Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers

Length: 1413 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Robinson Jeffers
     On January 10th, 1887, John Robinson Jeffers, most well known as simply Robinson
Jeffers, was born outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were somewhat of an
odd fit. His father, Dr. William Hamilton Jeffers, was an extremely intelligent yet “reserved,
reclusive person” who married a happy upbeat woman who was 23 years younger than
himself (Coffin). Despite their age and personality differences, Dr. Jeffers and Annie
Robinson Tuttle had a secure marriage. Dr. Jeffers’s widespread education resulted in a
vast knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and the Old Testament. Dr. Jeffers was
eager to pass on his knowledge to Robinson. So, when Robinson was only five years old,
Dr. Jeffers began to teach him Greek (Academy of American Poets). Also starting at a
young age, Robinson traveled throughout Europe. From age eleven to fifteen, Robinson
attended several different European boarding schools: in Zurich, Leipzig, Geneva, Vevey,
and Lausanne (Coffin). Though Dr. Jeffers was responsible for Robinson’s frequent
transfers, his reasoning is unknown. At each school, Jeffers was seen by his peers as
reclusive and pensive—much like his father. In 1903, when Jeffers was 16, he relocated
yet another time with his family to Pasadena, California where he enrolled at Occidental
College as a junior. Here, Jeffers succeeded immediately and immensely in courses
such as biblical literature, Greek, and astronomy. Jeffer’s natural ambition to learn and
his knowledge of numerous languages impressed everyone around him. As a result,
Jeffers made life-long friends and took up hiking—a hobby that he would enjoy for the
rest of his life (Brophy 2).
     Right after graduating from Occidental College with a BA in literature at age 18,
Jeffers enrolled at the University of South California as a literature major (Brophy 2).
During his first year at USC, Jeffers met his future wife, Una Call Kuster, who was married
to a Los Angeles attorney. In 1906, Jeffers went with his family to live in Europe. At this
time, he attended the University of Zurich where he took courses in philosophy, history,
Old English, and Spanish poetry. When fall came, Jeffers returned to the University of
Southern California as a medical student (Academy of American Poets). Jeffers
remained a medical student for three years, a long time considering Jeffers was enrolled
in 9 different schools or programs in 13 years. In 1910, Jeffers decided to leave USC and
transferred to the University of Washington to study forestry.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Robinson Jeffers." 31 Mar 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Robinson Jeffers Essay

- Robinson Jeffers On January 10th, 1887, John Robinson Jeffers, most well known as simply Robinson Jeffers, was born outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were somewhat of an odd fit. His father, Dr. William Hamilton Jeffers, was an extremely intelligent yet “reserved, reclusive person” who married a happy upbeat woman who was 23 years younger than himself (Coffin). Despite their age and personality differences, Dr. Jeffers and Annie Robinson Tuttle had a secure marriage. Dr....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1413 words (4 pages)

Robinson Jeffers Essay

- The Nature of Man by Robinson Jeffers Robinson Jeffers is one of the twentieth centuries most important and controversial poets. He, like others in history, has tried to give his opinion about life. Many poets in the twentieth century focused on issues affecting mankind, Jeffers is no exception. Most of his work was inspired by his surroundings. One’s environment is great source for poetic inspiration. Poets come and go, but their ideas are kept alive through their poems. Whether they are a hundred or ten years old, these poems hold ideas in them which are still interesting now as they were back then....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
2365 words (6.8 pages)

The Fiery Deaths of Glauss and Creon Essays

- In this extract from Robinson Jeffers' Medea, the speaker (Medea) is elated with the success of the first part of her plan. It seems that through her own deception and cunning that she has trapped Glause like a fish in a net. Although, she is content wit the first par of her plan and eager to watch it unfold, she is interanlly conflicted between her misanthropic desire to enact revenge upon Jason, and the love she has for her children. This passage contains two tones, one of glee and self delight and another of misanthropic vengeance accompanied by a glimmer of motherly instinct....   [tags: Robinson Jeffers, Medea]

Research Papers
729 words (2.1 pages)

Hyprocrisy and Familial Opression in Esquivel´s Like Water for Chocolate and Robinson Jeffers´ Medea

- In both Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate and Robinson Jeffers’ Medea hypocrisy and familial oppression engender subversion of societal convention and gender norms in Medea and Tita; who thus strive to attain justice and defeat their oppressors, albeit through different means. It appears as though, in both works, it is the acts of the family and society against the women, which consequently extinguish or smother some sort of romantic love, that are the root cause of their subversive actions....   [tags: societal convention, gender norms, freedom]

