|Penguin Classics book cover|
In Chapter 38 of Jane Eyre, the narrator speaks to the one who is holding the book: "Reader, I married him." The reader feels the barrier between fiction and reality crumble a little, as Jane confides these words.
Of course, this device is an ancient means of engaging the audience in enacted drama and dates back to Greek theatre. Shakespeare employs the same method in many of his characters' soliloquies: one thinks of Iago discussing his plans to destroy Othello with the audience, who is "in" on the whole wicked scheme.
|Tina Fey in 30 Rock|
In modern television, it is often used for comic effect. The direct eye contact of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs made the viewer feel that his evil extended beyond the screen.
|Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs|