Maud Martha takes her daughter to see Santa Claus. What happens and what is the meaning of what happens? in The Rise of Maud Martha
The Santa Claus episode reflects Maud Martha's growing disillusionment with American society as a whole. The novel makes constant reference to the protagonist's feeling of estrangement from her domestic sphere. Yet, this episode points to a larger malaise as when she takes her daughter Paulette to see a white Santa Claus, they are hardly noticed by the man. Paulette has the distinct feeling that Santa Claus did not like her and when she tells her mother, Maud Martha is afraid that her daughter is beginning to realize the pervading racism of American society. Maud Martha's reassurance that Santa liked her reveals that the mother wants her daughter to continue not to be fully aware of racial prejudice. The chapter ends with Maud Martha's prayer that her daughter carries on to believe in Santa as a perfect, dream-like creature. This hints at her willingness to keep her daughter from realizing the truth about the reality of race relations in the US.