The flawed individual ultimately is responsible for his own devastation.
I've just finished Montana 1948 and I must say your experience with life has touched me in a very moving way. Words cannot express how much it relates to my demoralized life.
Your story of having a flawed individual ultimately being responsible for his own devastation really strikes a chord! Having had a domineering father that controls every second of my life is a suffocating situation to be in. In my male dominated culture, men are seen as the powerful, respected figures; and our fathers and elders teach us their traditions and responsibilities. We are taught that the male figure is always correct and must not be opposed by others, especially women. This has very striking similarities to your grandfather, Julian, whose dominance has controlled the destinies of both his son's lives.
Julian, was a man who was proud of his family. He favoured one son over the other which caused friction between your father and uncle. This was evident at the town barbeque where your uncle was honoured by your grandfather. Julian's overwhelming power towards his children caused them grief and offered only unrealised dreams. In your father's situation, your grandfather had influenced his life by the expectations he placed on him. This led your father to become someone whose life had been already set, just like mine. On the other end of the scale, your uncle Frank's life wasn't pre-determined but the life he led was not necessarily on the moral side. Your grandfather had known about his secret life but turned a blind eye, which led to Frank"s suicide.
Frank's untimely death is a product of Julian's cowardice. He was unable to help his son overcome his weaknesses and face his demons. This is evident throughout the story. More so when we find out Julian had known all about Frank's secret life. Julian was a man who was well respected and was someone who protected the family name.