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Useful weblinks: The Divided Body

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable

  • Read some different retellings of the fable on this site. 

  • Many people interpret the moral of this fable as being that one shouldn’t be a traitor and rebel against the leader. It could also be a message about teamwork: everyone has a role to play. Ask students what message they can learn from this fable. 
  • Kawanabi Kyosai (1870-80) created a Japanese woodblock print entitled ‘The lazy one in the middle’. Here the argument that the belly is the sustainer of the rest of the body is turned on its head – instead, the belly’s selfish concerns appear to be sapping the other body parts of energy!