In a series of letters, Robert Walton, the captain of a ship bound for the North Pole, recounts to his sister back in England the progress of his dangerous mission. Successful early on, the mission is soon interrupted by seas full of impassable ice. Trapped, Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein, who has been traveling by dog-drawn sledge across the ice and is weakened by the cold. Walton takes him aboard ship, helps nurse him back to health, and hears the fantastic tale of the monster that Frankenstein created.
Victor first describes his early life in Geneva. At the end of a blissful childhood spent in the company of Elizabeth Lavenza (his cousin in the 1818 edition, his adopted sister in the 1831 edition) and friend Henry Clerval, Victor enters the university of Ingolstadt to study natural philosophy and chemistry. There, he is consumed by the desire to discover the secret of life and, after several years of research, becomes convinced that he has found it.
Armed with the knowledge he has long been seeking, Victor spends months feverishly fashioning a creature out of old body parts. One climactic night, in the secrecy of his apartment, he brings his creation to life. When he looks at the monstrosity that he has created, however, the sight horrifies him. After a fitful night of sleep, interrupted by the specter of the monster looming over him, he runs into the streets, eventually wandering in remorse. Victor runs into Henry, who has come to study at the university, and he takes his friend back to his apartment. Though the monster is gone, Victor falls into a feverish illness.
Sickened by his horrific deed, Victor prepares to return to Geneva, to his family, and to health. Just before departing Ingolstadt, however, he receives a letter from his father informing him that his youngest brother, William, has been murdered. Grief-stricken, Victor hurries home. While passing through the woods where William was strangled, he catches sight of the monster and becomes convinced that the monster is his brother's murderer. Arriving in Geneva, Victor finds that Justine Moritz, a kind, gentle girl who had been adopted by the Frankenstein household, has been accused. She is tried, condemned, and executed, despite her assertions of innocence. Victor grows despondent, guilty with the knowledge that the monster he has created bears responsibility for the death of two innocent loved ones.
Hoping to ease his grief, Victor takes a vacation to the mountains. While he is alone one day, crossing an enormous glacier, the monster approaches him. The monster admits the murder of William but begs for understanding. Lonely, shunned, and forlorn, he says that he struck out at William in a desperate attempt to injure Victor, his cruel creator. The monster begs Victor to create a mate for him, a monster equally grotesque to serve as his sole companion.
Victor refuses at first, horrified by the prospect of creating a second monster. The monster is eloquent and persuasive, however, and he eventually convinces Victor. After returning to Geneva, Victor heads for England, accompanied by Henry, to gather information for the creation of a female monster. Leaving Henry in Scotland, he secludes himself on a desolate island in the Orkneys and works reluctantly at repeating his first success. One night, struck by doubts about the morality of his actions, Victor glances out the window to see the monster glaring in at him with a frightening grin. Horrified by the possible consequences of his work, Victor destroys his new creation. The monster, enraged, vows revenge, swearing that he will be with Victor on Victor's wedding night.
Later that night, Victor takes a boat out onto a lake and dumps the remains of the second creature in the water. The wind picks up and prevents him from returning to the island. In the morning, he finds himself ashore near an unknown town. Upon landing, he is arrested and informed that he will be tried for a murder discovered the previous night. Victor denies any knowledge of the murder, but when shown the body, he is shocked to behold his friend Henry Clerval, with the mark of the monster's fingers on his neck. Victor falls ill, raving and feverish, and is kept in prison until his recovery, after which he is acquitted of the crime.
Shortly after returning to Geneva with his father, Victor marries Elizabeth. He fears the monster's warning and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. To be cautious, he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. While he awaits the monster, he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster had been hinting at killing his new bride, not himself. Victor returns home to his father, who dies of grief a short time later. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge, and he soon departs to begin his quest.
Victor tracks the monster ever northward into the ice. In a dogsled chase, Victor almost catches up with the monster, but the sea beneath them swells and the ice breaks, leaving an unbridgeable gap between them. At this point, Walton encounters Victor, and the narrative catches up to the time of Walton's fourth letter to his sister.
