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Quotes / Fourth Wall Myopia

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"Dr. Hannibal Lecter?" he presses, which is the first time we hear the title character's name spoken, and somehow it's not followed by an ominous thunderclap or something. This is what I tend to think of as the People in Dracula Don't Know They're in Dracula problem. You and I are sitting here going, "Dude, are you hearing yourself? Hannibal Lecter. What kind of name even IS that? It RHYMES with how he's EVIL. Everyone knows who he is, that's why he's got four movies and a TV show." [...]

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But in a story, the characters don't know. "Why would you go to the dark scary castle of a guy named Dracula?!" Well, because "Dracula" doesn't mean anything to those fictional people—not the way it does to us. So, as a reader/viewer, you sometimes have to fight this impatient disbelief that the characters do not realize they are talking to a household name of horror. Rather, they're living in a world where "This guy is actually a terrifying killer who wants to feast on you" is the least obvious conclusion.
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