With the use of the formalist lens, one can analyze the labyrinth as not only a theme, but a form in Mark Z. Danielewski's novel, "House Of Leaves." There are many aspects to the theme and form of the labyrinth in this novel. This novel follows the idea of the labyrinth from some of it's predecessors who had written about a labyrinth in some sense. Jorge Luis Borges inspired Danielewski to use the labyrinth in his writing. .
Although Danielewski was inspired by Borges, he incorporates the labyrinth not only as the main theme in the novel, but also in the form, or layout of the novel. There is an even deeper meaning in this novel than meet the eye. As a reader, we need an outsiders perspective on House Of Leaves. This novel is separated into four levels which tell the story from four points of view. First, there is the story of Will Navidson and his wife Karen Green, along with their two children, Chad and Daisy. .
In the next level, something known as "The Navidson Record," " becomes the subject of the second level in the novel. The second level of this novel is told by Zampano, a blind man who recalls his findings of "The Navidson Record." " Then comes the third level of the novel. This is when Zampano's book notes are found by a man named Johnny Truant who makes it his goal to organize the material left behind by Zampano. Finally, the fourth level of narration consists of mainly footnotes and appendices left by editors who remain unnamed. The labyrinth depicted in the novel has affected the various characters in the novel. It also serves as a main theme in the novel as well as the form of the novel.
While analyzing this novel, there are many ways of looking at it. One literary lens in particular can easily be seen by an individual throughout House Of Leaves. The formalist lens is one's own opinion on a subject based on previous knowledge, ideas, and beliefs held by a person. The novel can be interpreted in many ways, it just depends on how an individual perceives its message.