be (like) a bird in a gilded cage

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be (like) a bird in a gilded cage

To live a life of wealth and luxury but to be without true freedom, happiness, or contentment. She married her husband because of his fortune, and now she is a bird in a gilded cage, living her lonely life inside their empty mansion with a man she does not love. John forsook his friends and family in the pursuit of his riches, but with no friends or loved ones, he is now like a bird in a gilded cage.
See also: bird, cage, gild
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The scientists -- her captors -- seek to assuage her with food and luxurious conveniences, but Gargi knows she is a bird in a gilded cage: "I may be uneducated but I am not stupid.
It survived through the 1930s with tag lines such as: Ammonia a bird in a gilded cage, Teresa crowd and Sarah doctor in the house?
While the house may be the author's "image of the jail," he was truly a bird in a gilded cage - a cage that secured him a place in the twentieth century far more influential than does that of his writing.