Thorpe's Notes Review:
Students may find this review section beneficial in testing their own knowledge and understanding of the events and themes presented in Trapped in the Closet. We are confident that students who have a deep enough understanding of the source material to answer these questions will be equipped to understand much of the body of critical writing about Trapped in the Closet, and may even be able to meaningfully contribute to that body.

1. Which of the following is correct?
a. “He continues to rough up the midget as if the midget was under attack.”
b. “He continues to rough up the midget as if the midget were under attack.”
c. “He continues to rough up the midget; the midget is under attack.”
d. “He continues to rough up the midget as if the midget was black.”

2. What does Twan say when he is shot in the shoulder?
a. “Ow!”
b. “Why has this thing been done!”
c. He says nothing, but passes out for some reason.
d. “O, I die, Horatio.”

3. What is the name of the strip club where Big Man works?
a. Dixie’s.
b. Mancandles.
c. The Midget Hole.
d. Halliburton.

4. Which of the following abusive statements does not appear in chapter twelve?
a. “Fuck you, ho.”
b. “Come on, bitch.”
c. “I will cut this bitch right now.”
d. “Happy trails, shithead.”

5. Which of the following is not one of the traumas that Sylvester enumerated in chapter six?
a. Been trapped in a closet.
b. Ate an old man’s tooth.
c. Got a ticket
d. Threatened to kill a pastor.

Answers: 1: a 2: c 3: a 4: d 5: b

Identify the character who spoke each of these lines:

1. “You act like you had seen a ghost from the dead.”
2. “Sylvester, you’re killing me.”
3. “Maybe? Maybe that time of the month?”
4. “That ho was me.”
5. “Wait! I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off alone, each one for himself. We weren’t made for the same road.”

Answers: 1: James in chapter 8. 2. Gwendolyn, in chapter 6. 3. James in chapter 8. 4. Cathy in chapter 12. 5. Estragon in Act 1.

Essay questions:

1. Why does James look for Big Man behind the refrigerator? How big do you imagine the space behind the refrigerator to be?

2. Sylvester recognizes a midget stripper from a night club. Does this mean that Sylvester frequents male strip clubs featuring midget stripers? Why or why not?

3. If Sylvester is narrating the story in first person, why does he sometimes refer to himself as Sylvester? Also, why does he have knowledge of conversations that happened when he wasn’t present?

If you have any questions about R. Kelly's magnum opus, you can feel free to e-mail the Thorpe's Notes experts at

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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