In the picture of Dorian Gray, the Yellow book and the basil’s painting of Dorian Gray are at the root of the corruption for Dorian. The two things seem unimportant but they soon become the object of Dorian’s fascination.
We are introduced to the painting of Dorian at the beginning and based on the title of the text, we assume that this picture might play an important role in the plot. With Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian, Dorian becomes fixated on the beautiful portrait of himself and wishes to remain as young and handsome forever like the painting. He is corrupted by his own beautiful and this makes him seem quite conceited or maybe human, as we all wish to remain unchanged. Looking at the image of the picture, we are presented with three different versions of Dorian, according to the stages of his corruption. He is originally untouched but as time progresses and he commits more sinful deeds, his visage deteriorates. The roles change and we watch him obsesses over himself, wanting his picture to remain handsome like himself.
The yellow book is also an object seen in the book and is responsible for the corruption of Dorian Gray. He tries to live by this book which is morally questionable. The yellow book is a seemingly small harmless object. You think, just how harmful can an object be? But this book proves very influential on Dorian and this shows just how naive and young Dorian is at the time. The picture shows that this yellow book is simply that, a yellow book. And anyone looking at it will be unable to see the harm it can cause. It has more of an internal threat, very unlike a gun and other things that scream danger. Which makes it interesting that Wilde refers to it as The Yellow Book. Whether his intention was to make it seem harmless, we cannot know for certain. The harmless looking book parallels with Dorian himself, who seems harmless and innocent but is really not. He is referred to as Prince Charming and when we think of that, we think knight or good, but we never associate the title with something bad or evil. It wouldn’t be Prince Charming if it was. Yet we get this seeming Prince Charming who is just as poisonous as the also seemingly harmless book. This parallel is interesting and whether Wilde intended this will always be unknown.