Research Papers
1283 words (3.7 pages)

The Life of Jackie Robinson Essay example

- Jackie Robinson is one of the most famous people ever to live. From football to basketball to track and to baseball, he could do it all; one of the greatest athletes ever. Jackie Robinson played Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was a hero both athletically and socially; he was treated awfully but he had the courage to keep going and do what he loves most: baseball. Jackie Robinson had an interesting early life. He was born in Cairo, Georgia but then moved to Pasadena, California....   [tags: biography, Jack Roosevelt Robinson]

Research Papers
888 words (2.5 pages)

Robinson Crusoe as Ancient Hero Essay

- Eva Brann writes in her article “The Unexpurgated Robinson Crusoe” that Robinson Crusoe is the archetype, a model of a new man, soon to be predominant breed – a modern man. Crusoe is a rational man, with extraordinary capabilities, a lone individual and an individual that makes a culture of one. He is every man in one: a businessman, laborer, and accountant. He is the ultimate individualist. He does everything by himself, for himself. Nevertheless, what can be said about Robinson Crusoe’s modernity if while reading the novel he continued reminding me to an ancient Greek hero Jason....   [tags: Robinson Crusoe Essays]

Research Papers
1898 words (5.4 pages)

Jackie Robinson Essay examples

- Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo. The year Jackie was born was 1919 to a family of farmers. His Mother name is Mallie Robinson. She raised Jackie and four other of her children. They were the only black family around and people gave them a hard time about living around them since they were the only black family on the block. Jackie was the very first black baseball player ever to join the white man’s league. Jackie Robinson started playing baseball in 1947. He was the first player who played in the black man league and joined the white man team....   [tags: Jackie Robinson Essay]

Research Papers
856 words (2.4 pages)

Jackie Robinson Essay

- Back Back Back Back Back and GONE. This is what people heard many times when Jackie Robinson was up to bat whether they liked it or not. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the MLB in 1947 which changed the game of baseball forever (America’s). Jackie Robinson faced many hardships such as fans treating him harshly saying folderol while playing on the field, players treating him bad, and not having anywhere to sleep even though he was very athletic even at a very young age. Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919....   [tags: Jackie Robinson Essay]

Research Papers
830 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Robinson Crusoe as an Unchanging Character

- Robinson Crusoe is a character we get to know extremely well, thanks to Daniel Defoe and his informative descriptions. Because of this we can see how Robinson's attitudes and beliefs may or may not change throughout the book. In this essay I will look at how they do or do not change, and decide on whether Robinson is a changing or unchanging character. "I was born in the year 1623, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner....   [tags: Robinson Crusoe Essays]

Free Essays
874 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe

- Daniel Defoe was an extraordinary man. Although he never had the benefit of a university education, he spoke six languages and was able to read even more. His curriculum included having been a government spy, a shopkeeper, and a journalist. As the latter, he was employed by both major parties. Of course, serving two lord is impossible, so after he got into trouble with both of these parties, he turned to writing as another means of living. The first major difference between Defoe's work and most other books dating from this time is that Robinson Crusoe is really entertaining, quite exhilarating and at times even amusing to read....   [tags: Defoe Robinson Crusoe Essays]

