CRJ 2 “Becoming Adolf”
1) [1/2 of a page] Robert Root is an acclaimed writer and professor of creative nonfiction. In his book The Nonfictionist’s Guide, he defines the creative-nonfiction motive as a “need to know or understand a specific, limited topic.” Considering that definition, locate and analyze one passage that exposes Rich Cohen’s exigence to write. What conflict or question is Cohen trying to sort out or understand? And does he sort it out using a tone that seems to be more argumentative or more expository in nature? (When describing Cohen’s tone, consider the many adjectives you can use to describe it—not just “argumentative” or “expository.”)“The fact is, my interest in the Hitler mustache never started and never ends. It is always. If you’re a Jew, the Hitler mustache exists in the eternal present…I wanted to defuse it. I wanted to own it. I wanted to reclaim it for America and for the Jews. My name is Rich Cohen, and I wear a Hitler mustache” (Cohen 15).
| 2) [1/2 of a page] Locate a passage that reaches into the universal by presenting a dichotomous idea. What dichotomous idea is presented, and how does Cohen use the arrangement of details/ideas here to reach and present that dichotomous idea? “The presence of Chaplin's 'stache on Hitler's face encouraged Western leaders to underestimate the Fuhrer. 'Chaplin's mustache became a lens through which to look at Hitler,' he writes. 'a glass in which Hitler became merely Chaplinesque: a figure to be mocked more than feared, a comic villain whose pretensions would collapse of his own disproportionate weight...Someone to be ridiculed rather than resisted” (Cohen 18).
| 3) What role is research playing in Cohen’s development of this text? In your analysis, consider Cohen’s purpose and how his use of research helps him utilize one of the three appeals.“According To a recently rediscovered essay by Alexander Moritz Frey, who served with Hitler in the First World War, Hitler wore the mustache in...
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