gilded cage

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



gilded cage (plural gilded cages)

  1. (figuratively) A place (or, by extension, situation) which is superficially attractive but nevertheless constraining; a comfortable but confined situation.
    • 1932 December 23, “June & Duty”, in Time:
      Two years ago he wrote of the Presidency as the "final sacrifice," adding: "The restraint, artificiality and loneliness in the White House... seems the life of a pet in a gilded cage."
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, London: Abacus, published 2010, page 650:
      There were no bars on the windows, no jangling keys, no doors to lock or unlock. It was altogether pleasant, but I never forgot that it was a gilded cage.
    • 2009 March 27, Madeleine Bunting, “Patriarchal, yes. All bad? No”, in The Guardian[1]:
      In many circumstances, religion has been used to bully and intimidate women and deprive them of power. It may have offered inspiration and meaning, but too often it has been something of a gilded cage.
    • 2023 April 2, Jacob Mikanowski, “Beyond the Wall by Katja Hoyer review – the human face of the socialist state”, in The Observer[2], →ISSN:
      Trapped behind barbed wire, but increasingly prosperous, East Germany began to resemble the gilded cage of the eastern bloc, at least in the eyes of its socialist neighbours.