For anyone who is not an angry neurotic Jewish kid, exposure to Indignation (or, I’d imagine, just about any Philip Roth), is likely to result in severe culture shock. Why can’t Newark native Marcus (Logan Lerman) just enjoy sex without agonizing over it? And the dean (Tracy Letts) at his small Ohio college may be a blowhard, but why must he rebel against him with every fiber of his being? These are not criticisms, just observations. All of Marcus’ harrumphing and allergy to compromise, combined with his inability to fight back against true injustice (like his mother forbidding him to pursue a troubled classmate beguilingly played by Sarah Gadon), make for a small-scale, personal tragedy.
I give Indignation my respect and my sympathy.