“After the lapse of sixty minutes, there came yet another chiming of the clock, and were the same disconnect and tremulousness as before” (Poe 374).
The clock interrupting the party represented infinite time, and death looming over the party.
The use of indirect characterization is additionally used to explain that the people of the castle are the wealthiest members of society.
The fact that they are some of the prince’s closest friends, and that they are wearing fancy masquerade costumes, suggests that they are part of the highest social class.
The layout of the castle helps further illustrate the theme because the people of the castle are confined to seven rooms, which are aligned from east to west.
The alignment of the rooms is meant to represent the stages of life, the first room being birth and the last room being death.
Death’s eventual intrusion in the party conclusively signifies the limits of time.
As Poe definitively pronounced: “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all” (Poe 380).
Their belief that they could evade the plague and their eventual death only validates the theme that death is unavoidable, no matter what your attitude.
The theme is conclusively demonstrated through the use of indirect characterization.