What does Faber say about Jesus and the controllers of society?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During a conversation with Montag, Faber makes an important comment about the role of Jesus in society:

Christ is one of the 'family' now. I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshipper absolutely needs.

In other words, in Faber and Montag's society, the controllers of society have hijacked the image of Jesus to suit their own agenda. They have removed his association with morality and ethics and transformed him into a member of the "family," a figure of mindless entertainment who is projected on to parlour walls across the country, for women like Mildred to talk and listen to.

In doing this, Jesus is no longer recognisable ("I often wonder if God recognizes his own son") to those who remember life before the burning of the books. Gone are the true stories of Jesus, replaced with messages invented by the controllers to make him "sugar-crystal" and "saccharine," instead of human and flawed. These messages, devised by the controllers, lead people to buy things they don't really need and focus on entertainment, instead of asking deeper questions of themselves and society.

By doing this, the controllers have also cleverly eradicated the association between Jesus and the Bible. If people think that Jesus is one of the "family," they will be less inclined to want to read the original stories of his life in the Bible and, over time, will completely forget this book ever existed.

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

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