Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name Irony

Heaven (Verbal Irony)

This is what Oliver calls the tiled edge of the pool near the house. He likes to spend time in the exact same spot along the pool, and he invests countless hours there doing his work, talking with Elio, or just sleeping. Oliver often says that he is going to "heaven" when is going there, and, indeed, it brings him great pleasure to read, sunbathe, and sleep there. The author uses irony here to say that heaven may be a place on the earth—it is up to us if we can see it or not. Another layer of irony rests in the fact that, while the spot is heaven for Oliver, for Elio, sitting near him by that spot while pining away in desire and hiding his true feelings is anything but heaven, though the chance to see and interact with Oliver is heavenly nonetheless.

Elio's Written Note to Oliver (Situational & Verbal Irony)

On the day that Elio decides to break his silence about his desire for sexual intimacy, he writes a note and slips it under Oliver's door: "Can't stand the silence. I need to speak to you." One one hand, it is ironic for Elio to do this by means of a written note, considering that nothing stops him from simply speaking to Oliver. On the other hand, his request to "speak" is an instance of verbal irony a veiled request for a sexual encounter.

Elio's Father (Dramatic Irony)

The greatest instance of dramatic irony occurs in the novel when Elio's father reveals to him that he knew about the affair all along. Although Elio suspects that his parents might know—based on the way that they decide to leave the phone line when Oliver calls from America, so that the two can speak alone—he only presumes this might be the case and feels indifferent toward the matter. When Elio's father finally speaks to him about it, he takes it as an opportunity to impart life wisdom and help Elio to recognize that their relationship was special from the start.

The Thai Night Clerk (Verbal Irony)

As the poet in Rome recounts his story of "The San Clemente Syndrome," he first implies that the night clerk is male, wearing a cap and presenting masculine features. As the night clerk attempts to woo him by offering him shots of alcohol, the poet protests, wishing to say that he doesn't consider himself homosexual; so, the clerk takes off his hat, revealing that he has long hair and is actually a woman. The narration's gender pronouns change to female pronouns. She continues to tease the poet when he discovers that she's a woman by claiming once more that she's actually a man and he was right in his first assumption. Finally, as the clerk gets up from the table and walks away, revealing feminine legs and high heels, the poet realizes she was a woman all along.