In the short stories "The Bingo Van", and "American Horse" both written by Louise Erdrich, the two main characters Lipsha and Buddy are both Chippewa young men struggling to understand their heritages. It seems evident that Lipsha may be the grown version of little Buddy.
In the "Bingo Van", Lipsha is overcome with a want for material things. His greed takes over his life and causes him to lose his power for healing. He becomes so enamoured with winning the van, that all of his time and energy is spent on playing bingo. After winning the van he is still so enthralled by it that he neglects his girlfriend, and her sick son. .
Similarly, in "American Horse", Albertine, Buddy's mother is so wrapped up with her alcoholism that she neglects her own sons needs. She, being a strong willed Chippewa woman should have known that such things as self-indulgence are not permitted. Buddy spent his time watching his mother sleep after she had passed out from the alcohol. Buddy, like Lipsha was struggling to fully understand his heritage. Both boys had little help from their parents seeing as though Buddy's mother was a drunk, and Lipsha's parents are not mentioned at all. .
Lipsha appears to me as a grown up version of Buddy. Buddy is now living in some home away from his mother, and it seems as though Lipsha has little family to call his own besides a grandmother who is into bingo even more than he is. .
Buddy, unlike Lipsha may have some hope still for being raised in a safe and healthy environment. The social worker described the living conditions in Buddy's house as practically unlivable. The boy is still young, so it is quite possible that the rest of his childhood could shape him into a strong healthy man. Lipsha however is seen in the end of the story as wearing "borrowed pants" with no place to call home. .
While Lipsha and Buddy do have many similarities, their differences are not to be shadowed.