Study Guide

The Vanity of Human Wishes Steaminess Rating

By Samuel Johnson

Steaminess Rating


Besides a couple of references to the scandalous goings-on of pretty young ladies, there isn't must explicit sex happening in this poem. Whatever sex is happening is very vaguely mentioned by the speaker, when he says "Here Beauty falls betray'd, despised, distress'd,/ And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest" (341). In other words, if we're young and beautiful, we're going to end up getting mixed up in some hanky-panky. And then everyone is going to start gossiping about us.

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