While reading Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice, the story took a turn. I was expecting it to be a war story, or simply about the things offered in the title, but it was much more.
The relationship between the man and his father was very complex and perplexing. It was confusing, and I feel like I was able to understand it just about as well as the father and son. Due to their past history, it seems as if both didn't know how to interact with one another or where they stood in their relationship.
In the middle, where the son is recalling his father's story, I got a little lost. It was hard for me to transition from which time frame the narrator was speaking, as well as who was speaking. Maybe the author intended this confusion to imply the thought process of the son.
It was very intriguing to here the girl tell the son, "You're romanticizing his past, to make sense of the things you said he did to you." This paints a picture of the son and his father's relationship, as well as the idea that often we can not see our motives, but they are very clear from the outside looking in. When this was said to the son, this realization sent his mind spinning. He was able to search himself to find out what he truly wanted.
The quote, "Even then, my emotions operated like a system of levers and pulleys: just seeing him had sent them irreversibly into motion," is a perfect analogy that the author uses to show the relationship. Their love was not real for each other. It was forced, and confusing. The term family was simply a guideline that they had to follow.
The end of the story was confusing to me. When the son repeatedly said, "if I had known what I knew later," I was unsure whether this meant that the father in fact did not burn his writing, or whether this means the father had his son's interest at hand. I wish it was not left is such an unknown ending. And the final sentence he describes their relationship to a frozen river capable of being shattered by a stone. I feel as if this analogy can be taken in many forms. For example it could show mending of their relationship, or show how the son felt he had bonded with his father, but one mistake could ruin it all.