Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

English, M.A.


English Department


Jennifer Ryan-Bryant

First Reader

Jennifer Ryan-Bryant

Second Reader

Lorna Perez

Third Reader

Lisa Berglund


Textualization is the act of putting words on a page. Typography is the style and way in which the textualization of the text appears to the reader. Together, textualization and typography have the ability to coerce the reader into a specific reading pattern. Mark Z. Danielewski has combined textualization and typography in his complex novel House of Leaves as a unique attempt to represent trauma in the space between language and written language. Typical textual play becomes textual persuasion as the reader is guided through the labyrinth of text by typographical coercion. In this novel, these elements of play essentially force the reader to partake in a trauma-inducing literary, physical, and mental journey by means of engaging with a story that challenges reality and perception. This thesis will explain how textualization and typography create a powerful and manipulative guide through both the novel and the maze that folds within the house at the center of the novel. Lastly, it will demonstrate how to travel through the house and describe the effect in which this journey attempts to have on a reader.