Despite Conrad's aesthetic disapproval of Melville, he nevertheless retained key elements of Moby-Dick in Heart of Darkness: the pattern of the plot—a first person narrator who survives to tell the tale; a doomed and depraved central character—Ahab the pursuer and Kurtz the object of pursuit; a wild, untamed setting—the vast ocean and ungovernable jungle; the confinement of the whaling ship and the decrepit river steamer. Conrad even adopts some aspects of Melville's style: incantation, repetition, and dreamlike effects.

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