Free Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Related Searches

     Though Jeffers only earned a BA in his many years at different universities, he
benefited from his diverse education in many aspect of his life. Obviously, his literary and
linguistic knowledge improved his poetry. “The influence of his medical training persists
in the physiological imagery and descriptions that permeate his poetry; while his studies
of forestry served him daily . . . as he tended the hundreds of trees that he planted
around his house” (Butterfield 414).
     Despite Jeffer’s frequent changes in location, school, and study, his love for Una
Call Kuster did not falter. After meeting Una in 1905, “eight years of confusion, emotional
storm and struggle, and parental disapproval followed for them until 1913, when Una was
divorced, quite unacrimoniously” (Butterfield 414). On August 2nd, 1913, Robinson and
Una were married. Like Jeffers, Una was diversely educated and intelligent. She earned a
masters degree in philosophy and was “an expert lecturer on Irish music, architecture,
and art, and was an avid reader and a book reviewer for a small California magazine”
(Brophy Internet).
     While living in La Jolla for a few months after getting married, Una and Jeffers
planned on moving to Lyme Regis, England where Jeffers would pursue a career in
writing. But in 1914 they decided against going abroad due to the commencement of
World War I and Una’s pregnancy. The beginning of the war caused him great angst
because “he was torn between an idealism that drove him toward enlistment despite
domestic ties and the beginning of a philosophical pacifism” (Brophy 3). Also very
painful for Jeffers was the death of his first daughter, Maeve, one day after she was born
(Zaller xiii).
     In September of 1914, Una and Jeffers moved to Carmel, California whose “rocky,
fog-bound coast may have seemed the closest available approximation of England to
Jeffers” (Zaller 3). Unfortunately their new-found happiness was not to last. On
December 20th of 1914, Jeffers’s father died. Dr. Jeffers’s death was “deeply disquieting”
to Jeffers who expressed his mourning through poems such as “To His Father” and “The
Year of Mourning” (Butterfield 415).
     Right around the time Jeffers published his second book, Californians, Una gave
birth to twin boys, Donnan and Garth. When the boys were 3 years old, the Jeffers family
bought a piece of land that had a magnificent view of Carmel Bay and Point Lobos.
Robinson Jeffers immediately began building a stone cottage by hand using only stones
from his land. When the house was finished, Jeffers began constructing what would
become a “four-tiered, forty-foot tower, five years abuilding, from which he could
overlook the Pacific, the coastal landscape south toward the Big Sur, and the night sky
filled with brilliant stars” (Brophy 4). This tower was very important to his family and
influential and evident in his poetry.
     Though his building projects took several years, Jeffers was constantly writing in
the meantime. “Jeffers’s daily schedule, since the early 1920s expansion of Tor House,
was unswerving: writing in the mornings, usually in the upper floor of his cottage, and
stone work or tree-planting in the afternoons” (Brophy 6). After the day’s work was done,
“there were awesome sunsets, walks under the constellations, reading by kerosene
lamps (electricity came only in 1949), [and] occasional trips to the tower parapet to
attune his micro-cosm to the universe of stars and galaxies” (Brophy 6). From 1924 to
1938, Jeffers published ten books. Consequently, “Jeffers’s literary reputation
skyrocketed in the 1920s [and] crested in the 30s—” he was voted into the National
Institute of Arts and Letters and was awarded with honorary in Humane Letters from
Occidental College (Brophy 4, Zaller xiv). In 1941, Jeffers went on a reading and speaking
tour paid for by the Library of Congress; he somehow also found time to complete and
release Be Angry at the Sun. Three years later, Jeffers was voted into the American
Academy of Arts and Letters. This honor was followed by his much-liked remake of
Medea which was featured on Broadway in 1947 by the National Theatre (Zaller xiv).
     Life took a turn for the worse in 1948. On a trip to Ireland with Una, Jeffers nearly
died of pleurisy (Brophy 7). That same year, he published The Double Axe which
“produced a dramatic downturn in his critical reputation” (Brophy 5). For several years
before it arrived, Jeffers had been predicting and fearing a second World War. His poems
in The Double Axe were so harsh and “capable of patriotically motivated treason” that
Random House publishers put a disclaimer on the book in an effort to “disassociate
themselves” from Jeffers’ views (Butterfield 416). Many of Jeffers’s poems openly
criticized the authority and decisions of world leaders—Stalin, Roosevelt, and Hitler—
and the negative events that came as consequences of their choices (Coffin).
     In addition to a downfall in reputation, Jeffers was disturbed by Una’s serious
illness in early 1949. Her health continued to disintegrate until she passed away on
September 1st of 1950. Above and beyond being a faithful spouse, Una was “a forceful,
possessive, protective woman” and consequently, “she had been an immeasurable
source of strength” to Jeffers (Butterfield 416).
     After Una’s death, Jeffers kept to himself writing a few brief yet profound poems
which he organized into a book called Hungerfield and Other Poems which was published
in 1954. In the eleven years that Jeffers lived after Una’s death, he received the Eunice
Tietjens Memorial Prize, the Borestone Mountain Award, the Award of the Academy of
American Poets, and the Shelly Memorial Award. Jeffers took one last trip to Ireland to
visit the countryside that Una had loved so much (Zaller xv). After this final excursion,
Jeffers stayed at the Tor House and slowly wasted away. Despite his immense sadness,
Jeffers did not break “the pact he had made early in his career, not to take his own life but
to drink it all, even to the dregs” (Brophy 7). On January 20th in 1962, Jeffers died at the
Tor House. Jeffers was “a major poet, uncomfortable, disturbing, savage at times, yet
inspiriting and enhancing” (Butterfield 439).
Return to