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Written by Fariha Islam
Upon meeting Giovanni, David starts to feel like a wanderer himself. He was ever so confused about what he wanted yet he was discovering perhaps different layers of his personality. He was free to feel the things he had always been scared to feel. The new discoveries and its uncertainties are always highly nerve wrecking but there’s no greater to of discovering a world where no sailor had ever set his anchor before. David fell in love with Giovanni but he constantly wanted to run away from him.
David on several occasions in the novel, feels like Giovanni’s room is situated underwater. Emotions, conversations and their bodies moved like fluid inside it. Days flew by and the outside world didn’t exist once inside Giovanni’s room. It was like a secret world under the sea and only two of them knew it existed. Fluidity meant they were molded and altered inside the room; their beings built and broken down. But there was flow to it all. The days in the room liberated and suffocated David at the same time while it let Giovanni flourish into a lover and a murderer subsequently.
Giovanni believes that time resembles the ocean in many ways. And people are just like fish in it. When out of time, a man meets the same fate as a fish out of water, he dies. While in it, people choose to eat each other like the big fish eat the small fish in the ocean. It does not affect time itself like the ocean does not care about the things that goes on in its water. Here, the water imagery is back in a different light. Time, like water, keeps flowing no matter what.
Home is the symbol of his scary past for David. Back home in New Work, he used to be petrified of others finding out his sexual preference. Writing letters to his father is the only link David has with home since he ran away to Paris. Afraid of his father sniffing out his homosexuality, he willingly maintains a safe distance with him and writes to him very rarely. David writes home when he runs out of money and his father denies sending any in reply. In that case, home is his safest place too when he has nowhere else to turn to.
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