“I broke my leg,” she told him sadly, “when I fell.” And with that, she heaved her lump of mud at him. Glittering dust fell from her arm, as it moved.” (Gaiman, p. 100).
This quote stood out to me because it was when I realized that the young lady Tristran had found was in fact the star. When Tristran first set out to find the star he promised Victoria, I thought how silly? I was thinking more realistically about the situation, and how you couldn’t physically obtain a falling star. So, when I read this passage and realized that the fallen star was a young lady, I was very confused. How can a star be a person?
In class we talked about personification, and the star turning out to be a lady was the perfect example of personification. So that led me to wonder, why would Gaiman make the star a young lady, why not a rock or a stone like Tristran expected?
I found an article, which enhanced my understanding of the stars personification. The article pointed out how Stardust is filled with boundaries that are physical, social and metaphysical. The wall dividing Wall and Faerie exemplifies a physical boundary, and also a social boundary keeping the people of Wall and Faerie separated. There is also a boundary between the living and the dead as we see between the Stormhold brothers and the Lilim. The departed brothers of Stormhold are always near their living brothers, but the two never join. Just as the Lilim in Faerie and the Lilim in the mirror never touch. With all of these boundaries, why would we expect anything different with the star?
A star is an object, but in this tale it is a living thing. When Gaiman crossed the boundary between an object and a living thing, the story changed. When Tristran set off to obtain the fallen star (as an object) that was one thing, but once we realized the star was a person he was obtaining, that had a different affect on the story. Instead of being just a thing, the star became someone he could interact with and have emotions towards.
By crossing that boundary we see Tristran care for the star from taking care of her broken leg to searching for her to save her from the harmful witch. If it wasn’t personified, the star would have only been a promised kiss from Victoria, but by making the star a person it became so much more.