Q. 1. Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water? [Comptt., Delhi/Outside Delhi, 2018]
Ans. Suggested Value Points : Did not like feeling fearful of water / was deprived the pleasure of fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming/ was determined to overcome his fear.
Q. 2. Why was the YMCA pool considered safe to learn swimming?
Why did Douglas prefer to go to YMCA pool to learn swimming?
Why did William Douglas use the YMCA pool and not Yakima river to learn swimming?
Ans. Value Points: YMCA pool was safe - only two or three feet deep at the shallow end, nine feet deep at the other end, the drop was gradual close to his residence.
Detailed Answer: Douglas preferred to go to the YMCA pool because it was safe as it was only two to three feet deep at its shallow end and nine feet deep at the other end and the drop was gradual. Whereas yakima river was treacherous and many cases of drawing had been reported.
Q. 3. How did William Douglas’ aversion to water begin? [Comptt., Delhi Set-I, 2013]
Why did William Douglas develop an aversion to water when he was three or four years old? [CBSE, SQP I, 2012, Comptt. Delhi Set-I, 2010] [Foreign Set I, 2017]
When did Douglas first start fearing water? [Comptt. Outside Delhi Set-II, 2017]
Ans. Value Points: — After the age of three or four — drowned under a wave in California beach — lost his breath and was frightened
Detailed Answer: William Douglas’ aversion to water started when he was three or four years old and his father took him to the beach in California. They stood together in the surf. He hung onto his father, yet the waves knocked him down and swept over him. He was buried in water. His breath was gone and he was frightened. His father laughed, but there was terror in his heart at the overpowering force of the waves.
Q. 4. What did Douglas feel and do when he was pushed into the swimming pool? [Comptt., Outside Delhi Set-I, 2014]
How did Douglas hope to come out when he was thrown into YMCA pool? [Foreign Set-III, 2017]
Ans. Value Points: — When feet hit the bottom, planned to make a big jump, came to the surface like a cork. — lie flat on it — paddle to the edge of the pool
Detailed Answer: When he was pushed into the swimming pool, he was scared but planned to hit the bottom as soon as he touched the ground and come up to the surface like a cork. Then he lay flat on the surface of water and paddled to the edge of the pool.
Q. 5. How did Douglas’ experience at the YMCA swimming pool affect him?
Ans. Value Points: (a) Immediate effect — Weak and trembling; shook and cried as he lay on bed — couldn’t eat — haunting fear — slightest exertion upset him — wobbly in the knees and sick in the stomach (b) Subsequent effect — could not go near water for years / strengthened the fear of water — deprived him of joy of canoeing, boating, swimming and fishing
Detailed Answer: Douglas’ experience at the YMCA swimming pool left him weak and trembling. When he reached home, he shook and cried, he couldn’t eat. The fear of the experience always haunted him and the slightest exertion upset him. At a later stage he couldn’t go near water for years. It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating, swimming and fishing as the fear of water strengthened with the passage of time.
Q. 6. Mention any two long-term consequences of the drowning incident on Douglas.
Ans. The near death experience of drowning had a very strong impact on his psychology. He was deeply perturbed and shaken by the whole experience. A haunting fear of water took control of his physical strength and emotional balance for many years, as he couldn’t bear being surrounded by water. He was deprived of enjoying any water - related activities like swimming, fishing or canoeing.
Q. 7. What deep meaning did his experience at the YMCA swimming pool have for Douglas?
Ans. Value Points: — experience of fear and death and its conquest made him live intensely — conquering fear made him realise true value of life and helped him enjoy every moment of life — learnt ‘all we have to fear is fear itself ’— made him more confident and determined
Detailed Answer: After the experience, Douglas started fearing water. As and when he tried to enter water, stark fear would seize him. His legs would become paralyzed and icy terror would grab his heart. He could not enjoy sports like canoeing, boating and swimming. This experience of fear and death and its conquest made him live intensely. He realised the true value of life and finally learnt that ‘all we have to fear is fear itself ’. Thus he came out of the fear as a confident and determined person.
