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Breaking the Fourth Wall. An op-Ed by Kshitija Mruthyunjaya

The French philosopher Denis Diderot defined the ‘fourth wall’ as an imaginary barrier that divides an audience from the world in a theatrical play. This barrier forms a setting to transport the audience into an imaginary world, away from the real world. Diderot’s concept of a ‘fourth wall’ can be used as a metaphor for the role of advertising in present-day economic system of production, distribution and consumption. There is an enormous disconnect between what Barthes calls real garment (produced) and used garment (consumed) as the represented garment (advertised/distributed) fails to mediate the truth between the producer and the consumer.