'Do you have a Wish?' he asked, referring to this organization, The Genie Foundation, which is in the business of granting sick kids one wish.
'No' I said. 'I used my Wish pre-Miracle.'
'What'd you do?'
I sighed loudly. 'I was thirteen,' I said.
'Not Disney,' he said.
I said nothing.
'You did not go to Disney World.'
I said nothing.
'HAZEL GRACE!' he shouted. 'You did not use your one dying Wish to go to Disney World with your parents.'
'Also Epcot Center,' I mumbled.
'Oh, my God,' Augustus said. 'I can't believe I had a crush on a girl with such cliché wishes.'

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

What does 'Pre-Miracle' refer to? I didn't get this extract. Please explain.


3 Answers 3


Earlier in the novel, the narrator, Hazel, tells of her "Cancer Miracle": she was about to die, but the (fictitious) drug Phalanxifor made her tumors shrink and "resulted in a bit of purchased time".

So when Hazel refers to the time "pre-Miracle" in your quote, she means before that successful treatment, meaning (I guess) that her parents took her to Disneyland when they thought she was going to die.

I found the answer to your question by searching for "miracle" in the Look inside feature on Amazon.de (the German site, because the relevant page did not display to me on Amazon.com).


I have not read the book and the quote you give doesn't give enough context to say. But "pre" is a prefix meaning "before". So "pre-miracle" means "before the miracle". So most likely something happened to this girl that she considered a miracle. Perhaps a literal miracle, she prayed to God and then with no good medical explanation she recovered from her illness. Or perhaps she's using "miracle" figuratively here, just to mean something really good happened to her, not necessarily involving the supernatural.

From the context this girl apparently had some terrible disease. Did she recover from this disease? If not, did something else very good happen to her? Met the love of her life, had some profound insight on the meaning of life, etc?


I also did not read the book. I would think it was a wish given when younger, before a "miracle" (like a new miracle drug) prevented her from dying. It sounds to me she feels as if she wasted her wish on a frivolous and childish vacation before she knew she would live longer, and the character 'Augustus' sounds the same.

The fact that he asks if she HAS a wish implies he thinks she could still make one, so she is still sick.

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