Mainshow wrote:In the book, there's an incident which gives an insight of Oliver's mind and why he might have chosen to take Elio down.
I read the book recently and I'm struggling to pinpoint what that incident was exactly, care to help?
Was it his conservative family?
Actually, there are a few moments: Oliver's comment on his "coma life", his gift to Elio (the Monet postcard) and the phone call where he didn't call him by his name anymore
There is a short passage, when Elio went to Oliver's "unviersity city"..they went for a drink and talked about the future.. that they will think of their younger selves as two happy (fooli-ish) guys being so deliriously happy while they will look onto their life as unhappy, trying to hold on thinking of that short summer romance back in Italy (that tehy are not allowed to be fully happy.. that they have to take short "injections" of that happiness they encountered back in Italy.. that they were so happy back then, that there's nothing left for them). That left me totally unsettled, made me feel at unease,
Oliver even admits that he partly made a mistake back then... that he was in a coma, that he lived a parrallel life .. but that he has to go back to his "coma"/(life tomorrow again... it#s like Oliver still can't choose to be happy (for whatever reason). He just hasn't accept himself
I don't think it was Oliver's conservative family.. more like how Oliver was not able to overcome his fear of being noticed by other people not being in a straight relationship. - At the end, when Elio and Oliver are in Rome and heading off to the book store to meet the others, Oliver struggled, paused and even said that "I don't want that anything will be different tonight". Even though Elio's parents seem to have known about their love and even fully accepted it despite being in Italy in the 1980s and the age difference, Oliver was still afraid of being true to himself.
Also, even more striking was Oliver's "gift": The postcard picturing Monet's painting... a reference to the place where Elio and Oliver first kissed...he wrote "heart of hearts" on the back of it. He was not able to say it directly to Elio, he had to "hide" his inner feelings, his true love behind a painting. That painting could stand for Oliver's marriage (which might look like beautiful from the outside with his two kids, etc) but in fact, Oliver and Elio have never been really happy.
Also, when Oliver told Elio about his plan to marry.. he was phsyically present in ELio's room and Elio asked him to come to him, sit next to him on his bed... but Oliver, again, was hiding his feelings and even said that they won't "do anything". He stays fully dressed (another metaphor of hiding what he truly feels and is)
Also, some years later, there is another phone call where Elio calls Oliver by his own name "Elio" but Oliver seems to have forgotten about it and says something like "This is Olliver speaking". He even tells Elio that he has to get to know his family but at the same time, he says taht he is so happy to be back in Italy, at Elio's place, with his parents.. that it's the "happiest place he has ever been to".
It's like how Oliver acted, it killed Elio's inner spirit. At least, in some parts, even after years, he still has feelings for Oliver.