Capitalist and Communal Foundations in The Bingo Palace
Image of a sculpture on the KU campus with the Campanile in the background; reads "Undergraduate Research Journal for the Humanities, vol. 4 spring 2020"

How to Cite

Rolofson, K. N. (2020). Capitalist and Communal Foundations in The Bingo Palace. Undergraduate Research Journal for the Humanities, 4(1), 55-63.


Published in 1994, Louise Erdrich’s The Bingo Palace traces the journey of Lipsha Morrissey, who is called to return to his childhood home, a fictional Ojibwe reservation, after years of living off-reservation with his father. Upon his return, Lipsha becomes enamored with a young woman, Shawnee Ray, and entangled in conflict with Lyman, Lipsha’s uncle, half-brother, and the father of Shawnee Ray’s child, who plans to build a glamorous “Bingo Palace” on reservation land to bring wealth to the Ojibwe people. As Lipsha struggles to reconcile his conflict with Lyman, he faces questions of identity, family, and an ethical dilemma: would the economic benefits of a “Bingo Palace” outweigh the cultural costs?


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