Few things are what they seem in Faerie, and this applies to
people and animals, too. In fact, it seems like most of the characters in Stardust transform
into something or someone else at some point in the story. Tristran is changed
into a dormouse and back, his mom is transformed into a bird and back again
many times, poor Brevis is doomed to become a goat and then a girl, the
beech-tree remembers her life as a nymph, the witch-queen transforms into a
younger version of herself, and so on.
Magic can sure do a lot of things, but we see it used to
transform people's shapes and sizes on multiple occasions. And then there are
the more general transformations that take place in people throughout the book,
such as Tristran growing up and becoming a man over the course of his journey.
It's almost as though the book is telling readers to embrace transformations
and changes because they're inevitable.
Questions About Transformation
- When do you think Tristran's transformation into a man begins?
- Why does Madame Semele turn Tristran into a dormouse?
- What do you think about Lady Una's statement to Yvaine about
Madame Semele seeming to free the animal within each person she transforms?
- What kinds of transformations does the witch-queen perform
on others as compared to on herself?
Chew on This
Working a magical transformation on someone without their
consent is a worse violation than simply killing them.
None of the magical transformations are meaningful compared
to Tristran's growth and changes over his journey.