Revolution’s example of historical fiction is one of many exemplary techniques made, by altering and incorporating historical elements in order to convey details such as the setting of Freedom Summer, in Greenwood, Mississippi. Deborah Wiles’ depiction of historical references was prominent in her composition of Revolution, as she develops the idea of setting with characters.
Take the Leflore Theatre, for example. As a historic place, the Leflore is known for being a focal point of interest within Greenwood. Used in the context of the book, Wiles was able to develop events of racism and encounters with Sunny and Raymond, contributing to the author’s theme of unity. “…I bicycled past the Leflore almost every day and have seen Hightop there three times”(Wiles)
On another note, this occurrence is also abundant within the history of the Leflore and the Klu Klux Klan. As the KKK protests in hypocrisy, the Leflore is made and portrayed as an interest of conflict as characters such as Ray make a difference. This event is shown as well in historical references of a Freedom House, where both Ray and Jo Ellen work. Jo Ellen, a Freedom Rider is a character who Sunny believes is her mother. This connection also shows unity between Ray and Sunny as well as the unity resembling society. “(Jo Ellen) It’s our job to come to white churches and ask questions” (Wiles). This occurrence, as well as others, shows irony, as individuals of the KKK protested while the SNCC protested for a different motive of freedom.
As shown, despite the accuracy of Wiles’ piece, she did not fail to incorporate fictional elements specific to character development using altered history. As a case in point, the though historically, Greenwood is considered the Cotton Capital of the World. Wiles was able to alter this historical reference by applying it to Uncle Vivian, Sunny’s uncle, as he owns a cotton farm. “That’s what it looks like at Uncle Vivian’s plantation…an ocean of cotton and a wave of pickers” (Wiles). This follows the theme of Wiles book, creating a relation of the Fairchild family to the Civil Rights Movement while also showing the connection of society interracially.
As well as historical places expressed in Revolution, a tree referred to as “George” is a prominent aspect of the setting, where Sunny and her friends climbed the tree in order see the action of Freedom Summer, also ironic based on the name of a band member of The Beatles. Evidently, the setting and character development within Revolution is well written, in a way that is unique to the historical references of the Civil Rights Movement.