How does Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird compare and contrast to Molly from Doris Pilkington's Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence?

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Atticus Finch is a lead character in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, a story of racial prejudice in the southern United States and its effects on the community of Maycomb, Alabama. Finch is wealthy and white, immediately making him a prominent member of the community. He has a moral compass that makes him admirable in the eyes of his neighbors, who often come to him for guidance. He stands out from the white community of Maycomb in one very specific way: he disagrees with the long-held tenets of racism still alive and well in the 1930s. Finch agrees to take the case of a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a young white woman. The town rallies against Robinson, at one point gathering to lynch him, but are thwarted when Finch's children appear. Finch is a protective father and tries mightily to keep his children away from danger. He tells the truth, no matter how difficult it might be, and fights for justice.

Molly is the protagonist of Doris Pilkington's Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, the story of three young Aboriginal girls who are kidnapped and ultimately travel more than a thousand miles across Australia to find their way home. Molly, who is only fifteen, is the leader of the crew, which also includes her two cousins. She uses navigational and survival skills to keep the girls safe during the journey, which takes nine weeks to complete. The entire country is looking for them since their situation made headline news, but Molly manages to get them home and avoid detection. Molly is kind, generous, and brave, making her a natural protector for her cousins.

Atticus and Molly differ in several obvious ways. Atticus is a white American and Molly is an Aboriginal Australian. Atticus is an adult and father of two; Molly is a teenager, at the beginning of her life. They live in different communities, experience different struggles, and fight for different causes. Without context, it might be difficult to find any similarities between the two.

At their core, however, Atticus and Molly are incredibly similar people. They both stand out in their communities—Atticus because he abhors racism and Molly because she is mixed-race and does not fit in with the Aboriginal tribe with which she lives. They are both protectors, fighting against oppressors to take care of others. Both are natural-born leader; Molly leads her cousins on a harrowing journey, and Atticus tries to lead his community away from racism and toward the moral high ground.

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