Q. 8. Which two incidents in Douglas’ early life made him scared of water?
Which two frightening experiences did Douglas have in water in his childhood?
Ans. Value Points: His experience at the beach in California when he was a kid; waves knocked him down and swept over him; when a big boy pushed him into the YMCA pool.
Detailed Answer: When he was a kid, he was knocked down by the waves at the beach in California and then, at the YMCA pool, he was thrown inside the pool by a young boy. Both the incidents frightened him and made him scarred of water.
Q. 9. How did the instructor make Douglas a good swimmer?
How did his swimming instructor ‘build a swimmer’ out of Douglas?
How did the Instructor turn Douglas into a swimmer?
Ans. Value Points: — A dedicated instructor; took immense pains. — drove fear out of Douglas’ mind by making him practice hard. — rigorous, systematic practice to overcome the fear of water.
Detailed Answer: Douglas’ instructor was a dedicated instructor. He took immense pain and drove fear out of Douglas’ mind by making him practice hard. He taught him different steps oneby one and then asked him to swim. Finally, Douglas was able to overcome his fear of water and he became a good swimmer.
Q. 10. Why did Douglas’ mother recommend that he should learn swimming at the YMCA swimming pool?
Ans. Douglas’ mother recommended that he should learn swimming at the YMCA pool because it was safe. It was only 2-3 feet deep at the shallow end. The other end was about 9 feet deep and the drop was gradual.
Q. 11. How did Douglas make sure that he had conquered the old terror?
How did Douglas overcome the old terror?
How did Douglas finally get rid of the fear, he had of water?
Ans. Douglas hired an instructor to overcome his fear of water. The instructor put a belt around him. A rope attached to the belt, went through a pulley then ran on an overhead cable. Thus, he was made to go back and forth across the pool, hour after hour. Then, he taught him to put his face under water and exhale. He taught him to raise his nose and inhale. He taught him all the techniques of swimming in water. In this way, he built a swimmer out of Douglas.
Q. 12. How did Douglas remove his residual doubts about his fear of water?
Ans. Douglas first swam alone in the pool to remove his residual doubts about his fear of water. But then, when he still wasn’t sure, he went to Lake Wentworth, Triggs Island and Stamp Act Island. He swam two miles across the lake. Now, he was determined and he swam on. He shouted with joy as he had conquered his fear of water.
Q. 13. ‘All we have to fear is fear itself’. When did Douglas learn this lesson?
Ans. Value Points: — After his successful attempts in Lake Wentworth and Warm Lake he became confident and understood that ‘all we have to fear is fear itself ’ — during near death experience at the YMCA pool.
Detailed Answer: I think YMCA pool was not safe because Douglas wasn’t happy to go and learn there. Moreover, he was pushed into the deep water by a big bully and almost drowned. It led to life time fear of water for Douglas. OR I think YMCA pool was safe for learning swimming. It’s only because of the big bully who pushed Douglas into deep water side of the pool that he developed a fear of water.
Q. 14. What lesson did Douglas learn when he got rid of his fear of water?
Ans. Douglas learnt that one could get over any fear if one is determined to do so. All it requires is the will and the hard work. There is nothing to fear in this world. The only thing to fear is fear itself because only fear stops us from moving ahead in life.
Q. 15. Douglas’s mother (ironically) thought that YMCA pool was safe for learning to swim. What are your views? [Foreign Set II, 2017]
Ans. Value Points: No, YMCA pool not safe -
— Wasn’t happy
— Douglas pushed into the deep end by a big bully
— Almost drowned Yes, YMCA pool was safe
— pool was safe
— boy pushed him
— act was dangerous
Detailed Answer: I think YMCA pool was not safe because Douglas wasn’t happy to go and learn there. Moreover, he was pushed into the deep water by a big bully and almost drowned. It led to life time fear of water for Douglas.
I think YMCA pool was safe for learning swimming. It’s only because of the big bully who pushed Douglas into deep water side of the pool that he developed a fear of water.