1. At the beginning of Chapter 1, how are the two women described and what might be construed by these descriptions?
Laura is large breasted, sexual, sensual, and fond of her liquor, and Essie is overweight, has a beautiful singing voice, and has a sixteen-year-old daughter who she has rarely seen but with whom she longs to live. The differences between these two vividly portrayed women shape and delineate the book's central conflict, between the quests for earthly gratification and spiritual grace.
2. What do you think might be the significance of the title "Palm Sunday," of Chapter 1?
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter which, according to the Bible, was the day on which Christ entered Jerusalem and was welcomed with waving palm fronds. Perhaps the women will be greeted with the same enthusiasm as Christ, but perhaps they, too, will later be reviled.
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