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Sparknotes Summary Of R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" Chapters 1-7

"A story for the ages about love, hate, and poor decision making"

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Chapter 1

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The story starts out with Sylvester (R. Kelly) laying in bed. As the sun's rays wake him, he realizes that he is not in his own bed, but in the bed of his mistress. Sylvester recaps how it happened, as they went from the club to her home and he didn't plan to stay there long (he cleverly rhymes home with long). He feels like a fool and tries to go home to his wife when the mistress tells him that he can't because her husband is coming home!

She tells him to hide in the closet, and Sylvester argues trying to find a better solution. He at first wants to go out the window, but after the mistress cleverly points out that it is on the 5th floor, he concedes and enters the closet. As the mistress' husband enters the room, she removes her wig and puts on a show for the ages to convince him that she cooked and made a bath for him (these treats were originally intended for Sylvester). The husband smiles, sensing that this is a step in the right direction for their relationship, until he hears a phone ringing from the closet. Sylvester grabs his gun in fear that the husband may find him. After checking every room but the closet, the husband decides to check the closet...........

The Gun

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Sylvester's gun represents the anger inside of him. His immediate reaction when the husband goes to enter the closet is to draw his gun, just as he generally responds to situations with anger in his own life.

Best Quote

"Tellin' ya now this girl's so good that she deserves an Oscar" - Sylvester

Shockingly no Oscars were awarded to any of the actors in this piece.

Chapter 2

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After the husband opens the closet, Sylvester steps out with his gun. He holds it at the husband, who is cleverly able to piece together all of the clues and deduce that his wife has been having an affair. Sylvester and the husband, who professes that his name is Rufus, begin to talk it out. Rufus says he half expected that his wife would do this. Sylvester, still pointing the gun at Rufus, tells his side of the story. After pulling a wig of the closet, he tells him that met this girl at the club the night before and that she had mislead him to believe that she didn't have a man.

Rufus reveals that he is in fact a pastor, and Sylvester decides that they should handle this Christian-like. Rufus is clearly upset, and his emotions are reflected by beautiful the high notes that R. Kelly starts to hit. He calls someone who appears to be a secret lover of his own, and tells them to turn their car around. Sylvester intensely wonders who this mystery woman is, and points the gun at Rufus, threatening to kill him because he can't handle the anticipation. Just in the nick of time, the person who Rufus called knocks on the door. But in a shocking twist to both Sylvester and the woman, the secret lover is a man!

The Wig

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The wig represents how all of them have been playing roles in their lives that don't truly represent who they are. And R. Kelly just looks ridiculous shaking this wig in everyone's face.

The Closet


For Rufus, the closet also represents a feeling of entrapment. But for him, he is trapped in his own sexual conflicts. He is trapped by the fact that he cannot reveal to his wife that he is gay. Now, just as he opened the closet for Sylvester, Sylvester has opened the metaphorical closet for him.

Best Quote

"I'd kill you if you didn't have that gun in your hand" -Rufus

Luckily for Sylvester, he had that gun in his hand.

Chapter 3


After the man enters the room, Sylvester questions him to confirm that he is Rufus' lover. Sylvester decides it's time to leave since he doesn't really know any of these people, but his mistress tells him he should stay to hear what happened in the story that he's not at all involved in. Sylvester decides that it's a good idea, and gives them 3 minutes to tell the story.

Rufus and his wife go back and forth, arguing over who had wronged who (both of them had affairs at the same time) when Sylvester finally loses it. He tells them "I did not stay here to hear y'all chew each other out" (not quite sure why he stayed then), and Chuck, Rufus' lover decides that he can explain things best. It is revealed that he and Rufus have been sneaking around for about a year and intend to get married.

The mistress gets mad and Rufus confronts her, revealing that her name is Kathy. This comes as a shock to Sylvester, who was under the belief that her name was Mary. He gets pissed and everyone begins to bicker again. Sylvester shoots a bullet in the air, showing his need for control and calls his wife as he heads out the door. But then a man picks up the phone........

The Doorway


The doorway symbolizes the opportunity to escape. Sylvester finds himself in a terrible situation and his presence is no longer needed. The door is wide open for the entire scene, representing how Sylvester has the opportunity to escape but does not, just as he has trouble escaping trouble throughout his own life. GET OUT SYLVESTER, GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN

Best Quote

"I closed my mouth and swallowed spit, and I'm thinking to myself, 'This is some deep shit!'" -Sylvester

I think we were all thinking the same thing.

Chapter 4

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After he hears a man pick up the phone, Sylvester races home in a very realistic looking driving scene. Thoughts and illusions race through his mind and he pictures himself pointing a gun at a mirror image of himself as well as re-watching the events of that morning. He is pulled over for going 60 in a 40 by a cop smoking a cigarette. Sylvester tries to convince the officer that it's an emergency, but cannot escape the ticket. He drives 55 the rest of the way until he arrives home, where he busts in through the back door.

He sees his wife in the shower and imagines a man in there with her. Clearly going insane, he busts into the shower to find that it's only her. He confronts her about the man on the phone, to which she tells him that her brother was over. He responds "Oh" and feels like a fool. She is not angry at him, and they make very intense love. While they're making love, Sylvester starts to feel pain and wants to stop. He makes all kinds of excuses from cramping to the possibility of him popping a vessel in his brain (doubt he'll tell his bros that part of the story). She keeps going and finally he pushes her off only to roll across a used condom.......

