Ishmael narrates the story in almost a stream of consciousness type of dialogue. He takes the reader through his thought processes as he describes the things he sees and people he meets during the story. Because of this, the language of the novel has an informal, almost conversational feel, as if Ishmael is carrying on a one-sided conversation. Although Ishmael's humor tends to lighten the novel, the overall tone of the story is dark and foreboding. The reader gets the feeling from the very beginning of the novel that the ending will not be a happy one.