In general, for those who appreciate deconstruction as a critical mode, deconstruction can serve to open up literary texts to a degree that other modes of criticism cannot. One of the main ideas behind deconstruction is that a text does not have an absolute, intrinsic meaning behind it. Rather, deconstructionists claim that every text has some measure of "slippage" within it that can reveal the ways in which the texts violates its own rules and ideas, in turn revealing a range of possible contradictions. In this respect, as a mode of criticism, deconstruction can reveal a variety of subconscious and unconscious ideas behind a text, in turn suggesting a variety of different possible interpretations. The advantage of deconstruction, then, is that it can allow the reader to dig beneath the surface of a text and be able to take it apart and explore it in ways that other critical modes cannot.
Those who do not support deconstruction as a worthy critical mode view deconstruction as being obscure, difficult, nihilistic, elitist, a-political and downright disrespectful to the nature of art. Those who do not support deconstruction argue that its primary disadvantage is that it takes texts apart to such an extent that no intrinsic meaning can be gathered from them. These critics argue that deconstruction, then, is something of an empty, irrational and paradoxical mode of criticism. They argued that deconstruction is demonstrated in texts which themselves can be drained of any possibility of absolute meaning when deconstruction, in turn rendering deconstruction itself as being contradictory and faulty. Critics of deconstruction argue that deconstruction dismisses the possibility of any moral claims in a text and, in turn, prevents any humanistic readings of a text.