Christy's 'Queen Esther' plan is an allusion to Queen Esther in the Bible. Christy plans to 'wow' Mr. Hazen L. Smith with her feminine charm to convince him to donate money to help fund additional costs for the children's school in Cutter's Gap, like possible boarding during the winter and teaching reading lessons for some of the ladies in the sewing circle.. When she arrives in Knoxville, Tennessee, she goes to the salon and gets her hair done up in a big beautiful 'figure eight' and then goes to the milliner's shop to find a dramatic looking hat that would help her make an impression on the rich businessman. When Christy enters the Smith building, she thinks about "Queen Esther and her unfaltering walk across the vast marble pavement" (206). Her dramatic entrance helps her gain the confidence to ask Mr. Smith to make a donation.
Like Queen Esther, Christy uses her natural beauty to capture the attention of the man from whom she needs a favor. The dramatic hat and hair-do capture Mr. Smith's attention from the very beginning of Christy's visit, and later he comments appreciatively that she "has the most beautiful eyes God ever put in a woman's face" (212).