The Valpo Core Reader


Jean Stolle

Document Type

Coming of Age and Education Essay

Publication Date



When you're little, Band-Aids make everything better. They seem to make a mosquito bite itch less, a cut bleed less, and a bruise bruise less. As we grow older, we come to realize that perhaps it isn't the Band-Aid performing magic; it is our mind. The brain is our most powerful and mysterious instrument. Knowledge is acquired throughout life through both schooling and experience, a process which, according to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," is difficult but more than worthwhile. Maya Angelou's coming of age in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings supports many of Plato's theories and exemplifies a character-building childhood.