Dr. Brown takes pity on Tita and takes her to his home instead of an asylum. This is very important since it’s the first time Tita is away from her confined space of the kitchen, and the ranch after having lived so many years under the strict rules and harsh treatment of her mother. Although, she still remains within the confined space of John’s house. However throughout her stay at his house, she remains silent and refuses to speak.
John takes care of Tita, nurses her back to health, and tries to revive her broken spirit. However, when John asks her to write on a wall why she doesn’t speak, she writes “because I don’t want to. ” This represents Tita’s first step towards gaining her freedom. While Tita sits in her room at his house, she sees an old Native American woman making tea on the patio and they establish a silent communication with each other.
The woman turns out to be the spirit of John’s dead grandmother, named Morning Light who was a Kikapu Indian who had healing powers. We find out that is was from Morning Light that John took interest in medicine. John shares a recipe of making matches with Tita, a theory his grandmother had, where she believed that everyone was born with a box of internal matches which are lighted up each time someone experiences a strong emotion or feeling.
Each match containing the explosions necessary for an individual to live, tells us that all people need love to nourish their souls. The matches are a metaphor for the passion of life, and represents the inner fire we have in order to keep us alive and also our need for someone to light them. Through explaining this theory, he also explains the consequence of burning all the matches at once which makes Tita realise her own situation.