Johnny’s Love Life

From the beginning of House of Leaves, Johnny Truant displays problems with intimacy. This problem is shown through the opposition of his myriad of sexual relationships to his lack of meaningful and loving relationships with women, even when women seem to be interested in him. Though this lack of meaningful relationships could be Johnny’s choice, it is clear that he wants something more when he expresses his desire to have a family and a lifelong love with Ashley and in his love letter to Thumper. This lewd behavior could also be attributed to Johnny’s close friendship with Lude, whose sexual conquests are detailed by Johnny at may points throughout the novel, but Johnny’s experiences with Zampanò’s notes for House of Leaves have a more prominent effect on Johnny’s love life. These notes deteriorate Johnny psychologically, make him extremely paranoid, and lead to the destruction of his closest relationships.  This effect seems to be limited to Johnny in terms of the people who have interacted with the house since in the end, the house leads Karen Green and Navidson to resolve the problems in their relationship and become closer than ever. Since the house is said to reflect the psyche of anyone who enters it, it effects Johnny differently than it effects Karen and Navidson. Just as the house forces Karen and Navidson to confront the problems  within themselves to repair their relationship, Johnny  must confront his inner demons. In their interactions with the house, Karen and Navidson view the house as the monster because it is what seems to be keeping them apart, but for Johnny the monster is himself. Johnny’s reading of Zampanò’s House of Leaves leads him to viewing himself as a monster, and by extension make him incapable of love through his isolation from the rest of the world, much like the minotaur.

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