Maude Martha Analysis

Words: 687
Pages: 3

Gwendolyn Brooks introduces the themes of exclusion and discrimination that often work together in Maud Martha. Brooks shows how these two themes effect Maud Martha in the novel as a whole and her daughter Paulette’s perception of herself when she has a negative encounter with Santa Claus towards the end of the book. Shielding children from their environment is not easy because they grow up to recognize the things they were being protected from as seen in Maud Martha and Paulette’s encounter with Santa. Through Maud Martha’s phrasing in the passage, it is clear that she is trying to protect Paulette and keep her innocent to no avail. On page 300 Maud Martha says, “Santa Claus is through…”, to get Paulette to come with her. By saying “Santa is not listening”, this way, Maud Martha expresses her discontent with the mall Santa. She chooses her words carefully because she is trying to keep Paulette’s image of Santa Claus intact. In reality, Paulette has recognized that …show more content…
For these two African American females living in a society where they are still heavily discriminated against, and very much separated, there is no way to fully protect either one from the prejudices of others. Maud Martha does what she can to assure Paulette that she is a normal child like everyone else but their environment is working against her to show her daughter that she is, in fact, different and will be treated differently. Ultimately Maud Martha is putting off talking with Paulette about the ways of the world but this encounter with the Santa Claus proves to her that she cannot keep Paulette from finding out early on that she will not be given equal treatment. This brief experience in Maud Martha proves that sheltering children from the negative in their societies is almost impossible because they grow to realize on their own what is happening around