What did ponyboy mean when he said, "it was only yesterday...but yesterday was years ago. a lifetime ago"?

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Question:

What did ponyboy mean when he said, "it was only yesterday...but yesterday was years ago. a lifetime ago"?

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In actual time, only one day has passed - the event he was referring to only happened the day prior, yesterday. However, so much has happened that to him it didn't feel like only yesterday. He feels as though entire years, and even a lifetime has passed. This use of language is called a hyperbole.

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