Swankivy's Reviews > The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
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's review
Aug 29, 08

bookshelves: favoritebooks
Read in January, 1995

This book is kind of my anthem. It's a seemingly simplistic story about a "missing piece" that's looking for another shape with a piece missing out of it that it can fit into and become complete. Obviously this is an allegory for relationships; the poor piece looks everywhere for a place it fits, and it both experiences and witnesses others experiencing so many different kinds of "fits" where the two partners are able to roll together.

The piece even finds one place it fits, but then the piece grows and no longer fits the hole it used to. Such a great metaphor for a relationship that works at first but changes when the two grow apart.

While searching, it even sees pieces that find other ways of latching onto each other despite how they're "built," which I kinda thought might be Shel's nod to gay relationships (where of course people always argue that men and women are made to "fit together" so that's the only right way, but there are plenty of couples who believe otherwise and demonstrate it!).

But eventually, of course, the piece meets "the Big O." And it's not missing any pieces and is complete all by itself. The piece has to learn to become a complete thing--something that can roll on its own--by slowly trying to roll so its corners round out. The last page shows the smaller "piece"--having become a little O--catching up to the Big O and rolling beside it. They're not stuck to each other or completing each other; they're just enjoying life as two separate but complete entities.

How cool is that!!!

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