Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 174
One of the most poignant statements from the protagonist(s) in the book was,
Perhaps we were friends first and lovers second. But then perhaps this is what lovers are.
This quote illustrates the depth of Oliver and Elio's relationship. Their dynamic wasn't just limited to sexual attraction or even romantic feelings towards one another, but encompasses a loving friendship as well. This excerpt shows the progression of their relationship from superficial physical attraction to a higher level.
On the other hand, this passage illustrates the reality that Oliver and Elio had to face:
We belonged to each other, but had lived so far apart that we belonged to others now.
This awareness of their respective situations in life was integral to the narrative, because it shows their characters' evolving maturity over the years. Over a decade later, when Elio visits Oliver in the United States, he at first is saddened and bitter about Oliver's decision to start a family, but later realizes that life is about changes, and that separation doesn't mean forgetting.