Call Me By Your Name Themes

Call Me By Your Name Themes

Obsessive love

The theme of obsessive love is the principal one in the novel. It is highlighted in depiction of the 17 year-old Italian boy Elio and his attitude toward the young American scholar Oliver and their further love affair. Elio was obsessed with the thought of Oliver, his body, his love. All his dreams were about them being together, he imagined what he would feel in the moment of their closeness. He longed to be both Oliver’s friend and lover. This idea was always on his mind and when they finally did it, Elio was over the moon, although for the first time he felt terrible and thought that he was over Oliver, he realized that his feelings for him would last forever: “…he is more myself than I am”, - Elio remembered Emily Bronte’s words.

Love is stronger than mind, and when it becomes obsessive there is no way out of this feeling, it eats a person from the inside, it takes heart forever and there is no hope that it will fade away one day. Even in 20 years Elio and Oliver still remembered their summer, and although there was no chance for them to be together. Elio didn’t need that, all he wanted was to be called by Oliver’s name just one more time.


In the relationship between Elio and Oliver, friendship was as important as their passion and sexual desire. They both felt the need not just in lover, but in friend, in a person to talk to about everything. They liked to talk about books, poets, writers, about music and work. Their conversations were never about them and their feelings, there was no need to talk about it. In spite of Elio, who was rather a shy and introvert person, Oliver had many friends in Italy. One of them was a 10 years old girl Vimini, who had the IQ of a genius. Their friendship was a mystery for Elio, he couldn’t understand what the two of them saw in each other, but it seemed so natural, even more than their own friendship. This theme shows that friends are a vital need of every person in the world, and it is a great pleasure to find the true friend, one’s soul mate.


Time is merciless. It flies with the speed of light and one can hardly notice when everything has changed. But there are places where time seems to stop and all the memories are alive, as if just a few moments had past, not fifteen or twenty years. Elio’s home in Italy was such a place for him and Oliver. When they met there in twenty years they felt like they were young again, like they were awaken after 20 years coma, because the memories about that summer were in every step, but unfortunately, one cannot bring back time, and will never have the opportunity to go through that summer again. But there are things which time cannot change, they are hidden deep in one’s soul and it doesn’t matter how many years have past, they will still remain as if it happened just a moment ago. These are one’s feelings – fear, passion, sorrow, and, of course, love. Even in twenty years Elio still feels the same for Oliver, as if he is seventeen again, he knows that it is impossible to change anything between them but he has memories and Oliver also remembers their nights together and it is more than enough for him.

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