The Monster in House of Leaves

Disclaimer: You are reading one of my early blog posts for a class and will have no context for what I’m about to say. For that, I apologize

I doubt it’s an actual creepy with fangs and rabies.

Is it whatever you’re most afraid of?

Is the monster people’s own personal, psychological demons?

Is it the black, endless, empty space itself?

At first, I figured it was whatever flaw each character had, except amplified.  But after reading about the children’s drawings and thinking about how Danielewski uses medium as a way to both show and tell, I feel like it’s a combination of that AND the fear of blank or black space.  Have you ever met someone who couldn’t stand to be alone with their own thoughts?  Who always needed to be around people or have some kind of external stimulus?  I feel like the monster is whatever they are running from, whatever terror manifests itself in quiet moments.  Silence moments make many uncomfortable, and I found myself feeling a little perturbed about all the empty spaces on the pages of House of Leaves.  I was wondering if the boxes of black and the empty page spaces are supposed to make us start confronting that silence.  Maybe that confrontation is what is making Truant crack.  It’s interesting that all parties, including those who embrace the house’s engulfing empty space willingly (Navidson, the explorer), compulsively (Truant–and, it may be argued, Navidson), or not at all (Karen) all seem to be suffering as a result of its existence.  I would think that those willing to confront the emptiness are those well-adjusted folk that have nothing to be afraid of in empty moments, and would find it’s not as bad as they thought.  Tom defeats the monster by embracing darkness, after all.  But even Navidson hears the monster of the empty space growl.   Maybe we’re no match for our own psyche.

Or maybe the monster is something totally different.  Who knows.

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