This boy is the eldest child in the family. He left the impression of being the child that was born unpredictably. He was born like a normal boy everything was okay with his head, his body, his legs, and his mind; but no misshapen member could be recalled. Once when Pa Joad was left alone with the child, he accidentally pulled the baby out. He was so terrified and scared that couldn’t say a word. After that when they called the midwife too, and she arrived, they understood that everything would be okay. She quickly molds the baby's body back into shape. After that Pa felt very sorry and even without saying it aloud he loves Noah more than any other of his children.
Noah is described as quiet, and strange in some way. He isn’t a mentally disabled boy, as he may look like at first glance. He is smart; we know that he can write, read, count and figure as well as others, that means he loves his family and takes that love back, that his relatives took care of him. Nevertheless, he seems to be detached from his family. In this book his role is an understated one, it seems like he is even a little bit odd in the book.
In the episode when the family reached Colorado River Noah decides that this is exactly that place he wants to be. He can’t live without water and become the first member of their family who consciously refuses from his family prioritizing his desires over the family’s well-being. He falls in love with that river, with its cool and clear water and that makes him stay there forever.
Noah Joad in the Essays