We first meet Calvin when he's a gawky 14-year-old, two years ahead in school and far more than two inches too tall for his clothes. He's an outsider in his own (huge) family, but the minute he walks into the Murry house, he knows he's found a home.
And while I'd normally be all up in arms about controlling tendencies at a passage like this:
"Well, you know what, you've got dreamboat eyes," Calvin said. "Listen, you go right on wearing your glasses. I don't think I want anybody else to see what gorgeous eyes you have."-- the fact that it's Calvin (okay, and the fact that I totally understand how Meg felt, having done the glasses-and-braces thing myself) makes it acceptable.
- Family man. He cares about his family when they don't care about him, and once he and Meg marry, they end up with a family big enough for a baseball team. And when we see him from Polly's perspective, in A House Like a Lotus and An Acceptable Time, he appears to be a pretty awesome father.
- Brilliant. To put it mildly. A Wrinkle in Time suggests that there's some sort of biological difference, although this never comes up again. But we do get to see him as a researcher widely acknowledged as top in his field, getting special government assent to his work. And this despite the fact that his future wife had to help him with his math homework.
- Fond of islands. As an adult, Calvin chooses to make his home on various marginally populated coastal islands where he can work out of a home laboratory. (Don't you wish you had one?)
- Rather normal. I mean, despite the fact that he's been inside his brother-in-law's mitochondria, not to mention several other planets.
- "There hasn't been anybody, anybody in the world I could talk to. Sure, I can function on the same level as everybody else, I can hold myself down, but it isn't me."
- "We came to the island... because it was, at the time, one of the few places left in the world where I could bring up my family and work undisturbed."
- "I've stumbled onto something. Something that is unusual, desirable to many people, and important."