Here is an example of a dialectical journal entry for hyperbole:
Quote from Catcher in the Rye:
“You never saw anyone nod as much in your life as old Spencer did” (Salinger 9).
Mrs. Rogers’ Commentary on this quote:
From the beginning, we can tell that Holden is uncomfortable inside the Spencers’ home. He knows that he has been expelled from his high-end private school, and this teacher has asked to see him before he leaves. His over-emphasis on Spencer’s nodding probably serves two functions. First, it highlights the contrast between what Holden views as Spencer’s senility or dementia and his own young, lucid mind. Holden believes he sees everything clearly rather than just “getting a kick out of” a blanket. Sometimes we exaggerate someone’s shortcomings (like incessant nodding) because we feel sure that they are judging us for our own errors or weaknesses. If we judge them back, we don’t have to feel bad about ourselves. Holden knows he is to blame for his expulsion, but it is easier to make fun of Spencer’s nodding than to accept his own shame.
Remember that when you write commentary on a quote for your dialectical journal entries, your goal is to find the hidden messages about Holden or the overall meaning of a scene or interaction. What you do not want to do is include a personal story as a weak connection with the quote.
If you need me to explain any part of this example more fully or if you have a question about another type of example or the general annotating, please feel free to comment!