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John is the main character and the protagonist of the story. He becomes a priest after his father takes him and goes to the Dead Places to make John touch the metal. Throughout the story, John has shown courage and ambition in his character. He was also so determined to get to the Place of Gods. Because of his determination and bravery, he successfully arrived in the Place of Gods and brought back to his village ample knowledge about the place they thought to be sacred.
John's father is a priest and a minor character in the story. As a father, he has done his job in making his son a priest and giving him independence on what he wants to do. For instance, he left John go to the Forbidden area although it was not allowed for anyone, even priests. However, he let John know of the dangers that await him there, which proves that he is a good father.
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Both are post-apocalyptic dystopia type stories. By the Waters of Babylon is a short story while The Chrysalids is a young adult novel. Both deal with perceptions and beliefs. Unfortunately your question demands more detail than this short answer...