*this term refers to a style of literary analysis promoted by Daniel Taylor in his book, The Healing Power of Stories. In a nutshell, his ideas can be summarized as follows.

Whole: good = good; bad = bad; good wins.

Broken: good = good; bad = bad; bad wins.

Bent: good = bad; bad = good. Either one wins, and the author or work has the intention or tendency to try to sway the reader’s allegiance toward bad, as opposed to good.

Healing: Any of the above which effects a positive change in the reader’s paradigm—epiphanies, resolve to make a difference in the world, to be a better person, etc.

This is a powerful template to use when considering the value of a book and its inclusion on your list of classics. It should be mentioned that not all “whole” books are classics, and not all “broken” or “bent” books are not. The test is whether or not one continues to be enriched/instructed with each successive exposure to the work. Books one characterizes in any of these ways can fall into this category.