Skip to main content


Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza recounts Anzaldúa’s life as a Chicana woman, Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman details the life of a Korean comfort woman, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale describes the life of a handmaid. While each of these novels present vastly different narratives, they all contain a similar element: linguist terrorism, which is a term coined by Gloria Anzaldúa. Anzaldúa defines linguistic terrorism as repeated attacks on a person’s native tongue by the dominant culture. The three novels present three different types of linguistic terrorism: linguistic oppression, the outright silencing of a people, and the oppression of a sex. Anzaldúa’s Borderlands details her life as a Chicana living in Spanish dominant Texas, and she records how linguistic terrorism affects her self-esteem throughout her life. Native Spanish and English speakers alike criticized her language and oppressed her culture by censuring the Chicanos. Keller presents a different type of linguistic terrorism in Comfort Woman. Korean women were kidnapped from their homes, used as sexual slaves for the Japanese army, and were often forbidden to speak; their oppression is an example of the silencing of a people. Finally, The Handmaid’s Tale portrays the oppression of a sex. Handmaids are kept oppressed through linguistic terrorism as they are not allowed to read or write and are expected to keep silent. My paper examines the three different texts for examples of linguistic terrorism and how linguistic terrorism is used to oppress languages, cultures, or people.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
150 kB
19 Jul 2022
15.4 kB



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3203

  • Event date
    • 23 March 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Kyounghye Kwon