Caleb Garth was the best character as person. Caleb-with-a-‘c’(which form I have always preferred and considered as the true form and which must be distinguished from Kaleb-with-a-‘k’ as they don’t have the same connotation, at all, Kaleb-with-a-‘k’ is just a name) is homespun, solid, heart of gold goodness.
I loved his character especially as such characters seem rarer than one might think—good, humble, honest characters are often portrayed as somewhat simple—not Caleb! He was sweet, strictly honorable, diligent, and intelligent. He did have two flaws in my opinion—his choice of wife and his having a favorite child.
And now we come to my favorite character, Fred. I think I love all literary Fred’s (for example par excellence, Fred Weasley). That name and mischievousness and merriness seem inseparable (but Frederick is more magnificent…Captain Wentworth anyone?). Fred Vincy, what a silly gentleman’s name, but Frederick shows that the character has the capacity to deepen.
Fred was irresistibly lovable in a Laurie-esque way: he was rich and spoiled with plenty of potential in him. The descriptions of him and his thought processes and his “travails” and his love were hysterical.
I was irritated with his laziness and loved that Mary and Caleb both thought that he needed to work and not rely on being a gentleman of means (even if he could). I was thrilled that he was allowed to improve. I love when characters turn around like that. He wasn’t a worthless rich snob. What a good lad. I don’t like the slights Mrs. Garth gave him in Farebrother’s favor.
Whew, that is all I have the will to express about Middlemarch.