When Dr. Sadao Hoki moved to the United States for college, he struggled to find housing because he was Japanese. Only one landlady—“fat and slatternly”—welcomed him into her home. Instead of feeling grateful for her open-mindedness and generous spirit, Sadao “had despised the ignorant and dirty old woman” who “house[d] him in her miserable home.” Sadao implies that the woman was somewhat hesitant to accept Sadao as a tenant—she “at last consented” to welcome him into her home, which suggests racism on her end. However, his further reflections paint her as a kindly woman who was willing to help him when no one else would. Sadao reflects that “he had once tried to be grateful to her” when he fell sick with the flu and she kindly nursed him back to health—“but it was difficult, for she was no less repulsive to him in her kindness.” This reflection comes in the closing lines of the story, leaving readers with the unsettling and unsatisfying realization that Sadao hasn’t really changed. He thinks to himself that “Americans were full of prejudice and it had been bitter to live in it, knowing himself their superior.” Sadao meets racism with racism; although he’s given into the human impulse to help a fellow human by saving Tom (whose face, Sadao still thinks, is “white and repulsive”), his deep-rooted prejudices and nationalist sentiments are still intact.