"GM bought out like twenty-five thousand Polacks to build this huge automotive plant"

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the residents of Poletown in Detroit, a predominately Polish neighbourhood, protested against the construction of the General Motors Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. They were unsuccesful and the plant opened in 1985, unlike in The Virgin Suicides, where Eugenides describes the place as 'rubble' and 'weeds'. There were also probably only around 4,200 people relocated, and these events took place years after Cecilia's death.