The Grapes of Wrath Noah Quotes

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If you are reading 'The Grapes of Wrath', you may have missed the character named Noah. He is described by the narrator as quiet and as being disconnected from the world around him. Despite this, Noah still has a few memorable and important quotes - let's take a look.

Who is Noah?

In The Grapes of Wrath, Noah is the oldest son belonging to Pa Joad. Noah is quieter than some of the other characters in the book, but when he does speak, it gives us a good idea of who he really is.

Noah's Idea About the Pigs

The Grapes of Wrath follows the story of a family as they make their way from Oklahoma to California during the Dust Bowl. As the family scrambles to pack up their most valuable possessions, they also have to decide what to do with the animals on their farm. They decide to slaughter the pigs to have meat for their trip.

Tom and Pa both agree it would be better to get the work done in the morning. Noah cuts in with a rare interruption, boldly goes against the group and says, ''Prob'ly wouldn't hurt that meat to git her right down in salt. Cut her up, she'd cool quicker anyways.'' They agree with Noah's idea. This quote shows that although Noah does not speak much, he clearly thinks carefully about what is going on around him.

Noah's Observation about Grampa's Death

While Noah obviously thinks about the world around him, he also has a distinct ability to think about himself and his own ideas about the world. After Grampa has a stroke and dies, Noah makes an observation: ''Funny thing is - losin' Grampa ain't made me feel no different than I done before. I ain't no sadder than I was.''

In other words, Noah realizes that the death of someone in the family does not affect him the way he thinks it should. This could be a commentary about himself and his lack of feeling, or it could be a good example of how stress and turmoil can change the way people deal with tragedy.

Noah's Decision to Live by the River

Another example of Noah's thoughtfulness is when he says goodbye to the family. Noah ends up spending time near a river with Tom. When Tom tells Noah that it is time to leave the river, he simply responds, ''Tom, I ain't a-gonna leave this here water. I'm a-gonna walk on down this here river.'' Tom tries to convince Noah that he has to leave, and mentions their mother and father. When Tom calls Noah crazy, Noah explains that he will get some fishing line and that he will be able to catch fish and eat.

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