Characters

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 139

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The protagonist of Call Me by Your Name is Elio Perlman, a 17-year-old Jewish American with dual Italian citizenship. Elio's central story arc is his attraction for Oliver, which forces him to come to terms with his bisexuality.

Elio spends his summers living in Bordigheria, Italy, with his mother and father, the latter a well-known academic in the Classical tradition. Each summer, his parents host a doctoral student who assists in research.

Oliver arrives at the summer house as a doctoral student. He begins a relationship with Elio, but has his own doubts about where it will lead. Towards the end of the novel, the two gradually cease communication. Oliver marries a woman in America, and Elio finds comfort in the realization that it is important to aspire toward both a real and imaginary self at the same time.

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