raises it means the show is going to start and fall means the show is over. Similarly, this life is also like a show, when the curtain rises, it is our birth, and when the curtain falls, it is our end time.William has tried to connect this life cycle with cinema or play. When he failed in pushing the bottom of the pool hard enough or failed to find any rope or ladder nearby he then thought he has lost the battle. He felt the curtain of his life falling when his efforts to come out of water were going in vein.

How long does it take a brave William to come out of the shock when this misadventure happens and what does he feel in the meantime?
It took him few years to come out of this world of fear. He heard of “Waters of Cascades” and he wanted to join that without delay. Meantime he went to Warm Lakes of Goat Rocks. He also went for bass fishing in New Hampshire, trout fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius in Oregon but fear did not leave him. Due to this fear in his heart, he could not go canoeing, boating or swimming for a long time.Because of this fear, he was deprived of the happiness of his life, so he strengthened himself psychologically.He knew that one day he would come out of this fear and it was his belief that helped him to come out of it.

How was the William’s swimming instructor? How did he start?

William’s instructor was an expert in coaching of swimming. He started from the scratch and cleared basics of his disciple. He used to train for only one hour daily and used to give him leave twice a week.He put a cable on top and put a pulley with it, from which the rope was taken out and both of them tied that rope with themselves. He taught him to swim back and forth with the help of that rope. This cycle continued for a few weeks, and then the instructor made some major changes.After that William was taught how to exhale under water and how to inhale with his mouth out.

    • Did Douglas swim without fear under the instructor’s supervision?
      Douglas began with some fear even though under strict supervision. His previous misadventure dominated his mind but his instructor was a trained swimmer who taught him step by step. He didn’t teach many things simultaneously but taught basics for first few weeks. When he saw Douglas going in right direction, then he took next step followed by first step. This took Douglas’s fear out of his heart and his confidence grew.
    • What kind of problems did Douglas face in his early days of swimming?
      William often remembered his YMCA’s misadventure when he started swimming. Well it all started with lot of intelligence from both sides i.e. guru and disciple but William got frightened every time when instructor relaxed his rope and he went more under water. He often felt as if her legs were frozen but as explained to him, he would repeat the swimming strokes hundreds of times.
Class 12 English Chapter 3 Long Answer Type Questions

Share two childhood misadventures that strike fear in William Douglas’s mind?
There were two big incidents happen to William at a very young age.The first incident happened when he was only 3 or 4 years old when he was enjoying the waves with his dad on a beach in California. Suddenly a tremendous wave comes and separates the two. His father was not frightened by this and pulled William out of the water in few seconds but in these few moments, William finds himself troubled in the waves. He stops breathing and gets scared in fraction of seconds. In no time everything becomes normal but it had an impact on William’s heart for a long time.
Second incidence happen when William Douglas was 11 years old, in order to overcome fear of water and enjoy swimming, he opted for a swimming session at the YMCA pool. Although he was told that the water was deep and was advised not to go by his mother but he still went. William’s first two days went well and he copied the steps of other big boys. When he reached the pool the next day, no one came by then. He was sitting alone by the pool and then a muscular man came and he pushed William into the pool when he was thinking about something. He didn’t know swimming yet and he got scared too much. He tried his best three times to come over the water but did not succeed. Every moment his condition got worse. He thought his lungs would burst; he felt like his body was paralyzed after failing attempts. He tried to grab the rope or ladder when he comes up but finds nothing except yellow water everywhere. He yelled to save him from drowning but there was no one to hear him. After so many efforts he lost hope for his survival. Death looked likely to William Douglas but then the next moment he remembered was that he was lying upside down outside the pool and was vomiting. So somehow he was saved at this misadventure. But this misadventure had a profound effect on his mind. He remained away from any water activity for a long time.

How did this misadventure affect William’s future life?
Even though misadventure haunted William for years in his childhood. But on the other end it only benefited him in the long run.William was a self motivated person no one inspired him to learn swimming again post those two misadventures. These had a great impact on his heart and it wasn’t easy to get out of that. He was very young at the time of first incident. His curiosity didn’t end and he went on to learn swimming at the age of 11, despite his mother’s refusal.All these things show that he was mentally very strong. He didn’t care that this time he didn’t have a father who would save him or the strong current of the river may disturb him. How strong he was mentally can be known from the fact that when he had the second biggest misadventure of life that too in water, he did not give up even after that. In fact, after near death experience he worked extremely hard, hired an instructor to help him, learn swimming. He understood every stroke carefully and became master in six months. His efforts to overpower the fear of water show his firm determination, intent and strong will power. The way he challenged himself is commendable. “Hard work pays off” this proverb is not said just like that – William proved it to be true. This feat was not achieved overnight.Even though he feared the water, he made it his sole purpose to learn the art of swimming and was determined to get over his fear at any cost. When life tosses many challenges and trials at him, he stood firm and in the end did eventually learn to control his fear. These must be his qualities that led him one day to work in team of US president.

How appropriate is the title of chapter 3 deep water according to you in Class 12 English?

The title of the story “deep water” sounds perfect. Readers would not have enjoyed it so much if the title would have been “William Douglas’s autobiography” because no one knows William Douglas worldwide as an author. He is rather known for his consistent and outspoken defense of civil liberties because he was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of United States.The title Deep Water has attracted everyone from the beginning to know what happened Deep inside the water. The name is a mystery for everyone, if the story will be the story of a ship or robbers who can be related to looting treasure or something else. But Deep water is also suitable because the bottom of a 9 ft pool seems to be 90 ft and it was no less than the bottom of an ocean.
And it is an art to be able to put it so beautifully in front of the readers with the kind of troubles that go with it in that deep water and readers feel themselves drowning in the river. Excitement increases with each line and in the end we get to know the courage at its best.

Did William remember who saved him in Class 12 English Chapter 3?

No, William had no idea who saved him. He only remembered that after a while he was lying upside down and was vomiting. The boy who pushed him in the pool might have been scolded by someone so he was saying that I was just fooling. Because William was unconscious so he didn’t remember much. When he regained consciousness, he was brought to the locker room for change.After that he came home, did not eat anything that night and cried a lot. After that he was depressed for a long time. He had not gone to the pool for a long time because the second misadventure scared him to the core of his mind and heart.

In Class 12 English, if we consider Douglas’s magic plan to hit the bottom, how successful was he?

The initial plan was good but was not easy to execute. Going down the pool, William felt as if his lungs were ready to burst. He tried to come up with full force and thought that he would come up to the surface of the water like a cork but it did not happen. He came up slowly but saw nothing apart from yellow water. Unfortunately he could not succeed in his first and foremost plan.

Class 12 English Chapter 3 NCERT Solutions
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 3 Deep Water
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 3
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3
Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3
Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 3 question answers
Last Edited: September 4, 2023