To some extent, E.R. Braithwaite's experiences of prejudice awaken a hitherto unrealized racial consciousness. Prior to his arrival in England, he never really considered himself as an outsider, as the other. He certainly never felt that way when he served in the war. Yet, as soon as he sets foot in England, he realizes that large swathes of the indigenous population treat him differently simply on account of his race. He's actively discriminated against in his search for employment; people look at him strangely on public transport and make snide remarks; he's treated with contempt by waiters at a restaurant, and Gillian's parents strongly disapprove of their daughter dating a black man.
Throughout it all, however, Braithwaite maintains dignity and composure in the face of such systematic prejudice. He's helped to maintain this attitude from the general level of acceptance that he receives at school and in the local neighborhood. This provides him with a haven of calm in which he is respected and from which he gains the necessary strength to deal with the harshness and ignorance of the world outside.