Why does Oates open the book with the line "we were the Mulvaneys, remember us?"

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

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Perhaps she is trying to point to the importance to the family of being remembered, and also telegraphing that one of the many themes in the book is perception and memory.

It's also a great opening line because, as they are fictional, of course the reader won't remember the Mulvaneys-- but it sparks interest because you may remember another family, or just be intrigued by that opening line.