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What is the meaning of "my complement in play"?

 
 
kathy79
 
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2015 12:36 am
The paragraph below is an excerpt from the novel <When god was a rabbit>.
That expression "my complement in play" seems to be used metaphorically.
Is that related to sports? Would you please paraphrase this expression for me?
Thanks a lot in advance : )

The excerts:
"She featured not at all during this period and I realise she was the colour that was missing. She clasped the years either side of this waiting and held them up as beacons, and when she arrived in class that dull January morning it was as if she herself was the New Year; the thing that offered me the promise of beyond. But only I could see that. Others, bound by convention, found her at best laughable, and at worst someone to mock. She was of another world; different. But by then, secretly, so was I. She was my missing piece; my complement in play."
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2015 03:34 am
The author is saying that "she" is what the first person narrator lacks. Your left hand is the complement to your right hand. The husband is the complement to the wife. In this context, complement is something that makes up for a lack, or that completes that which is, by itself, only a part of a whole. "She" completes the narrator. The author says this explicitly: She was my missing piece; my complement in play." The author uses "in play" in the sense of "in action." The arrival of that character acts as the complement to the narrator, who can now be whole.
kathy79
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2015 11:58 pm
@Setanta,
Thank you very very much for your kind answer. It helps a lot. : )
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Oct, 2015 12:19 am
@kathy79,

I cannot improve, nor usefully add to, Setanta's elegant answer.

So I'll pour myself another mug of tea.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Oct, 2015 12:44 am
Cheers, Boss . . .
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