The Car


The car represents the recklessness of Sylvester. In the last 10 minutes alone, Sylvester has had an affair, pointed a gun at 3 different people, and fired a bullet in the air. I think it's safe to say that self-control isn't one of Sylvester's strengths.

The "Rubber"


The condom symbolizes betrayal. His wife tries to use sex to keep Sylvester from finding out about her affair (just as Kathy did to Rufus). On a positive note, at least she used protection.

Best Quote

(Gwen)" 'Oh my goodness, I'm about to climax.' And I said cool" - Sylvester


Chapter 5

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Sylvester is furious after seeing the condom and demands an explanation from his Gwen (his wife). At first she's frightened, but then she turns it around on him and says she knows about his affair. He tries to play dumb, but apparently she was also at the club the previous night and saw Sylvester go home with Kathy. Sylvester is still furious, mostly because of the affair, but partly because his girlfriend saw him at the club and didn't even say hi. He says he smells cigarettes and takes out his gun to search the house for his girlfriend's lover. The lover is no longer in the house, and Sylvester confronts his girlfriend about the identity of the mystery man.

In a very coincidental twist, we find out that the Gwen's friend Roxanne is friends with Chuck who is tight with Rufus, who is married to Kathy, who introduced her to her mystery lover. (If you haven't pieced it together, Kathy is Sylvester's mistress, Rufus is her husband, Chuck is his secret lover, and Roxanne is a girl who really needs to start hanging out with other people). Finally, Gwen reveals that the man she was with is the cop who gave Sylvester a ticket as he was driving to the house............

The Cigarette


In Chapter 4, Sylvester is pulled over by a cop who is smoking a cigarette. At the time, it seems like they just needed to kill 30 seconds, but it all comes back as Sylvester smells cigarettes in the house while he tries to figure out who is sleeping with his wife. You would think that Vince Gilligan had a hand in writing the story with the way everything comes together.

Best Quote

"She says 'Okay', wipes her nose and asks me about a girl named Tina.
I thought to myself, said it sound familiar. I said I probably know her if I seen her"
-Sylvester and Gwen

Despite the brilliant rhyming introduction of Tina.....they forget to ever mention her again.

Chapter 6

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After Sylvester finds out that the cop who stopped him is his wife's lover, he starts laughing. She starts laughing too and they joke about how ridiculous the situation is (it's very impressive that he's been able to hold back laughter for the last 5 chapters). They both apologize and after quickly telling the listener's that Gwen's brother Twan was just released from prison, he begins to tell his her his story.

The policeman turns his car around and heads towards the house to make sure that everything is okay. He sees that the house has been broken into (even though Sylvester has a key, he just thought it would be more badass to break in) and goes in with his gun out. He walks in on Sylvester telling his story to his wife and mistakes her laughter for crying. He hears her say "you're killing me" and assumes that she means it literally. After being wrong about pretty much everything, he goes into the room and points his gun at Sylvester.

Sylvester takes out his gun and points it at the cop, who is revealed to be named James. Sylvester thinks about it and puts his gun down (first laughing, now putting his gun down....this has been a very positive and rational chapter for Sylvester #characterdevelopment). When he puts it down, James winks at him, and Sylvester goes nuts and jumps on him (spoke too soon). They struggle and a shot goes off.........


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All the way back in Chapter 2, Sylvester threatened to kill both Rufus and Kathy. Since then his character has come a long way........and is pretty much exactly the same and makes the exact same terrible judgement calls. Despite his lack of character development, his goatee does seem to have grown a decent amount in the 2 hours or so that have passed

Chapter 7

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Gwen is in tears and there is blood all over the wall. James and Sylvester argue over whose fault it is, and Gwen gets angry at both of them. Twan, her brother who had just gotten out of prison, is lying on the floor bleeding. James points his gun at Sylvester, saying that this can't happen to him, and Sylvester reasons with him to put the gun down. Finally, Sylvester comes up with the brilliant idea to check if Twan is actually dead, and no one listens as they continue to bicker.

Suddenly, Twan begins to cough to the beat of the song, and they all check to see if he's okay. Twan proves to be a badass, and says he doesn't need to go to a hospital, he just needs to clean up in the bathroom. Despite a very serious looking gunshot wound, Twan seems to be pretty energetic and Sylvester gets him up to speed about what happened in the previous 6 chapters.

As Sylvester's telling his story, someone knocks on the door. For most people, a knock on the door could be any number of things; from a Girl Scout to a Jehovah's Witness. But for this crazy crew, it can only be assumed that it's someone trying to kill them all. After James questions Sylvester's manliness, he grabs his gun and heads to the door. Twan (now only out of prison for a couple of hours) grabs James' gun (note that stealing a gun from a police officer is a very serious offense). They open the door, only to find that it's just elderly neighbor Rosie (who's name coincidentally rhymes with "nosy", working perfectly with the poetic nature of the song).............

The Blood

RKellyVEVO / Via RKellyVEVO

The blood represents guilt and sin. Gwen feels guilty that her brother got shot, so the blood ends up on her hands. The blood also stains the walls, representing how the room has been stained with the affair that happened on the previous night. In addition to all of their other problems, the blood probably means that Sylvester will have to go pick up a new carpet.

Best Quote

"I'm not gonna die, at least not today." -Twan

In just half a chapter, Twan has clearly become the only likable character.

To Be Continued..............

Luckily, there's still 26 more chapters of action. *****SPOILER ALERT - there's an affair with a midget to come

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