The Conscript of Christ

A Close Reading of “The Conscript”


  • Joselyn Yang


This essay, composed for a first-year writing seminar on WWI, extracts detailed meaning from the Italian sonnet "The Conscript" by poet Wilfrid Gibson. The paper argues that war does not kill people, people kill people, and this horror of reality is mirrored in the poem’s setting of a medical examination room. The poet’s language, syntax, and imagery all contribute to paint a picture dehumanizing the conscripted soldiers, sealing their ultimate fate even before they are sent to war.

For additional context, listen to the author's reflection on the piece below.

Author Biography

Joselyn Yang

Joselyn Yang is a member of Vanderbilt's Class of 2022.

Author's Reflection



How to Cite

Yang, J. (2019). The Conscript of Christ: A Close Reading of “The Conscript”. SCAFFOLD: A SHOWCASE OF VANDERBILT FIRST-YEAR WRITING, 1. Retrieved from