67 pages 2 hours read

Watt Key

Deep Water

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Themes

Resilience and Discipline

Through Julie and Shane’s characters, Key shows the necessity of resilience and discipline for survival in life-threatening situations. He implies that without these qualities, the two young people would likely have died before reaching the oil rig. Julie demonstrates exceptional resilience for a 12-year-old. From the moment she realizes the anchor has pulled, she remains calm and relies on the diving and ocean knowledge her father has given her over the years. Refraining from panic, however, takes discipline. Julie must remind herself to breathe slowly and fight against the overwhelming fear that threatens to cloud her judgment.

To highlight Julie’s resilience and discipline, Key juxtaposes her response to the emergency against that of Shane and his father. Shane seems dazed and in a state of shock when he first surfaces, and it takes a punch in the face from Julie to move him to listen to her and follow her instructions. Even then, he often starts to panic and lacks the discipline to simply obey her directions without question. Mr. Jordan demonstrates to a greater degree the downfall of a lack of control. Greedy from the beginning, he does not follow safety recommendations, and during his ascent, fails to use his pony tank properly because of his panic.

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