Border - summary of the work by Zofia Nałkowska

"Granica", a summary of which you should know, is reading that may appear on the matriculation examination. What is the novel by Zofia Nałkowska about? What threads does it tackle? Read on.

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Zofia Nałkowska used the time inversion in her novel. The piece begins and ends with information in local newspapers about the death of the city's president, Zenon Ziembiewicz, and the arrest of Justyna Bogutówna.

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1. Border - detailed reading summary

Zenon Ziembiewicz was well known in the city. He was perceived as a stable and responsible man. He seemed to be leading a quiet life. The news of his death shocked the inhabitants. Nobody expected a tragedy to happen. People began to talk loudly about the moral scandal, especially since Zenon's lover, Justyna Bogutówna, was arrested. During her last visit to Ziembiewicz's office, she became hysterical, poured acid on the man and tried to jump out the window. The president lost his eyesight and committed suicide.

Zenon Ziembiewicz was the son of Walerian Ziembiewicz and Joanna née Niemer. He spent his childhood and youth in Boleborze, where his father served as the ruler. With time, young Zeno less and less and reluctantly returned from the city where he had studied, to his family home. He also began to be ashamed of his family, e.g. he was irritated by his father's stories.

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In the second chapter of the novel, we meet Cecylia Kolichowska. Her first husband, and at the same time a great love, Konstanty Wąbrowski, was a socialist. He committed suicide shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Cecylia married a second time. Her chosen one was Aleksander Kolichowski, who was 15 years his senior. When he died, the woman was left alone. In his tenement house at ul. Staszica rented flats, which, however, posed many problems (some residents did not pay the rent). She lived on the ground floor herself. In her living room there were furniture brought from other rooms, which was very much appreciated by Zenon, who came to tutor Cecylia's ward, Elżbieta Biecka. He talked a lot with the girl. He even mentioned the young Justyna, whom he had met in the village of Bolebora.

Zeno started studying in Paris. When he returned, he called Elizabeth. He also ran into Justyna, who confided to him about a family tragedy: her mother died. The woman was crying, so Zeno started to console her. He managed to calm Justyna in the hotel, where he could kiss and hug her. This is how their romance began.

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Zeno started working in the editorial office, but he was not satisfied with it. He sought consolation in his walks with Elizabeth. Ultimately, he decided to break up with Justyna, but when he told the woman about it, she surprised him with the news of her pregnancy. The man stated that he did not want this child. He offered an abortion.

Zeno confessed to Elizabeth of treason. He also said that Justyna is pregnant. The woman, however, forgave the man. When she met with Justyna, she asked her if she had any feelings for Zenon. When she was unable to clearly answer this question, Elżbieta declared that she would not marry him and that the woman could bond with him. Justyna, however, was outraged by this attitude. When she told Zenon about the conversation with Elizabeth, he was angry with her.

Elżbieta decided to go to her mother. She left Zenon a letter in which she wrote that she did not want to meet him anymore. Nevertheless, she missed the man and was deeply affected by the fact that he had not spoken to her for two months. When Elżbieta was to leave with her mother, Zenon came to the woman and confessed that they could finally be together, because nothing was standing in the way of their mutual happiness.

Justyna asked Zenon to help her get employment in the store. At first she was satisfied with her work, but with time she stopped coming to her.

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The man married Elżbieta and became the city's president. One day Justyna appeared in his office, demanding that this one helped her get a job in a pastry shop.

Zeno got along with his wife less and less. Justyna harassed him with letters. Eventually, he decided to visit her, and after returning from the woman, he confessed to his wife that the former lover was showing symptoms of mental illness (which, however, was not confirmed by the doctor).

Justyna was not doing well. She had nightmares. She felt guilty that she had decided to terminate the pregnancy. She tried to poison herself. Zeno accused his wife of the condition of the woman. Workers' riots and related riots began in the city. All this led to an avalanche of tragic events: Justyna poured acid on Zenon, as a result of which the man lost his eyesight and decided to commit suicide. Elżbieta went abroad.

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