This portrait of Dublin and its people is not always a flattering one. Joyce never romanticizes poverty, and explores how need and social entrapment adversely affect character. He sees his hometown as a city divided, often against itself, and the aura of defeat and decline pervades every tale. He is often deeply critical of Irish provinciality, the Catholic Church, and the Irish political climate of the time. But the collection is called Dubliners, not Dublin. Joyce does not merely write about conditions. The real power of Dubliners is Joyce's depiction of the strong characters who live and work in this distinctive and bleak city.