Rita Felski explores why shocking images, narratives, and language appeal to us in Uses of Literature which responds to two critical approaches. More specifically, Felski wants to examine literature's effect on readers. Instead of high theory with its esoteric concepts, she encourages us to reflect on common "modes of textual engagement" when scholars read and watch something. Felski uses fighting metaphors to signal the hostility. "Striking out at his public", a writer may engage in "literary assault" and "plant punches and counter-punches". Shock runs along a continuum. "If shock aims too low," Felski explains, "its efforts to provoke are likely to go entirely unremarked or to risk being mocked as lame, tame, or risible". Felski explains, "Shock thus teeters precariously between the threat of two forms of failure, caught between the potential humiliation of audience indifference and the permanent risk of outright and outraged refusal".