Dunstan is born and raised in Deptford (a small town located in Ontario). He belongs to the Presbyterian community of the town and lives a rather normal life. However, one day, Mary Dempster (the pregnant wife of the Baptist minister) is unconventionally struck by a snowball meant to be thrown at Dunstan. This forces her to experience a distressing, premature birth which changes the course of both hers and Dunstan's life forever.
1. Ordinary life
Dunstan witnesses a miracle. Mary Dempster brings back Willie from the dead which makes Dunstan genuinely question if saints and miracles truly do exist. This strongly fosters his initial interests in hagiography and mythology which later becomes heavily prevalent themes in Dunstan's journey. "For me, Willie's recall from death is, and will always be, Mrs.Dempsters second miracle" (Davies, 1970, p.48)
2. Call to adventure
Mrs.Ramsay becomes extremely upset that Dunstan has continued relations with Mrs.Dempster and obliges him to choose between her and Mary to confirm his loyalty. In order to avoid this ordeal, Dunstan vindictively enrolls in the army to spite his mother but also detaches himself from the possibility of further uncovering Mrs.Dempster's supernatural characteristics. "I was not her husband, who could keep his peace in the face of her furious rectitude; I was her son, with a full share of her own granite determination " (Davies. 1970, p.57)
3. Refusal of the call
Dunstan visits Deptford to inquire about Mrs.Dempsters wherabouts, and while he's there he encounters a catholic priest who ridicules him for believing Mrs.Dempster is a saint and refers to her as a fool saint. He later meets a man named Padre Blazon who debunks the priests preaching and instead tells Dunstan she could be a saint to Dunstan but could also obtain no purpose in everyone else's life. This revelation further jolts dunstan into his journey in discovering the unknown
6.Test, enemies, allies
As Dunstan is nursed back to health, he eventually decides he does not want to continue hid relationship with Diana as her matriachal nature reminds him of his own mother and her desire to posses his being. "She had fallen in love with me because she felt she had made whatever I was out of a smashed-up and insensible hospital case." (Davies, 1970, p.76). However, before they part ways Diana requests to change his name from Dunstable to Dunstan. This symbolizes a rebirthing and unknowingly leads Dunstan into the second phase of his life in which he uncovers his distinct role and true purpose as a human being.
5. Crossing the threshold
Dunstan severely injures himself during the war while unintentionally destroying a German army nest. He finds himself awaken 6 months later from a coma to a nurse by the name of Diana Marfleet and they quickly become romantically acquainted. Diana significantly triggers Dunstan's spiritual development and fundamentally incites his journey. Since comparatively, she was older and relatively wiser than Dunstan at the time they met, Dunstan pushed himself to evolve and develop his character to be up to par. Diana Marfleet aided Dunstan's transition from boyhood to manhood.