Elizabeth, meanwhile, is proudly independent and individualistic. She possesses the ability to transcend her limitations - the negligence of her parents, the frivolity of Meryton, the pragmatic nature of Charlotte - because she is confident enough to go after what she wants. However, her individualistic nature misleads her as she works through her feelings for Darcy - but thankfully, Mrs. Gardiner is there to guide her towards him. Ultimately, Austen is critical of the power public opinion has on individual action, but she also believes that society has a crucial role in promoting virtue and therefore, engendering individual happiness. According to critic Richard Simpson, Austen portrays a "thorough consciousness that man is a social being, and that apart from society there is not even the individual."