Walton tells the remainder of the story in another series of letters to his sister. Victor, already ill when the two men meet, worsens and dies shortly thereafter. When Walton returns, several days later, to the room in which the body lies, he is startled to see the monster weeping over Victor. The monster tells Walton of his immense solitude, suffering, hatred, and remorse. He asserts that now that his creator has died, he too can end his suffering. The monster then departs for the northernmost ice to die.
John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in 1902. He was the third of four children and the only son of John Steinbeck, Sr. and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. Growing up in a rural valley near the Pacific coast, Steinbeck was an intense reader, and both his father, a local government official, and his mother, a former schoolteacher, encouraged his literary pursuits. In 1919 he graduated from Salinas High School and matriculated at Stanford University, where he studied literature and writing.
In 1925, without a degree, Steinbeck left Stanford to pursue work as a reporter in New York City. He returned to California the following year, supporting his endeavors at writing with a steady income from manual labor. Over the next several years his literary career gained momentum with the publication of his first novels. Although his first three—Cup of Gold, The Pastures of Heaven, and To a God Unknown—were critical and commercial failures, he achieved major success in 1935 with the publication of Tortilla Flat, a collection of stories about the ethnic working poor in California. During this time, Steinbeck began to gain recognition from critics for his short stories.
Steinbeck's extensive travels in the 1930s partly inspired two of his finest works, Of Mice and Men, in 1937, and The Grapes of Wrath, in 1939. Both novels, fictional portraits of the western United States during the Great Depression, are still read widely. Steinbeck received the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath in 1940.
Steinbeck's simple, touching novella The Pearl originally appeared in the magazine Woman's Home Companion in 1945 under the title “The Pearl of the World.” The story explores the destructive effect of colonial capitalism on the simple piety of a traditional native culture. Set in a Mexican Indian village on the Baja Peninsula around the turn of the century, the novella tells the story of Kino, an Indian pearl diver who discovers a massive, beautiful, and extremely valuable pearl. The pearl fills Kino with a new desire to abandon his simple, idyllic life in favor of dreams of material and social advancement, dreams that run headlong into the oppressive resistance of the Spanish colonial powers that top the social hierarchy of Kino's world.
While less complex than Steinbeck's other works, The Pearl ranks among his most popular, and it is certainly one of his most accessible. The novella was originally conceived as a film project (and was in fact made into a motion picture in 1948); it features a simple, visually evocative style that in many ways recalls the narrative flow of a film. Additionally, The Pearl's simple prose style echoes the traditional style of a moral parable, particularly the biblical parables of Jesus. The story clearly owes a great deal to the biblical story of the pearl of great price, and to a certain extent the familiar rhythms and easily understandable moral lessons of the novella help to explain its continuing power and its long-standing popularity.
The Pearl is not among Steinbeck's most critically acclaimed works, but it has exerted a certain amount of influence in American literature. Its evocation of natural beauty and its use of the short, simple parable form may have influenced Ernest Hemingway in writing The Old Man and the Sea (1952). Because of its overwhelming popularity, Steinbeck reissued The Pearl as a single volume in 1947, and it has enjoyed a healthy readership ever since. Other widely read Steinbeck titles include Cannery Row and The Red Pony, both published in 1945, East of Eden (1952), and the unique travelogue Travels with Charley (1962).
Steinbeck was a prolific and popular writer, but few consider him to be an American writer of the absolute first rank. Whereas most of Steinbeck's contemporaries—Hemingway and William Faulkner, for example—wrote in clear and consistent styles, making it easy to identify their artistry, Steinbeck never stuck with one style, and his choice of narrative form varied greatly from work to work. Nevertheless, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, and although the quality of his writing suffered a precipitous drop in his final years, he left behind a body of work that marks him as a significant twentieth-century American voice.
kenangan dahulu mengajar erti kehidupan,
pengalaman membawa kearah yang lebih baik,
lebih jauh kita merantau, lebih luas pemandangan dan kita akan menjadi manusia yang lebih hebat. "be a tough person to survive in a tough life"