Study Guide

Stardust Youth

By Neil Gaiman

Youth

A lot of the characters in Stardust are young, like teenagers or thereabouts. Others are older, but most of them want to be young again. So what's so great about youth? Well, to hear the Lilim and Madame Semele reminisce about it, they liked their bodies better then, and they had more magical power. Also, with youth comes innocence: Tristran is almost laughably naïve when he sets out from Wall to find the fallen star. This changes over the course of his quest, and he grows into adulthood. He probably won't miss his youth until it's gone.

Ever hear the saying youth is wasted on the young? That seems to about cover it here.

Questions About Youth

  1. Why do you think the witch-queen's youth decreases every time she uses magic?
  2. When does Tristran stop being as young and innocent?
  3. What do you think Madame Semele would do with her youth if she were somehow able to see the star and take her heart?
  4. Why does Lady Una remain young looking even after spending sixty-ish years a slave?

Chew on This

The young characters in <em>Stardust</em> tend to be more compassionate than the older characters.

The inexperience of youth causes Tristran to make more mistakes than he'd make if he'd gone to Faerie a few years later.