Having finally seen a recent movie starring a particular fourth wall breaking superhero, I was interested to find a friend saying she could not stand the film because the character spoke directly to the audience.  It broke her suspension of disbelief, and reminded her that she was watching “a falsehood,” as she put it.  Breaking the fourth wall is always a tough proposition in fiction, but sometimes I find it incredibly charming and effective for a given story, leading to today’s self-referential query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still loves Tom Robbins tendency to talk to the reader, even if his work hasn’t always aged well, asking: Fourth Wall Breaking: Yay Or Nay?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. July 25, 2016 at 11:39 am — Reply

    Yay, if used sparingly and in right context.

  2. July 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm — Reply

    Depends on the context, the setting and other things. It works for some and doesn’t for others, so I’m not really for or against it in general.

  3. Ella
    July 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm — Reply

    I love me some good fourth wall breaking if used correctly. However, it gets very old very fast if used too much.

  4. Frank
    July 26, 2016 at 7:50 am — Reply

    If done right, its great (like Deadpool). It can get old quick if overused ala Burt Reynolds.

  5. July 26, 2016 at 7:56 am — Reply

    Yes, if used correctly.
    Ferris Bueller the movie did it right. Ferris Bueller the TV show didn’t.

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