Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name Imagery

The Piazetta by the Sea

"Father out and way below was a magnificent view of the sea with scarcely a few stripes of foam streaking the bay like giant dolphins breaking the surf." Aciman paints the view of the sea from the piazetta in B. with one deeply evocative line. The simile comparing sea-foam to dolphins emphasizes an aquatic mood. The length of the sentence reflects the panoramic view, and the emphasis on sibilance (alliteration of 's' sounds) evokes the sound of waves.

Different Colored Bathing Suits

Elio, as he overanalyzes all of Oliver's characteristics, develops a theory of Oliver's personality based on the colored bathing suit he chooses to wear on any given day. There are four of them: “Red: bold, set in his ways, very grown up, almost gruff and ill-tempered – stay away. Yellow: sprightly, buoyant, funny – don’t give in too easily. Green: acquiescent, eager to learn, eager to speak, sunny – why wasn’t he always like this? Blue: the afternoon he stepped into my room from the balcony, the day he massaged my shoulder, or when he picked up my glass and placed it back to me.” Elio attempts to measure Oliver's personality based on the specific bathing suit he chooses. While the theory isn't perfect and does not always represent reality, it illustrates four different valences to Oliver's character which collectively make up his persona.

Memories of Summer

“The lyric cast of the sun, the teeming fields with tall plants nodding away under the intense midafternoon heat the squeak of our wooden floors, or the scrape of the clay ashtray pushed ever so lightly on the marble slab that used to sit on my nightstand." This is what Elio remembers of his summer with Elio: a depiction of relaxed, languid afternoons on the Riviera. The brilliance, beauty, and relaxed nature of this image is as much a description of the setting as it is of Elio's internal emotions.

Monet's Berm

Elio's secret berm is "a soundless, quiet cove… Not a sign of civilization anywhere, no home, no jetty, no fishing boats." This is the same spot where Monet came to paint. When he brings Oliver to this spot, the imagery of the scene, the name of the location, and the name of the chapter—"Monet's Berm"—evoke the image of Elio and Oliver inside Monet's painting in the reader's imagination, adding to it the feeling of timelessness that expressionist landscape paintings create. The same image is immortalized in the postcard that Oliver keeps for years after his summer at the villa.